Skift Take

Customers will return to the platforms that make travel planning and booking more convenient. Maybe this tool could also capture customers who would otherwise be turned off by inflated rates.

Kayak said Monday that it has added a tool to help customers determine the best times to travel and complete bookings. 

The company said the “Best Time to Travel tool” incorporates data from billions of travel queries to forecast future flight and hotel prices, meant to help customers more easily compare pricing against weather and seasonality to determine the best time for travel. 

Kayak is a metasearch company, meaning it compiles information from online travel agencies and travel suppliers and presents it to the user, who then typically completes the booking on those third-party sites. Kayak is a brand of Booking Holdings. 

Kayak said its search data shows that flight prices have increased 35 percent since last year. The tool is meant to help users avoid those higher costs but still find a time to travel if that’s what they want. 

How It Works

To begin using the tool, users enter the home airport, final destination, and trip length. The tool then suggests the best month to visit based on a number of factors, including price, crowds, and weather. 

The tool shows that October is the best month to visit Barcelona from New York, for example, because there’s still nice weather but the prices are lower with fewer people traveling outside of the prime summer months. And once a user decides which month to travel, the tool can suggest a more specific timeframe within that month. 

The tool also shows a breakdown of the average, minimum, and maximum flight prices for every month of the year. 

New Services

Kayak has been adding new services over the past few years in an effort to make the platform more useful to travelers. The company added a price alert tool in 2019, which will tell users when a flight or hotel price is expected to rise or fall. 

And in 2021, Kayak began offering mobile users the option to freeze airfares through a partnership with Hopper. Through a partnership with OpenAI, Kayak has also released a plugin to help ChatGPT users complete bookings suggested in travel itineraries generated by the chatbot. 

Hopper, the online travel agency, has been offering the proprietary price watch and notification tools since its mobile app was released in 2007. Much of its growth has come from that tool and an array of other fintech products, like one that gives users the ability to cancel for any reason. 

Google is also continuing to enhance and add its own travel tools. The company is currently testing a price guarantee tool for users in the U.S. Google highlighted how it is using generative AI to enhance travel products during its annual developer conference earlier this month.


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Tags: artificial intelligence, booking holdings, kayak, travel tech

Photo credit: Kayak has added a tool to help customers determine the best times to travel and complete bookings. (Source Bartek Zakrzewski / Pixabay

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