Trips

We work hard as the world’s leading travel search engine to get our users the information they need so they can plan trips the way they want, confidently.

A simple search on KAYAK scans for prices on any number of travel sites in seconds. Whether you’re looking for flights, hotels, rental cars or more, we gather deals from across the web and put them in one place. Compare your options for the same flight, hotel or rental car and choose where you book—whether it’s directly with the airline, hotel or car agency—or even from another travel site.

Prices come straight from the travel sites to your screen, with no extra fee from KAYAK. When you’ve chosen your preferred deal, it’s the provider who pays us for either linking you to their site or booking with them, not you.

Another way we earn money is by letting travel companies advertise on our site. Some companies even pay us when you click on an ad that interests you.

How we list results.

There are several factors that go into how we list results after you start a search. It can be a combination of information like price and traveler ratings. For flights, we even pick up on elements that can affect your comfort, like duration and stops. But to be sure you’re finding the one you want, we have filters to help tailor your search (as well as simple sorting based on price).

Want to know more? Here’s how we (generally) sort results:

Price

Looking for the lowest price? We can make that happen. Our price sort gives you quick access to the cheapest and/or the most expensive deals—it’s your trip, so it’s up to you.

Sometimes, the same deal will be available on several provider sites. All of these providers are made visible for you to choose from, but we highlight one main provider based on things like customer popularity or ratings. Providers can also become highlighted if they pay more for the clicks they get. Within a hotel listing, if the cheapest offer is not displayed above the "View Deal" or "Select" button, you can see it by looking for the price highlighted in green.

Best and Recommended

Just because a deal is cheap doesn’t mean it’s necessarily the best. By weighing factors like how popular a provider is with customers or how few stops a flight makes, we can make “Best” or “Recommended” suggestions. Ultimately, it’s up to you, but saving $50 on that flight to NYC seems a lot less enticing when you realize there’s a 10-hour layover.

We sometimes also judge the quality of the service you’re getting from a provider site. We’ll highlight things like a provider’s booking or baggage fees, so that when you compare your options, you’re using the total price. And if a provider isn’t upfront with their fees, making their prices less clear, we’ll tend not to recommend them.

In the specific case of hotels, the “Recommended” algorithm is based on a few key factors. The main two rely on the hotel's guest rating and its popularity (in terms of clicks). Hotels shown on KAYAK are often available to book on several provider sites, each of which will pay for clicks or bookings that they get via KAYAK. We also factor the average revenue potential of each hotel into our recommendations.

Within a hotel listing, we order our results based on an internal algorithm that balances the prices and our revenue for the results shown. If the cheapest offer is not displayed above the "View Deal" or "Select" button, we highlight it in green in the central section of the listing.

How we get prices.

We search hundreds of travel, airline, hotel and rental car sites at once to bring you options from across the web. While we always strive to have the most accurate and current information, there are occasional inaccuracies. Sometimes, it’s because the provider site isn't updating their inventory with us or hasn’t connected to our site properly, or maybe another traveler has already booked that deal. This last scenario will sometimes happen because we cache results in order to keep site speed up (so you’re not waiting around). For example, if you and another traveler start the same search within the same minute then we’ll most likely show you both the same results. At the very least, provider sites should give us an updated inventory of prices every 24 hours.

How we work with other companies.

KAYAK has contractual partnerships with most of the 700+ provider sites that can be seen in our results. If you’re a company that’s interested in working with us, check out our Affiliates or Hotel Owners pages.

Our company forms part of Booking Holdings Inc., which includes other travel and leisure sites such as Booking.com, Priceline.com, Agoda.com, Rentalcars.com and Opentable.com.

KAYAK also operates a portfolio of metasearch brands, including KAYAK, SWOODOO, Checkfelix, momondo, Cheapflights and Mundi.

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