Free Hipmunk iPhone app never takes off

Mar 3, 2011
Shine

Hipmunk is a free iPhone app that lets you compare airfares. When I tested Hipmunk, I compared it with Kayak, which, I believe, is the standard in this category. Unfortunately, Hipmunk did not measure up. It tries to differentiate itself by showcasing airfare deals in a visual timeline. And though the concept seems like it […]

Hipmunk is a free iPhone app that lets you compare airfares. When I tested Hipmunk, I compared it with Kayak, which, I believe, is the standard in this category. Unfortunately, Hipmunk did not measure up. It tries to differentiate itself by showcasing airfare deals in a visual timeline. And though the concept seems like it would be a great way to see fares, when I tested it against Kayak, the fares were on average $50 more on Hipmunk. I’ve listed the pros and cons below.

Nice features:

  • Visually shows where the flights are on a timeline using colored banners to represent airlines.
  • Sort flights by “Agony” (which is a combination of price, length of flight and number of stops), “Price,” “Stops,” “Departure Time,” “Arrival Time” and “Duration.”
  • Shows you if there is an additional stop, and where that stop will be.
  • Shows how long the layover in the stop will be.
  • Tells you what type of plane will be used.

Negatives:

  • It doesn’t show flexible dates.
  • It doesn’t allow you to compare the results with the top sites.
  • It only does flights; doesn’t show hotels, car rentals.
  • Didn’t show me the absolute lowest fare (Kayak’s prices were $50 less, across the board).
  • You had to click on the colored banner twice to show what airline was being referred to in the timeline.

There were a lot more negatives that I didn’t write down, and it seemed to have many more negatives than positives, so it’s hard to feel good about this app when you compare it with other free apps that do much more. Plus the biggie was the price inaccuracies.

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