What is KAYAK and How Does It Work?

What is KAYAK?

KAYAK is a travel search engine. That means we look across the web to find your options on flights, hotels and rental cars. It’s all about giving you (traveler) the information you need so you can choose the option that’s right for you.

We also have useful tools and features to help focus your search. Price Alerts lets you track prices on flights and hotels (via email or phone notifications) so you never miss a deal. Trips organizes all your travel information into an itinerary that you can edit and add to build out your entire vacation. Want to travel but not sure where to go on your budget? Explore will show you everywhere you can fly to with however much you want to spend. Plus, other add-ons like Flex Search (see if you can save money if you’re flexible with your travel dates), Private Deals (save even more on hotels and rental cars just by signing into KAYAK) and Price Forecast (know when to book or wait for a flight).

What’s a travel search engine?

A travel search engine takes your query (hotels in Punta Cana for next weekend) and searches hundreds of other travel sites at once to find as many different options as it can. These “travel sites” include online travel agencies, discount suppliers, other search engines and the flight/hotel/rental car’s own website. By bringing them all together in one place, you have all the decision-making power.

What makes KAYAK different?

Because we’re a search engine, we’re not selling you anything. Yeah, it’s true. We don’t care if you book a hotel with XYZ.com or directly with the airline/hotel/rental car agency itself. We just want to make sure you know your options and are finding the best deal out there.

But, because we’re not selling anything, we don’t handle the booking or the customer service associated with your travel. It also means that we don’t have control of prices and availability.

Why is it called KAYAK?

It all began on a moonlit night when our CEO was out hunting fireflies on a vast plain, contemplating…

Yeah, no. That’s absurd.

We’re called KAYAK because reallyawesometravelsite.com was a bit long and travel.com was taken. KAYAK is fun to say, is a palindrome and is easy to remember. So we took it. It’s ours. You can’t have it.

Have more burning questions about KAYAK? Check out our FAQ’s.

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