Search Engines for Airline Flights Become More Useful
Search engines that specialize in finding flights are now factoring in things like baggage fees, preferred seating and calendars specifying the cheapest day to travel to a select destination. According to the New York Times, the evolution of flight search engines is helping travelers find better ways to save every day.
Kayak.com, for example, allows customers to see the overall ticket price, including the cost of checked luggage. On the left side of the fare results page, an “Add baggage” link allows users to factor in the additional cost of luggage.
“You can enter the number of bags you’re going to check, and we will instantly reprice all of those flights for you,” said Robert Birger, Kayak’s chief marketing officer.
The New York Times noted that Kayak does not include fares from Southwest Airlines, famous for allowing two free checked bags. This is because the airline does not choose to share its fare data with other websites.
As for comparing airfare with other modes of transportation, Hipmunk.com allows users to include Amtrak prices and departure times in case the selected route is also served by train. Adam Goldstein, a founder of Hipmunk, told the New York Times that the Amtrak feature was especially popular for customers travelling short distances.
And if a user wants to compare prices by date, the newspaper recommends using ITA Software’s Matrix search tool, which allows customers to select an option called “See calendar of lowest fares.” By entering the earliest date you can travel and the number of nights you want to stay, the website creates a calendar showing the lowest price for each departure date in the next month.