Orbitz sucks, Edreams sucks, Expedia sucks, Kayak sucks. Introducing the future of internet flight search: Hipmunk.com!

Besides being cuter than a bag of puppies, Hipmunk is incredibly functional for the average user. (Here’s where I brag again about living in Europe, being able to travel all the time): I’m fed up with the other options for online flight booking. They either leave out the taxes, or present the data in an unreadable manner, or bombard you with ads for crap you’re not looking for. Sometimes I don’t need a hotel, AND a car AND restaurant suggestions, or whatever revenue stream the site has signed up with. Sometimes I know where I’m going, when I want to get there, and I just want to see my best options. That’s why I’m thankful I found Hipmunk.

Pros:

Sort flights by various criteria such as price, number of stops, departure time, and something hilariously called “agony”

Agony is our way of sorting flights to take into account price, duration, and number of stops. There’s more to a flight than its price, so we provide this sort to give you better all-around results

Beautiful, unique way of presenting the flight data. After you search you’re presented with a table of flights. The x-axis represents the timeline, and the y-axis represents your sort criteria (most likely price). Airline colour-coded bars show you who you would be flying with, where your stop over would be, and when you leave and arrive. Most of my search results have been compact enough to fit on one screen, which is in glaring contrast to something like edreams where I can barely read 3 options on one screen.

The creators of Hipmunk are of the highest internet start-up pedigree. Three of the original creators of link aggregation site reddit.com are currently developing Hipmunk, and based on their previous efforts I have high hopes for this site. Seriously, if reddit isn’t a daily read for you, you don’t know what you’re missing.

It all seems to be about simplicity with Hipmunk. The search page gives you 4 main criteria (departure date and city, arrival city, and optional return date). There is support for multi-city trips, and pre-set classes of travel. Great for people who get bogged down by all the options given by other sites.

Cons:

The site seems to be rather simple. There’s not a tonne of functionality yet. No profiles, no reviews or comments (though they do have a facebook and twitter stream), and once you’ve found your flight, you have to go through Orbitz to actually book. Some time and some extra feature will definitely improve the site, but I have to say I love the simplicity and streamlined UI. Most other online flight search services I’ve used are plagued by bloated text, and many many pages to click through.

Hopefully Hipmunk won’t suffer the same fate. I think being able to change the currency, log in and save flights, along with being able to book right from the site would be huge improvements.

I can’t wait to start planning my next trip (which will be Germany :P) so I can use this site again. Do yourself a favor and give it a look, even if your flight plans are just pie in the sky.