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Back in the day, searching for flights was exhausting! You had two options, either: search each airline’s website or conduct your search on a third-party OTA and hope they’re telling you the best price (and not giving you a price that helped them earned the highest commission).
Yes, ITA matrix was available and could reduce your ticket search time but that site required a bit of patience and had a steep learning curve. Then Google acquired ITA matrix and it went downhill from there.
Then in 2010, Hipmunk jumped into the travel circle. Not only could it find the cheapest airfare between two cities but it would color code the best fares making the search extremely user-friendly. Additionally, you could sort the flight results by “Agony” level…
Tell me that’s not a genius idea!!
However, yesterday was a sad day me as I saw this on twitter…
In 2016, Hipmunk was purchased by Concur, a huge corporate travel/expense company. I assume they wanted access to the Hipmunk technology, but similar to ITA matrix, the site never evolved with the times.
It isn’t very unusual for a company like Hipmunk to get acquired and then to fade into oblivion in the clutches of a much larger corporation.
But as is the case, sites like Google Flights and others have appeared on the playground with the same (if not better) search technology. Obviously, with the huge search engine advantage, Google has been dominant.
Hipmunk was revolutionary! They pushed other airline search websites to take it to the next level. Now, every travel website displays the “best” flights first, requiring you to continue your search if you want the lowest price or shorter connection.
But we all know what happens when you are no longer “relevant” in this fast-paced world.
Once other websites (i.e. Google Flights) was able to duplicate…well, everything Hipmunk could do, there was no reason to go to Hipmunk to search for flights.
While I loved Hipmunk’s flight search engine, I bare a lot of blame. As funny as it sounds, Hipmunk was once my go-to search engine, but these days Google Flights gets a lot of my love.
In fact, I can’t remember that last time I used Hipmunk. Ouch!
R.I.P. Munk 01/22/19
Do you remember Hipmunk? If so, when was the last time you used it?