There are many tools you can use to search for a flights, hotel rooms, or car rentals, but since 2004, Kayak.com, created by the co-founders of Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity has been the destination of choice for many. Kayak recently introduced a free iPad app, putting all of Kayak’s power into a touch friendly interface, and adding some new tools that make this an app worth looking at.
Searching for a flight on the iPad app works just like it does on the website. You can control if the trip is One-Way, Round-Trip, or Multi-City, and set departure and return dates with up to two days leeway. Location can be set by city or airport code, as well as through a “Current Location” option that has your iPad determine where you are. The app returns a list of flight options, which can be sorted in six ways, and filtered with five options to display just the flights you are interested in.
Searching for hotel rooms and rental cars is a very similar process. Kayak provides full details on everything, and allows you to either email the results to yourself or someone else, or to book the reservation immediately online.
The toolbar along the left-edge of the screen makes it easy to switch between searching for a flight, hotel room, or car rental, but also offers three other options. One of them is “My Trips”, also available on the website, which allows you to easily keep track of your trip itineraries. The two others are unique to the app, and not found on the website.
Vacation Planner: The first allows you to search for flights using a flexible schedule, with the option of basing your search around specific activities or climate. For example, you can now search for a “non-stop flight to a gambling destination in a warm climate in February or March for less than $1000”. Just set where you’re departing from, how much you’re willing to spend, and the “When”, “What” and “Flight” filters and the available options are displayed for you!
Flight Tracker: The other option the iPad app offers that the website doesn’t is the ability to track a flight. You can add a flight either by it’s flight number, or you can select an airport and browse a list of flights. Choose one and you’ll be told the status of the flight, including if it is on time, it’s arrival gate, and even it’s current airspeed and altitude while en route. Perfect for tracking the flight of someone you know, or even your own if you have WiFi on the plane.
Give It A Go!
We travel frequently and have used Kayak.com many times. The new Kayak app for iPad is a great tool and is now our preferred way to search. The interface is easy to use, and the data well organized. If you’re not from the United States, you can even select from ten other versions of the Kayak website, and set your currency to match as well. Combined with the vacation planner and flight tracker, this free app beats most trip-planning tools out there. Give Kayak for iPad a try; you won’t be sorry!