Consumer Complaints and Reviews
This is a great site that allows you to look on multiple possibilities at one time and to choose the best for you. It is very important that this site allows you to search not only for one-way or round trip, but also for MULTIPLE DESTINATIONS flights, and very few sites can do this. Each time I need to book a flight ticket, I always start from KAYAK.COM, as my first choice.
The first website I visit when I begin my travel research process is Kayak. I like the way the website is set up and it's ease of use. Kayak even allows me to click on the other sites I would like to compare them to during the search process.
I use Kayak mainly for air travel. It consistently gave me the best options. I am retired so I have lots of free time. For each trip, I normal compare the results from 2 other travel aggregators. Some aggregator site is better for Asia, others for South American, and Asia. However, Kayak gave me superior results for WW travel.
I have found despite their advertising, I don't always get the lowest motel/hotel rates from visiting their website, or any other travel website, for that matter. Twice I have found lower rates by going directly to that property's website. Plus, one of those websites Kayak directs you to keeps raising their rates every time you click away from their page to compare, and going back to it even if it's a time difference of 10 seconds or less! I don't like being played that way! Other than that, Kayak is fairly easy to use.
I booked a Delta flight through Kayak and without my permission they signed me up for a credit card in order to get the rate list. Two months later I started getting calls from American Express about this card I didn't know anything about which was overdue. Fortunately American Express didn't charge me the late fees but the agent didn't seem too surprised when I mentioned I had purchased it through a 3rd party seller like Kayak.
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Remember those great commercials that Kayak had a couple of years ago? That is where they spent their money, not on actually providing great service. I spent the better part of 3 or 4 hours trying to book a flight with them over a period of three days. The flights that were available did come up well enough, but I later discovered that I could get flights cheaper through other services like Expedia. Money transfers were a problem, and even though I filled out all their information as I commonly do when making an internet purchase, the payment was declined multiple times. I tried different cards, I phoned my card service provider to make sure money was available, and that it didn't get blocked due to some quirky issue, but to no avail.
What did happen, though, was somehow my card got charged $77 - which is weird given the fact that I was trying to pay something over $1200. I got an email telling me that my card was declined and to click "here" to revisit the opportunity to pay. Never worked and just ended up allowing me to go in circles again in another vain attempt to solidify dates. Talked to people at Kayak help centers with little success. Nice enough people, but useless in terms of helping me attain the goal I was trying to achieve. Main offices were all closed. Sent an email but never got a reply. Decided finally that I had given them enough chances and it was time to cut my losses.
Went on to Expedia, found the same flights but at a cheaper price (go figure!). That surprised me. Then I paid with my credit card and expected the same problems. However it worked right away, first time, with no headaches, annoying emails, or need to get help from an agent. Who knew booking a flight could be so easy - but not with Kayak. Bottom line - don't even bother going onto the Kayak website. Try a different method of booking and chances are you will get your booking done faster, cheaper, and with less issues. Really.
Kayak does not specifically, outright tell you they're a free search engine and do not book or contribute to maintaining your bookings at all. I booked an airline flight home with Qatar Airlines who could not find my booking when I called to reconfirm flight details a week before departing on my trip. Kayak, also, could not find my details. My call was escalated to a supervisor Esther, who ended up being a VP of marketing (VP for very pathetic) who gave me a whole line of Kayak sanctioned garbage.
I tried to explain my side and she kept talking over me and not letting me speak and I started to scream at her "Let me speak!" and she told me she didn't have to listen to me and disconnected the call. I called back and spoke to her and explained that Kayak in fact directed me to the airline because I never received any confirmations from Kayak or the airline. She told me there was no way Kayak told me who the airline was and it must have been someone "posing" as a Kayak representative! Hilarious!!! Esther turned out to be OK once she actually tried listening instead of railroading the conversation but Kayak is very vague about who really books the trip. My recommendation is dump this trashy company and go with a transparent, easy to deal with company who can assist and be held to some level of accountability for their transactions.
I recently booked a 2 stops flight instead of 1 stop flight from hyderabad to new york. The search result in Kayak shows incorrect result of 2 stops when we filter the results to show only 1 stop flight. Kayak Result shows the flight details as HYD to Bombay to JFK but the flight also stops in Delhi which makes it 2 Stops. But Kayak doesn't show this delhi stop at all. Expecting this to be a 1 stop flight I booked this flight, Later I came to know through air india that flight also stops in delhi. I called kayak to complain but there is nothing that they could do to fix it. I hated this experience.
A bit of new to booking hotel online by myself. I was looking for hotels in Bangkok using google map so that my hotel is closed enough to BTS station. Choose Galleria 10 Hotel Bangkok, clicked on the map and select dates. Among other booking sites, I clicked on KAYAK and continue booking unknowingly that it forwarded me to Galleria 10 Hotel which is nearby. End up booking for 2 nights non-refundable. (The final booking took place at hotel.com which was again forwarded.) This is not acceptable.
I booked a car rental at DFW airport location, or so I thought. I entered the pick up location specifically as DFW. When I showed up at the airport Budget counter, they said that I had actually been booked at an offsite Budget that was 30 minutes away! I tried to just get a car there, but the cost was $250 vs. $95, so I chose to go to the offsite location. It was 30 minutes IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION of where I was traveling, and it cost me $60 for the Uber car to take me there. SO FRUSTRATING!
Back in November of 2015, I booked a flight from NYC to London to visit some friends I hadn't seen in a few years. This was going to be my first time flying to Europe and unfortunately I was not able to go on the trip. My first complain about Kayak is that, Kayak itself, does not send you a confirmation email. They booked my flight with justfly.com and I had no idea it had happened. It takes them days to process the payment so you are not even sure the purchase was made. I had to call the justfly.com customer service to ask if payment was received and if they could send me a receipt. Payment was made, no receipt was sent and it took me almost an hour and a half to talk to someone.
My second and biggest complain is that their customer service is beyond horrible. I've traveled a fair share between my home country and the US for 7 years now and completely understand the rules of travel sites and airlines but this one was incredibly insane. I was not able to go on my trip because my mother got extremely sick a few days before. So sick to the point that I had to move back to my home country not knowing how long she was going to live.
I called Kayak to let ask if there was any way I could get a refund or partial refund for my ticket since I don't have a lot of money and shipping internationally is not cheap at all. They refused to do anything about it so I had to stay longer in the US to sell some of my belongings and gather some money. My mother passed away before I could make it home. I lost my job, half of my belongings and I was out almost $800 that could have been for a plane ticket home and shipping at least some of the stuff I had from the life I had made the past 7 years.
I clearly understand policies and everything. It's not like I want to rip them off or anything. I've always respected all the rules they have and totally take responsibility if I miss a flight or something like that, but I think this was quite the special and extraordinary circumstance. I was on the phone for 3 hours and it was my first time using Kayak. Safe to say I haven't used it again nor will I do it in the future.
I bought plane tickets from Berlin to Marseilles for July 25. I used Paypal to pay for the purchase. Apparently, KAYAK passed the order for the plane tickets on BRAVOFLY. I never received a confirmation mail, from KAYAK or BRAVOFLY, and do not even know which company I am supposed to be flying with. On the BRAVOFLY website, they ask you for a booking number if you did not get a confirmation mail, which I don't have because for some good reason in the KAYAK app, my "your bookings" section is completely empty. There is NO trace whatsoever of the booking. So the only proof I have that I ever actually bought the plane tickets is my Paypal receipt.
When I wrote to KAYAK so they would solve my problem, they sent me the number to BRAVOFLY customer service, which now wants me to pay six and something Euros to even talk to someone. I am shocked and I don't know if I will be able to actually get my tickets before I was supposed to leave. I would strongly advise you NEVER to use KAYAK or BRAVOFLY.
I travel a lot, 50k to 100k per year. So my use of comparison sites for airfares is high. Apparently it is too high for Kayak. Recently Kayak started asking me, ON EVERY SINGLE SEARCH, if I am a robot. Sometimes it takes "only" two or three extra clicks, per search, to reassure them. After a couple of searches they get really, really worried and they make me prove that I'm not a robot by asking a multi-choice challenge. (i.e. "How many of the following twelve photos have trees in them.") Customer service told me that they can do nothing to stop this, because I, uh, travel. (WTF? Are you kidding?!!!) You see, they can clear a specific IP address, but they cannot clear a user account. Well, I may not be a robot, but neither am I, any longer, a Kayak customer. Too bad, they have a nice interface.
I made a reservation for a flight to London long in advance before my May 28, 2016 departure from Washington DC. Everything was going well until I had to make a change in my travel plans. I could not find customer support telephone number. Finally, somehow I found it. I cannot provide you the path because I googled forever. The customer support person could not understand English and could not help me. I followed up my conversation with an email. It took days, more than 48 hours, for KAYAK reply. We were exchanging emails for days with total misunderstanding what I was trying to accomplish. After several emails I was informed that I cannot make any changes.
My flight reservation through KAYAK was with the British Airways. I spoke with them and they helped me to arrange additional connections that would accommodate my new travel needs. I will never use KAYAK again, because they DO NOT HAVE ANY customer service and they are in the industry that REQUIRES good communication with customers.
My wife booked flights from KAYAK website. On the website she filled out 2 adults and 1 child. At the last step there was no confirmation page, and it booked for 3 adults, which cost us $150 more than usual. When we called their service number, they asked us to call 2 airlines directly, and they call the other one. That wasn't friendly at all. We will NOT use KAYAK in the future.
My wife and I attended a meeting in San Diego and we wanted to rent a car. We got a price from KAYAK for a Ford Taurus or similar car. The price for a seven day rental was 142.69 plus 78.78 for taxes surcharges and fees. We also purchased insurance for 11 dollars a day. Total price should have been 221.47 plus 77 dollars. Instead we were charged 370 dollars. Payless said the price agreed on KAYAK was an estimate and that the airport fees were higher. I called Enterprise and they said if they had a contract from KAYAK they would honor it. But Payless obviously does not. So what good is it to rent a car using KAYAK if what you wind up getting charge is 20% higher than your internet contract. It is a worthless contract and there is no one at KAYAK that you can complain to. It is best to go through the car company directly and I will not use KAYAK, its affiliates, or Payless again.
KAYAK is CLUELESS. They are simply a warehouse. They make money by advertising other companies, and by collecting fees for the referral to those companies. On Kayak's website, I specifically chose British Airways for an upcoming trip to Europe, having had a good experience flying with them previously. I was willing to pay more than I would have on several other lower rated airlines. I received an email from KAYAK.com thanking me for my purchase of flights with British Airways, and stating Airfare.com would send confirmation. The next day I received an email from AIRFARE.com confirming my flights, but telling me I would be flying on American Airlines.
As American Airlines is in bankruptcy, and consistently rated very poorly on customer service, this was NOT acceptable to me. And as KAYAK had posted in bold letters on the flight listing FREE CANCELLATIONS, I called Airfare.com, and was told it would cost me $950 to cancel. They said I only had 2 hours after booking to get a free cancellation. This is absurd. I bought tickets on British Airways, but they switched me to American Airlines? And now I can't cancel this gross misrepresentation without paying $950.00. To further illustrate the point: After canceling my flight and being reamed for $950, a few days KAYAK sends me an email asking, "How was your flight?" As I said, CLUELESS!!!
Ok so bottom line is the actual price for my car rent booking was different from the price I booked through Kayak. I received confirmation mail with price on it, and there was a note that additional charge may apply for required insurance, optional items, or additional drivers. However it was none of them made my actual rate go higher, it was basic daily car rate itself.
So I asked the company through website about this, and got reply saying I should deal with car rent company. I was surprised as I made my booking at Kayak.com and I got confirm mail from Kayak, not the car rental company. After I sent reply that I cannot understand their policy, another mail came from Kayak. It was Vice President of Kayak. Bottom line of her mail was "We are just tool for booking and you should deal with the car rental company directly. You can book through Kayak, it's your choice, but related to the booking, (including prices) you should deal with the car rent company directly". So she is saying Kayak is only providing price information, whether you book through Kayak or not, they have no responsibility for the actual booking. Just like me, even if actual price is much higher than confirmed prices, they have no responsibility to handle that, and we have to figure out how to make things right when we arrive at rental spot or hotel maybe.
Kayak's response was a lot different from what I felt/thought from their TV commercial. So finally I Googled their CEO's email address and send them the whole conversation and asked him why this happened. Below was CEO of Kayak's comment on misleaded booking price. "After reviewing it, I am quite confident that Kayak has handled this issue appropriately". Maybe I misunderstood Kayak business or maybe I misunderstood their TV commercial. So bottom line is even if you book through Kayak, actual prices may different (not the tax, not the insurance, basic rate/price itself), and if that happens you have deal with the car rental company/hotel or whatever. Kayak doesn't care. Maybe this is unusual issue, but it happened to me, and none of them gave me the answer about the price difference of my booking. Even CEO.
I trawled through the internet to book a Guest House or Hotel for next month May. I came across the Royston Guest House in Inverness on the KAYAK HOTELS website. It quoted £50 a night. It was cheaper than the other websites. I went ahead and booked it. It was only AFTER I had submitted my Card Details etc and as I thought agreed to 4 nights at £50 (ie £200) that on checking my receipt I saw they had charged me £40 Admin Fee. I feel this not a fair way to do business. I cancelled my booking. I feel this is an unfair way of doing business. Really conning the General public. It should be looked into by the Advertising Agencies.
Holy hell! I been checking prices on this site for 3 days, and I wanted to fly out of Jackson, WY to Phoenix, AZ. The price was listed as $263. I made plans to go visit my mother to surprise her. Made plans for friends to pick me at the airport. Requested time off work. When I go to purchase my ticket the price still hasn't changed. I clicked the view deal tab and it told me in red letters "This fare was found up to two hours ago and may not be available" and sure enough it wasn't. Even though it showed the same price the last 3 days. So I clicked another deal for 269. (Same thing happened.) Another one for 303, (same thing) 369 (same thing), 401 (WINNER WINNER).
So minutes go by, and I refresh for the 15th time and all the prices that showed $263 disappeared. BUT! BUT, it looks like they updated their website cause now the lowest prices are $303. So I click to view details. And the infamous "These fares were updated more than 2 hours ago and may not be available" and of course, it wasn't. So looks like I'm paying 400+ now. I had requested time off work, planned with friends for them to request off work to pick me up from the airport, told family I am coming, BUT NOW MY MOM (cause I was going to surprise her) and now I CAN'T. This is my first review ever! EVER! I hope Kayak.com tanks, and I wish whoever is responsible for this to feel as pissed and distraught as I do now. I hope you go bankrupt!
I checked for a hotel room price in Helen GA, and booked with Kayak, however, after checking out I found out that the room would have been $13 cheaper just going straight through the hotel. I called KAYAK/Getaroom and they will do nothing for me. Please, please, please do not EVER go through KAYAK for booking anything! They are a RIPOFF!
This review is for Kayak's unethical decision to start robocalling. I've never used this service before, although I'm aware of it. I just now received a ROBOCALL from this business to my business cell no! Cannot believe a company with their reputation would stoop so low. Furthermore, I believe it's illegal. Shame on you, Kayak! If I could have given 0 stars, I would have. They don't even deserve 1 star!
Booked our domestic return flights through Kayak. On the way we were put in zone 5 so we were last on the plane, no room for carry on luggage etc. Ok not a huge deal. During the booking process we were unable to book our seats coming home and when we got to the airport my wife and I were not even seated together. Should have been more suspicious from the get go as our confirmation email from the kayak.com booking was with cheapoair.ca LOL. At any rate, Kayak sent us an email regarding the experience and I told them I was a bit put off. No comment back as yet so for the poor experience there was also no customer service. There's no further contact info for Kayak on their website. 1/10 will not book with them again.
I will never use Kayak again. I searched Kayak for airfares to Orlando, Florida from Tucson, AZ and found flights that we wanted on Delta. I tried several times to book it but at the final payment step, it would not complete the transaction. I was given a number to call to "redirect me to Delta." The representative told me that the transaction could not be completed because the fare was no longer available and it was a matter of not being able to keep up with the changing fares on Kayak's website. This sounded a little odd to me, but the rep found the same flights we wanted and the fare was about 10% higher.
What the rep did not disclose is that Kayak had routed me to Dreams Travel Tours, Inc. in NY, NOT Delta. When my AMEX statement arrived, there was a "travel agency fee" of $150. I called Delta and they verified it was not a charge of theirs but of a travel agency. Kayak never disclosed they routed me to a travel agency or that there would be a fee involved. That's just not right. The travel agency, Dreams Travel Tours, Inc. clearly wanted me to believe I was dealing with Delta and did not disclose they were not Delta and that there would be $150 fee for the transaction. I have disputed the charge.
Initially I made the mistake of trying to escape the full price of airfare tickets from Reno, NV to Sofia, Bulgaria. My fiancée is Bulgarian but don't worry, Bulgarians are indistinguishable from a Texan... so please avoid any racial bias remarks. I booked through Kayak.com (because discounted airline rates aren't available on the back of printed grocery store receipts) after some overly animated commercial announced their amazing ability to compare various competitors' rates. They did, but after you agree to a price and provide your credit card, it does not guarantee your rate (which isn't shady at all). Isn't a purchase suppose to guarantee your rate? If I order a burger from McDonald's for four dollars, then a barely understandable employee that just received a novocaine injection delivers a higher rate, Ronald McDonald is getting an earful.
I spoke to two representatives working from a Leap Frog computer, who insisted that I agree to the new current price increase, but still never agreed to a final rate. I was twice confirmed to receive a confirmation email, which I still have not received. I am expecting a rejection letter written in crayon and stickered with Sesame Street characters to arrive any day. Yay!
Be careful to read the fine print on any reservations you book through them. If you don't cancel a week prior to departure then you forfeit the entire hotel expense. I think it is ridiculous to require full payment up front and you can't cancel your reservation. I received an offer for the room rate to be less, so I gave Kayak an opportunity to match it. Because I "missed" the cancellation window of one-week prior, they not only won't honor the price reduction, they said I would forfeit the entire pre-paid amount if I wanted to make changes. I will never use them again. With their competitors you at least have 48 hours prior to check-in to cancel. God forbid I have a real emergency, I would just be completely out of luck. Use only at your own risk!
Reading the reviews here it appears to be a pattern with Kayak. They quote a rate, you enter your credit card information and the screen message indicates a problem - giving you a number to call - the operator says that the rate advertised is no longer available and the operator offers you a new rate which is double of your previous rate quoted. I will avoid them and recommend that anyone wanting to deal with an honest straight forward travel company does the same!
I was called for a cheaper airline ticket and asked to transfer money online (that was my mistake). It was Qatar airways where payment verification is done after ticket confirmation is received. After 2 weeks the airline support calls and your ticket will be canceled if you don't verify your payment as the agent made payment by his others fake credit card. Even Qatar airways has response where they do verification after giving an e-ticket. Be cautious with online transfers made. His name is Sanjay.
I got on Kayak's website to book a hotel in San Diego. The hotel I chose was, indeed, less expensive through Kayak so I clicked the "Book" button. At first it said something went wrong and instructed me to call the hotel. Instead, I tried again and this time it worked. There was a large timer in the corner counting down my time in which I had to get all my trip and billing information in. Since I was staying multiple nights and I know there are fees and taxes included, I didn't think anything about the price at the time.
After I finished the transaction, my son said, "Wow! That is an expensive hotel!" I looked at the nightly rate BEFORE taxes and fees and they had switched the price to a higher price after I clicked "Book" and left Kayak and was sent to the Amoma site based in Romania. It was higher than Hotwire would have been according to the Kayak site! I called Kayak and they took no responsibility for anything and they gave me an international phone number to call Amoma. I was not going to incur international charges to try to fight for a few dollars. I should have gone with Hotwire. I will never use Kayak again.
There have been 2 times in the past 6 months I've booked a flight home with Kayak for a holiday. Each time, after receiving the receipts, the dates are incorrect. There's nothing I can negotiate with an airline to alleviate this and it ends up costing me hundreds of dollars each time I use it. I will not be using Kayak again. It's reprehensible to alter customers dates when they're trying to book a trip. No one looking to fly home for a holiday would rather miss that holiday for a cheaper flight two months later.
ConsumerAffairs Research Team
The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about today's consumer products and services.
KAYAK is a search engine that connects travelers to services offered by travel agencies all over the world. It was founded in 2004 and acquired by the Priceline Group in 2013.
- Hundreds of sites: KAYAK's search engine draws results from hundreds of travel websites to give travelers the best deals possible.
- Travel Hacker: Travelers can read an annual guide to the most popular destinations researched on KAYAK.
- Organization: The site automatically organizes itineraries and expenses for services booked through the website.
- Mobile app: KAYAK's mobile app lets travelers schedule services on the go.
- Price alerts: Customers receive price alerts when selected services fall below certain prices.
- Best for Domestic, international and budget travelers.
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KAYAK Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 7 Market St.
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- United States