Kayak makes UK debut

Kayak.com is launching in the UK following a highly successful beta stage where growth doubled in its first four weeks.  According to comScore Media Metrix, Kayak.co.uk is already the largest travel search site in the UK, and generates more traffic than online veterans Travelocity and Orbitz.  With over 2 million visits since the site went live in December and a thriving online community sharing their travel experiences, Kayak.co.uk is changing the way UK consumers research and purchase travel online.

Kayak’s industry-leading flight search, available on the new UK site, provides real-time prices and itineraries from more than 404 travel sites including leading European carriers British Airways, Air France and bmi; low cost carriers easyJet, Ryanair and Air Berlin; and online travel agencies such as ebookers and wegolo.  In addition, Kayak.co.uk retrieves pricing and availability through partnerships with Amadeus, the world’s largest processor of travel bookings, and ITA Software.

“The success of Kayak.co.uk in its beta stages has exceeded all our expectations,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com co-founder and CEO. “Kayak.co.uk grew from 117th to the 54th most popular site in one month.  Our airline partners are delighted with the search to sale conversion rates, and our UK air search is now converting at an industry-leading 11 percent.  Our European business development team has been hard at work and we will announce key affiliate relationships later this quarter which should make us a top 10 UK site by summer’s end.”

He continues: “Feedback from UK users is overwhelmingly positive.  Consumers tell us that they have not been able to find anything like Kayak in the market, and they appreciate our ability to reduce complexity and help them make better decisions.”

Kayak’s industry-leading flight search provides real-time prices and itineraries from more than 404 travel sites. Users can search one way, round trip or multi-city, and Kayak is the only travel search site that offers flexible search, which is the ability to search up to three days before and/or after a preferred travel date for the best fare and itinerary combinations.

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“We are delighted to be working with Kayak as they extend their reach across the Atlantic to European consumers,” says Gillian Gibson, VP, Multinational Customer Group, Amadeus, “and we are naturally proud to have our technology endorsed by one of the biggest names in online travel.”

Kayak.co.uk is the first travel site to display airfare history with three industry leading features that provide consumers with a snapshot of pricing over a period of time which helps the user make an informed purchasing decision.

- Best Fare History displays the 100 best prices found by other Kayak users searching the same route over the past 36 hours.

- Best Fare Trend Graph charts pricing for city/date pairs found by users over the past 90 days.

- The award-winning Kayak Buzz displays the lowest fares to the 25 most popular destinations from any airport or city found by other Kayak users, with the results displayed on an interactive Google Map. Consumers can get the Buzz from a home airport by region.

Consumers can share their travel experiences on Kayak Forums, user generated content which allows users to share and request travel tips, stories and additional information.  Forums are searchable by region (Africa, Asia, Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Mexico, Middle East, South America, South Pacific and US), topics (Adventure Travel, Budget Travel, Family Travel, Romantic Getaways and Sports Travel) or key words.  A “watch” can be placed on forums of interest which alerts the user via email once a message is posted to that specified forum. 
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