Normally, I use Kayak as my go-to flight search engine. I’ve never had any problems with them and it’s a great place to start. In a previous post, I talked about how to find cheap flights.
Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing a lot about this new site that is supposed to take the flight search engine by storm. Many bloggers call find it amazing and highly recommended: Heart My Backpack, Just One Way Tickets, and Where Life is Great. It’s called Kiwi.com. It has been integrated into Kayak and because kiwi.com is so cheap, it tends to show up on top in my Kayak searches.
Pros of Booking with Kiwi.com
I can see why people like it, because it’s extremely flexible. It will search the prices in the surrounding areas to show if it’s cheaper to fly into different hubs.
It also collects flights from all the different budget airlines available. This is something that Kayak still can’t do. It connects all those budget airlines to piece together a cheap flight.
Finally, the Kiwi.com guarantee. On its website, it says that if there are any flight cancellations, delays, or schedule changes, then Kiwi.com will rebook you or refund you. If you’re stuck overnight, then they will also cover your hotel stay, transportation to another airport if needed, and food/drinks for all passengers.
This all sounds too good to be true. They almost sounds like a travel insurance agency.
Cons of Booking with Kiwi.com
I have read a few horror stories and it doesn’t sound like their customer service is that great.
You have to read through the full terms and conditions before booking with this site. They advertise the perks, but there things that you need to understand and follow proper procedure before they are willing to take care of things on their end.
Surprisingly, I find them to be more expensive. I normally do my due diligence by checking the search engines, and then go to the actual airline website and double-check their prices. For the last 2 trips I’ve tried to book, Kiwi.com was a total $700 more expensive than booking on the airline’s website. I’m wondering if that’s how they make money or offer the guarantee. For a $100 more I would do it because some of those flight connections are pretty close, but for $700, I’ll look for something else.
It sounds like there are a lot of backpackers who are making these close connections and are finding them extremely cheap. I’m glad that people are finding kiwi.com better than my experiences so far.
For me, I’ve been taking what I see on kiwi.com, using that as my flight itinerary, and going to the actual airline’s site to book directly with them. I find that it’s easier to work directly with the airline in person when flight issues happen than having to call a 1-800 number and knowing you might have to pay international fees for this call. Plus, being on hold while feeling stressed out isn’t going to help.
Also, to me relying on my credit card company makes me more secured than relying on a third party website that I don’t know very well. I prefer to work with my Chase Reserve to get through the tough layovers and flight issues as they don’t need to call within 24 hours of the incident happening. I’ve talked to them about my close connections and it would be considered a travel delay. I was advised to work with the airline first (which I believe is the right thing to do) and if they won’t accommodate, then I know that I have up to $500 to purchase a new flight and take care of my accommodations as reasonably needed
Also, I don’t appreciate what I’ve seen on Glassdoor.com from employees that work there. If their own employees call this place a scam, then I don’t know what else to believe.