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Monday, July 2, 2012

Is Hipmunk "The World's Best Travel Site?"

Forbes published recently a very interesting article stating "Why Hipmunk Is The World's Best Travel Site"?
I try to put my comment directly on the site, but their "call out" stuff seems to not work very well or my content was not selected (or I did not understand how it works).
So, I decided to put my analysis on my blog.
So let's make a simple test.
  1. Paris to MSP (Minneapolis) 
  2. Business class
  3. Departure monday July 9, return friday July 13.
  4. then departure 3 weks in advance: from July 23 to 27
So a standard business journey. I want to take the direct flight since it is reducing "my agony" as Hipmunk says.

1. Let's start by ITA matrix

Using ITA matrix web site, I found prices ranging from $3986 USD to $5317 USD. This site is usally the one I use for the first screening.

2. Hipmunk

Then, I did the same with Hipmunk. I found one direct flight from Air France that costs $7817 USD.

So I selected my legs:

And I clicked on "Buy on Air france" and what redirected to https://www.airfrance.de/ that says: "There are no flights available. Please modify your travel dates."

For the second request, I found a better price:

Once again, I was redirected to "airfrance.de" and lost the parameters entered (no more business):

3. What about Kayak?

It proposed a fligh to be booked from Govoyages for $7818 USD.

Kayak.com redirects to airfrance.com that redirects to ... airfrance.de and the same error message that with Hipmunk.
For the second request, at buy time, i was redirected to delta.com and got then right ticket but for $7,058.40 USD.

4. What about performance?

Keynote did publish a report concerning some Travel web sites and Iphone/IPAD apps speed. You can find a comparison of all (Kayak, Hipmunk, etc, here).

5. Conclusion

I think I demonstrated that there is still room for improvement before becoming the "world's best travel site".

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