Is Kayak Legit? Should You Book Travel With Kayak in 2024? 

Among the many travel booking sites providing state-of-the-art booking services, Kayak is a pioneer and has been in the industry for a long time. 

With a long history also comes a mix of customer satisfaction and complaints for any travel app. 

If you are uncertain and are thinking, “Is Kayak legit?” “Is Kayak safe?” or “Should I book travel with Kayak?” read on to know the answers!

Key Takeaways

  • Kayak is a meta-travel search engine to compare prices and book on flights, hotels, and car rentals.
  • The platform offers various tools for getting good deals, including the Best Time to Travel Tool, Price Alerts Tool, and Price Forecast Tool.
  • Kayak is verified by Trustpilot with 3.30/5 stars. It is recognized by some reputable sources like Reader’s Digest, Vancouver’s Sun, and Frommers.

Is Kayak Safe and Legit? 

According to Trustpilot, Kayak is a verified software company given 3.30 out of 5 stars, with 50% of the customers rating the app or website a perfect five stars. 

Well, to be honest, no travel booking app is perfect. There have been a few complaints regarding customer service, refund issues, and spam providers. At the same time, some commended Kayak for being a quick, intuitive, and helpful flight booking tool. Just double-check hotels and airlines to see if they are reputable enough.

Flights and accommodations have been the most popular services booked by travellers on Kayak. So another question is, Is Kayak legit for car rentals? Definitely yes. Some of the best car rental companies based on reviews are Alamo, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National, Sixt, and Dollar. 

Aside from being a helpful price researcher, what’s good about Kayak is that instead of being the travel agency, you can trust them more because they’re redirecting you to reliable individual third-party booking sites and directly transacting on the provider’s website. 

What is Kayak? 

Kayak is a free one-stop travel app or website for booking flights, hotels, car rentals, or a global combination of flights and hotels. It is also a great platform to manage trips and a hive to discover recommended travel destinations worldwide.

To be specific, Kayak Flights is not an online travel agency like Expedia but a flight-price travel search engine that directs you to third-party websites for booking flights and stays, pretty much like Google Flights. 

In short, Kayak saves you time from visiting every travel booking website to look at and compare prices and deals. 

According to tests conducted by Business Insider, compared to Google Flights, Kayak shows more promising and consistently cheaper prices. More than that, Kayak has made booking more convenient by providing numerous search filters, allowing you to alter them without re-querying. 

If you’re not yet ready to book anything, Kayak has intelligent tools that track flights or hotel prices over weeks and months. They also feature cheap flights by destination, the latest Air Canada flight deals, the year’s trending travel predictions, and millions of verified user reviews for you to check out to make your travel decision-making more exciting. 

Kayak is also active in awarding the Kayak Awards Badge and Certificate to recognize top-rated hotels, airlines, car rentals, and travel destinations. It is a way to show that Kayak is legit and encourages travellers to trust and book using the platform. 

Other than giving awards and badges to excellent travel service providers, they are recognized on Reader’s Digest’s 20 Best Travel Apps, Vancouver Sun’s 10 Best Travel Apps, and Frommer’s 4th Best Airfare Search Site for 2023; Kayak is a trustworthy and beneficial travel search engine platform.

How Does Kayak Work? 

Kayak is a meta-search engine that scours through hundreds of airlines, millions of properties, and other third-party websites to find various prices and eventually provide you with the best deals for your trip. 

If you have planned and fully decided on your city or country of destination, you can fill out the required information directly to the search engines for each service. But if you want to maximize many of the free tools and features Kayak offers, here are some of them:

Explore Feature

If you’re planning a vacation trip or a weekend getaway but have no idea where to go, just start exploring the “Explore” feature, which shows you a world map with pinned cities. The Explore feature is helpful, simple, and quick to use, just pick a starting location and connect the dots to a destination, and prices will pop up. 

Kayak, through Explore, will show you a combination of hundreds of quickest, cheapest, earliest, and best fares, including the airlines associated. You even have the power to filter your search according to the following:

  • Number of passengers
  • Number of stops
  • Control the departure times
  • Number of carry-on and checked bags
  • Duration of flight
  • Quality— wifi flights, red-eye, 339 longer flights, etc.
  • Booking sites
  • Price
  • Cabin
  • Aircraft
  • Airports
  • Airlines
image showing kayak explorer

Hop On Hop Off Feature

Exclusively, Kayak has the Hop On Hop Off feature, which helps you book direct flights. The Hop On Hop Off feature allows you to book and experience flights without layovers. The best part is costs are immediately previewed. 

Trip Feature

Once you have planned your vacation, Kayak can also be utilized as a travel companion. Kayak’s free “Trip” feature can plan, schedule, organize, and manage your travel itinerary. Whatever length or location you have booked, the Trip feature can consolidate everything so you do not have to stress about it.

More than that, the “Trip” feature gives you real-time updates for flight delays, cancellations, or changes of gates. If you’re travelling with your friends or family, the saved itineraries can be shared for anyone to edit. 

Flight Tracker

Another great tool that you can check out is Kayak’s flight tracker. It is a worldwide intelligent tool to get the latest updates on your flight, especially on information like departure, arrival, cancellations, and such. The tool lets you type in two details —the airline and the flight number, but is only limited to flights today, tomorrow, and the day after. 

image showing kayak flight tracker

Travel Restrictions

Kayak’s “Travel Restrictions” tool lets you check out the countries you can travel to and their COVID-19 policies, whether fully open, test and travel, test and quarantine, or closed.

What Can You Book With Kayak? 

In general, Kayak’s search engine is pretty straightforward. It’ll ask you to fill out essential travel details of your planned trip, and voila! A whopping list of prices and deals for flights, hotels, and car rentals for you to filter and check out.

  • Accommodations. Kayak is partnered with many hotels, vacation rentals, and other accommodations that can provide you with the best vacation experience. Simply write in the city or area you want to stay, dates, and number of guests to start comparing from different websites. 
image showing kayak accommodations
  • Flights. Kayak’s Flights is one of the best website search engines because of a handful of filters to cater to your flight options. The list shows a combination of the best, cheapest, quickest, and earliest flights, together with their deal prices. 
image showing kayak flights
  • Car Rentals. You can rent cars by simply typing in the place or area and the rental dates. Once the list is shown, you may choose the best, cheapest, and closest, whichever suits you best. For each listed vehicle, you are supplied with detailed information about the offer, including the car provider, total price including taxes and fees, number of passengers, doors, bags, air conditioning available, and if there is a convertible.  

To eliminate your worries, cancellation is free for some cars, and some offers allow you to pay at pick-up. 

image showing kayak car rentals

How To Get Good Deals With Kayak

Wondering how to get good deals with Kayak? Kayak recommends that the best time to book is three weeks before you depart to guarantee below-average prices. Generally, the cheapest month to book flights in Canada is January, and the most expensive is July and August. 

But, to make sure, Kayak introduced a few simple tools that you can use to get the best hotel prices or the most suitable flights for you at an agreeable cost. 

Best Time to Travel Tool

Kayak believes there is always a perfect time to go on a vacation. Their specific tool that predicts the future, which you can utilize for booking immaculate timing, is the “Best Time to Travel” tool.

Kayak Flights'” Best Time to Travel” tool lets you fill in your travel details, such as your origin, destination, and the number of days you’ll stay there for four, seven, or 14 days. 

Once filled in, the tool tells you the best month to go based on the average flight prices, popularity/how significant the crowd is, and moderate weather conditions like temperature and precipitation, which will all be shown as data. 

But how practical are these recommendations? Most data presented are estimates based on the historical search data for minimum roundtrip prices, internal flight, and hotel search data, and the weather is based on accurate time weather updates from Weatherbase.

Price Alerts Tool

Price Alerts is an innovative Kayak tool that monitors prices for flights, stays, and rental cars. Basically, you just have to decide which of the email and trip preferences listed below you’d like to toggle on to receive email updates or sms updates (exclusive for flight statuses).

  • Travel hacker tips on travel trends
  • Special offers for limited-time deals 
  • Great getaways for weekly destinations inspiration
  • Money-back notifications for refunds
  • Opinion for reviews
  • Travel alerts for COVID-19 and quarantine requirements if there are any
  • Personalized recommendations for the trip
  • Real-time prices for your previous searches

Price Forecast Tool

For a specific flight search, Kayak’s data scientists analyze and advise if it’s the perfect time to buy or if there is another better time within the next seven days. 

Although the forecast of prices is based solely on the statistics of historical price changes — current and past prices, there is no 100% guarantee of the correctness of the prices in the future.  


Does Kayak issue refunds? 

Unfortunately, Kayak is a travel search engine like Google Flights with no refund policies, so it cannot issue refunds to your bookings. To request refunds in case of flight delays, cancellations, or just change your mind, it’s best to contact the third-party website or provider you booked your service with on the Kayak website.  

Is Kayak part of

In a literal sense, Kayak is not part of the website but distinguishably owned under the same travel company that owns other travel metasearch engines like Agoda, Cheapflights, Momondo, Priceline, OpenTable, Rentalcars, and Booking. 

Who owns Kayak?

Kayak is owned by Booking Holdings Inc. (previously Priceline Group), an American travel technology firm in Connecticut. The company is owned by an American entrepreneur and the owner of Walker Digital, Jay. Scott Walker. 

How long has Kayak been around? 

Kayak started on January 14, 2004, and was established by Paul English and Steve Hafner to simplify travel around the world.


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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a traveller, culinary tourist, and money expert. He is the co-founder of Only Earthlings and established the popular Savvy New Canadians platform. Enoch has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Best Life Online, GOBankingRates, Penny Hoarder, Globe and Mail, Yahoo, and CBC News.

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