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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 hundreds 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, the provider of that deal simply pays us for either redirecting you to their site or helping you to book with them. This makes our service totally free for our users.

Another way we earn money is by displaying travel-related advertisements 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 sort results for different parts of the site:

Flights
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.

Cheapest

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.

Hotels
Recommended

With hotels, the “Recommended” algorithm is based on a few key factors. We mainly rely on the price, the hotel’s guest rating and its popularity (measured in clicks). We also factor in the average revenue potential for KAYAK from each hotel result.

Within a hotel listing, we order our results based on an internal algorithm that balances the prices and our revenue for the results shown. 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. 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.

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.

Cars
Recommended

The recommended sort for car rental is based on price, revenue potential for KAYAK, general click popularity and the popularity of different car classes in each destination (e.g. SUVs are more popular than normal at this pick-up location). We also factor in the review score of each rental agency as well as the booking provider.

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.

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. While we do search as many sites as we can, we’re still not able to search them all. There are also cases where we don’t display results from certain providers for technical or commercial reasons, or simply because we can see them having a negative effect on customer satisfaction.

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, HotelsCombined and Mundi.

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