What do you do when you want to plan a travel? Do you go to a travel agency or do you deal with eve-rything yourself? Of course, doing the latter is impressive, but only for the toughest ones. If you don’t feel comfortable with organizing everything on your own, feel free to look for a company that will help you. However, once you decide to book a hotel room yourself, let Kayak guide you. What is Kayak? There is a common misconception that it’s an online travel agency (OTA), but it’s some-thing completely different. Kayak is not a provider of tourism services but it facilitates finding them. Kayak is an example of the platform known as a metasearch engine that collects data from hotels, travel agencies or airlines so you can have easy access to various offers.
How does Kayak work?
The most important thing that Kayak offers to its users is information. What kind of information is that? It’s related to hotels, flights, rental cars or rates on vacation packages. Those who plan their travel look for the right option for them, so they want to learn about the details of various offers and compare them. Hotels, travel suppliers and other tourism-related companies send information about their deals to Kayak so that users can find them.
How popular is Kayak?
Maybe it’s less recognized that Trivago or booking.com, but there are still many tourists who find Kayak indispensable. Do you want the evidence? In 2019 it registered about 2 billion inquiries. As far as the income is concerned, let’s look at the first three years of its presence on the market. By 2007 this search engine had generated almost $200 million since its foundation in 2004. In 2013 the company known as Priceline bought Kayak for $1.8 billion, so it only shows that this platform is not a laughing matter. Today, Kayak is available in over 20 languages.
How does Kayak make money?
Modern travelers use modern technologies to make their trips easier and more convenient. That’s why travel search engines, such as Kayak, are so popular among them. Well, it may be a bit confusing when we realize that such free services are offered by a big, successful company. You may wonder where its money comes from. It turns out that advertisements make up for a virtually unlimited source of in-come. What do we mean when we say that Kayak is free? Saying so, we probably think about travelers who use this platform without paying for that. In this sense, it’s free, but can we really consider travelers as Kayak’s customers? In fact, when travelers use this search engine, they aim to choose the best offer by many different companies. Thus it’s in those companies’ best interest to attract potential customers and they are more than happy to pay for that attraction.
Kayak Advertising Revenue
The main source of Kayak’s revenue comes from advertisements. This is the most popular method of earning used by companies that own search engines. Trivago and Booking.com also base their enor-mous capital on the ads that users click on. Known as cost-per-click (CPC), this model consists in expos-ing advertiser’s offer in a visible place on the website. Then it’s more likely that users will see and check it. In the beginning, the advertiser sets a given budget and whenever a user clicks on the offer, some amount is deducted from this budget and comes to Kayak. CPC is extremely effective because such exposure brings an unimaginable number of customers to the hotel owners. At the end of the day, the income generated this way is bigger than the advertisement budget, which makes it a win-win situation. You can also add the third winner, which is a traveler who manages to find the best accommodation offer thanks to such services.
Should you trust Kayak?
Kayak takes pride in its reliability and it’s not just its owners’ vanity. Actually, customers may find it dif-ficult to find satisfactory hotel deals. Just ask an eager tourist if he or she has ever been let down by any hotel services. The answer will surely be yes. However, those who use such meta-search engines as Kayak, admit that they help them avoid risky deals.
Kayak Distribution Revenue
Kayak earns by receiving distribution revenue from travel agencies and travel suppliers which is related to online transactions done by users. Whenever a Kayak user completes a booking transaction, the ho-tel that offers its services automatically deduct some money for the sake of Kayak. It holds the same for airlines and rental cars service providers. Such companies that have contracts with Kayak are Hertz Global Holdings Inc. or Delta Air Lines. If you use this popular search engine, you may find those com-panies’ offers via Kayak’s interface. It’s probable that you wouldn’t use their service if they didn’t ad-vertise there. As you can see, it’s a very lucrative deal for such companies. Hoteliers know that very well that in order to attract a modern customer, they need to use modern means. If they stick to traditional ways, there is a high probability that a lot of travelers won’t even hear about them. That’s why in some way they are forced to pay search engines for promoting their services. It seems that it’s not hoteliers that contribute the most to Kayak income. The most important industry for Kayak is airlines. Why? Circa 1/3 of Kayak’s revenue comes from airline companies’ referrals. Evi-dently, Kayak’s business model makes it easy and convenient for travelers to find the best offer and also help travel agencies develop.
Kayak will find a hotel near you
Searching for hotel deals is a straightforward task if you use Kayak. You just need to input the necessary criteria such as dates, city, the number of rooms or the number of guests. Then you hit the search but-ton and the list of accommodation offers is ready for you. As in the case of booking flights or renting cars, you can easily sort your inquires according to various factors, such as freebies, neighborhood, ambiance, amenities, hotel stars or property type.
Kayak’s recommendations target the user
Kayak has a system that is supposed to facilitate your searching. It means that you don’t even need to type anything to be offered a customized hotel deal. When you give this platform access to your locali-zation, it will automatically recommend some accommodation packages for you. Thanks to this, it’ll be much easier to get familiar with cheap and appealing offers for you. If you want a bigger travel pack-ages than just a hotel room, Kayak also offers you the category of “Popular Destinations”, which refers to the favorite destinations of people living in your area. Due to this, you’ll always be able to find a last-minute deal and go traveling on the spur of the moment.
How to book a flight with Kayak
Booking a hotel room is not enough if you plan a trip, you also need to get to your destination in some way. That’s why Kayak will help you organize your flight. If you use Kayak to search for a flight, you need to type-specific criteria, which are dates, the departure city and the arrival city. After hitting “Search”, you’ll be redirected to the booking section and you’ll see a list of flights available to you. With the help of this search engine, you won’t need to call an airline to ask about the deal details. Here you’ll have everything on one page so that you can easily compare flights and choose the one that suits you most. To make the list more transparent and better organized, use the sorting option. You can sort offers by Latest Takeoff, Earliest Takeoff, Quickest Flight, Cheapest Flight, or Earliest and Latest Land-ing. Thanks to this, you’ll find the best offer, sparing yourself any inconveniences. Kayak offers you a so-called Fee Assistant, the aim of which is to show you the actual costs of your flight, including the baggage fee. Every airline has its own baggage fee policy, so sometimes you may be surprised by the total cost of your travel. When you browse flights using Kayak, you’ll see the amount of such fees and compare them to other offers. As a result, you won’t run the risk of being charged with additional costs and you’ll be able to plan every aspect of your trip.
When you look for the best flight, you may come across Hacker Fares. Don’t worry, it’s not about a hacker who’s going to infect your computer. It’s an option that includes two one-way tickets. Usually, it’s convenient for us to book a two-way flight so that the problem with transport is taken care of. However, sometimes it may be a bit cheaper if we use the services of two different airlines. That’s an-other thing that Kayak tries to make easy for you. Of course, you still must remember about potential risks. If you buy tickets from two different compa-nies, it’s obvious that they are not responsible for one another. If some problems with the first flight come up, it’ll be difficult for you to get a refund from the company that sold you the ticket for the sec-ond flight. Such situations are rare and most users are satisfied with the Hacker Fare option but you still should be cautious.