Kayak.com is one of the most complete travel search sites I have found. It allows you to also launch searches in new windows on other travel sites, like Priceline.com and Expedia, using the same search criteria. The search results are easy to browse and they provide easy ways to filter the information to narrow the results. I’ve bought all my personal travel tickets over the past 3 years (when not using points to fly) by initially searching on Kayak. Not included in the “flights” search is Southwest and a few other low cost airlines. Not included in the listed airfares are many fees including the baggage fees most airlines now charge. So keep all that in mind when looking for flights.
Initially I came across this site while using a site called Pinpoint Travel. Pinpoint Travel was an AOL site, but “Powered by Kayak”. I can no longer find Pinpoint Travel, but Kayak is still there and works even better.
In addition to flights you can search for hotels, rental cars, vacations, more… and even more. Click the more and then even more to see an amazing amount of functionality. Pick and choose what you want to use on the site.
I’ll update this post with tips and other comments as I come across more information on Kayak.
Update (March 2012): I’m planning a personal trip to my hometown this summer (2012) and I searched a couple times on Kayak for ticket prices. The prices were OK, but I was hoping they would improve. Initially I had 5 months to wait, now I’m done to 2 and a half months and starting to worry a little. The increase in fuel prices is working against me. However, I did find another feature on Kayak that I like. After doing the search on Kayak, I clicked the matrix button and the +/-3 button and I was able to test out other days of the week both for better prices and for better times. In addition I was able to ask for an email update on my itinerary search. I asked for a weekly email and found it was a great reminder to keep looking.
Update (Nov 2012): Kayak is being bought by Priceline. I hope this leads to good things, not just Kayak becoming just like Priceline.