Kayak.com adds instant messaging
Kayak.com is introducing Fare Watch and KayakBot. Kayak.com’s Fare Watch allows users to track trip itineraries and receive email notification when the fare meets or beats a traveler’s specified price.
KayakBot aims to provide travelers with flight, hotel, rental car and flight status search capabilities from AOL Instant Messenger.
“Consumers with flexible travel plans or tight budgets can now benefit from our new Fare Watch service,” said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com CEO and co-founder. “Like Google News Alerts, Fare Watch contacts a user only when the Kayak.com search engine finds a trip that exactly matches the consumer’s specifications. And like everything else on Kayak.com, it’s free to use.”
KayakBot is a fare search feature that lets travelers search prices and availability for air, hotel, rental cars and flight status directly from their AOL Instant Messenger and without the inconvenience of launching an Internet browser screen.
As with other bots, KayakBot responds to simple commands, “fly”, “room”, “status”, airport codes and numerical dates. Interested in a trip to San Francisco from Boston? Simply type “fly bos 2/20 to sfo 2/28” in your AIM window to execute a Kayak.com search for flights from Boston to San Francisco on February 20, returning February 28.
“Instant Messaging has become a part of any Internet user’s daily routine for everything from communicating with colleagues to checking a stock price, but until now, that didn’t include the ability to easily search for travel,” said Paul English, CTO and co-founder of Kayak.com. “KayakBot is the latest of many recent innovative features that Kayak.com has introduced to make travel search a convenient and interactive experience for online travelers.”