Kayak launches weekend search, and new hotel display
08/31/2007|10:49:00 AM|Hotelmarketing
August 29, 2007: Kayak.com launches a new “Weekend Search” that allows users to compare prices for upcoming weekends or all weekends within a specified month.

“Several recent studies show travelers all over the world are taking shorter vacations, typically opting for long weekend trips,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com co-founder and CEO. “Yet, no travel site has effectively offered a search specifically for the flexible weekend warrior until now. Only Kayak.com’s Weekend Search allows the user to specify days of the week and preferred times in the search parameters, resulting in relevant search results.”

To compare fares for weekend travel, users simply select “Weekends” on the flight homepage and specify destination, month of departure or upcoming weekends, day of the week and time. Core results are organized by price while an interactive Weekend Snapshot box offers an overview of dates and prices for all five weekends. Check boxes allow users to compare prices for two or more weekends. Only Kayak.com allows consumers to save favorite itineraries to the top of the search results for easier comparison by clicking on the heart icon within the itinerary details box.

Kayak.com launched a new display for flights and hotels after testing more than 300 mocks for Travel 2.0 functionality. The result is Kayak 2.0, approved by several focus groups and loyal Kayakers.

“Kayak.com has a reputation for innovation,” said Hafner. “That’s why we continually enhance our site each month and why after only two years, we’ve completely redesigned the user experience to unveil Kayak 2.0. We are the only site to offer personalized search results for different types of users- from our Google Loyalists who wanted a bigger map to people begging for more photos and those who love our signature clean, clutter-free look and feel.”

Flights results are now displayed in the following views:

- Traditional List View displays itinerary information and offers users a choice of where to book, supplier direct or from an online travel agency.

- For those preferring an overview of results from all airlines, Matrix View has been added.  Users can filter results by clicking content in the Matrix or by interacting with the filtering and sorting tools.

- Chart View is the new home of Kayak’s Best Fare Trend Graph, which charts pricing for city/date pairs found by Kayak.com users over the past 90 days. 

Kayakers can now compare hotel results from the following views:

- Traditional List View displays more hotels above the fold than any other travel site. A checkbox has been added to include or hide hotel thumbnails.

- For travelers crying “location, location, location,” Map View integrates search results on a Google Map. Users can compare a hotel’s distance from a landmark or enter a “custom location” such as the address of a friend’s home or business meeting. Kayak.com will then display up to 15 hotels near the selected landmark or address. Hover over a pushpin to see a hotel’s price and star rating, or click on the pushpin to see full details. Users can also check the satellite image to see exactly how close they really are to the beach or airport, or to a custom address.

-Photo View offers slideshows of properties using Ajax navigation, allowing for quick scrolls through hotel pictures for those who won’t buy sight unseen.