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Flight-finder apps may be a dime a dozen, but Hipmunk adds something a little interesting to the mix. As well as being a reliable way to search for and discover flights, it uses a complex algorithm to work out how ‘agonizing’ your chosen route may be, depending on the airports you’re traveling through and the airline you choose.
A recent update to Hipmunk means you can also use it to search for hotels. This extra functionality makes an already handy app just that bit more useful.
On opening the app, you’ll discover a clean, tasteful design with the simple options: search for a flight or search for a hotel. With the flight search you can specify an airport, city, or target numerous airports within a metro area. You can choose the date of travel, whether you want coach, business or first class, and the number of travelers. A few moments later you’ll see a grid appear of potential flights with the price in the left hand column, and the times running along the top. These will be sorted by ‘agony’ with the least agonizing flights shown first. It’s a unique method of displaying potential flights and perhaps you’ll discover it might be worth spending a few bucks more to take a flight that’s not always delayed or going through a troublesome airport with a long layover. Select the flight you want and you can book it through the websites offered (e.g. Continental or United, or via a site like Orbitz). It’s really simple and the design is functional and easy to read.
The new hotels option is a breeze to use too. Click that and it finds your current location, or you can specify somewhere instead. Select the amount of guests and nights and you’ll get a map (or list) of local hotels from which to choose. Green circles on the map signify ‘cheap’ hotels, blue means average, and red ones are ‘pricey’. Once again, it’s simple and efficient. Click on a specific hotel and you can read reviews courtesy of TripAdvisor and click a link to book them directly through an external website.
Overall, Hipmunk offers a reliable and efficient way to search for flights and hotels. It’s clarity and simplicity make it very easy to use and there’s even an option to complete your transaction at your computer if you don’t feel secure paying for a flight or hotel over your smartphone or tablet. Although it funnels you out to other sources to buy your flights or make your hotel reservations, and there’s no way to take advantage of package deals which sites like Travelocity or Expedia offer (which can save a lot of money), it’s still a great app to use when making those initial steps to find a flight or room.