No ads, easy searching, and an incredibly deep directory of flight searches. Is Hipmunk the future of travel booking?

Searching for airfare on Hipmunk seems exactly what I imagine people who work for actual airline companies have at their disposal:

  • An easy, clutter-free presentation.
  • The ability to see every flight from every airline laid out in a single spreadsheet.
  • Flights broken down in real-time by their segments, not just the end destination.
  • No ads, no pictures–just straight-up booking data.
  • Tabbed browsing of searches for quickly accessible comparisons.

I know, I know: Hipmunk has been around for a little while–a little over a year. But I hadn’t heard about it until last week, and for the entire 11 months that I was traveling around Europe the only flight search site I used–and still zealously recommend–was the incredible SkyScanner. I really didn’t think you could improve too much on SkyScanner, but Hipmunk’s much more lightweight, no-BS approach to searching seems to pick up where SkyScanner’s interface leaves off. Although, SkyScanner’s map function and “Everywhere” search capabilities still remain to be seen in Hipmunk, much less anywhere else.

Here’s what fellow Matadorian Eileen Smith had to say about Hipmunk:

I was just looking at it to compare flights for a (hopeful) upcoming trip to Suriname, and it was able to find me something from Santiago without spending 4,000, nor did I have to book two separate flights (unlike kayak.com). I like the way it hides the “flights that are worse than this one.” I also like how it shows a graphic representation of the time of day you leave and the time of day you’ll get there versus other flights.

Here’s the thing: flights are not only expensive, they’re depressingly tedious to wade through. It’s easy to become obsessive over finding the cheapest flight, but as sites like Hipmunk and SkyScanner break the mold of more popular, typical booking engines like Travelocity, Expedia, and the like, I really think things can only get better for us.

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