To be sure we’re on the same page right from the start it is important that you realize that Kayak is not a ticket agent that you can directly buy airline tickets from. In fact, it would probably be best if you think of Kayak more along the lines of a travel consultancy agency. Basically when you tear down all the outer appearances – Kayak is a search engine. But it is a search engine with a very specific task: Scanning various booking agents and websites to provide complete details on your travel options – along with details as to other options that you might have once you get there. In short, it will tell you everything you need to know about traveling to a certain location.
Advantages of Kayak
The main advantage of Kayak is the fact that it sources its deals from multiple sources – and the result is that you should get more options and better deals. These options range from airfares right on to hotels, rental cars, cruises, special travel packages, and even trip ideas. Part of the beauty of this site is that you can actually see trips that others planned using Kayak – and use that as a model for your own trip. It also has historical airfare information that should let you know how the fare can change over the course of the year, and let you pick and choose when you’d like to travel accordingly.
Essentially, it is a huge time saver insofar as it saves you from having to check individual travel agents to come up with an idea of where the best deals can be found. Add to that the highly popular iPhone and Blackberry app that it has come up with and you have a clear winner!
Disadvantages of Kayak
As good as it is – Kayak isn’t perfect, and the main qualm that is leveled at it is the fact that sometimes the prices on Kayak are not entirely accurate and change fairly often. In some ways Kayak has addressed this by issuing alerts when the hotel or air fare prices change – but that still doesn’t make a difference if the initial price you see is off in itself! Also, despite the fact that you’re saving time by gathering information from multiple sources – when it comes to booking your trip you’re still going to need to book directly from the agents that you choose to deal with.
Kayak does not handle any bookings whatsoever. Sometimes this website can even be slow, and many people find that at certain times of the day, it can even be reduced to a crawl. This is off-putting, but it doesn’t affect the overall ability of the website to deliver. From what you’ve just found out – you should see that Kayak is great at what it does. It does have several points that are slightly less than ideal, but all in all, it still delivers where it counts.