Kayak, Mobissimo, FareChase, SideStep, Skyscanner… travel search sites pride themselves on pointing users to the lowest prices on flights, hotels, car rentals, and cruises, free of charge. But with dozens vying for travelers’ fancies, it can be hard to know which one will help you find the best bet for your bottom dollar. And no matter your level of ‘net savvy, chances are, a few might have skipped your attention. The latest to catch our eye is Momondo, a Copenhagen-based site that initially launched in 2006 but re-debuted last fall with unique features that catapulted it to the top of the pack.
Quickly gaining ground in the U.S. (now one-third of its user-base) after rising to popularity in Europe, Momondo publishes instant price comparisons to/from, essentially, anywhere. The site’s sleek, uncluttered, and easy to navigate design evoke Apple’s successful style, which I’m a sucker for (come on, who isn’t?). Its new city guides offer destination advice submitted by readers on dozens of destinations and classify locations according to a rainbow of “ambience” colors (purple and pink correspond to say, trendy nightlife…green to outdoors…blue for a relaxed vibe...you get the drift). When searching for flights, Momondo impressively lists pages-worth of quotes, sorts fares by type in a more clear manner than Kayak (travel agency, low-cost carrier, etc.), provides a price calendar marking the lowest fares on surrounding dates, and links directly to the supplier.
Not just limited to flights, Momondo also offers price comparisons on hotels, car rentals, and is the only search engine to include high speed rail lines, recently incorporating prices and schedules for Europe’s entire network (over 4,000 trains) – with plans to include Japan in the coming year. While many engines only search suppliers with whom they can strike a deal, Momondo doesn’t solely operate on a pay-per-listing basis, allowing it to pull from a much larger and varied pool (including startup airlines and even other search engines). The site churns out results in 11 different languages from 750+ individual travel sites – more than any other aggregator on the market (Kayak only culls from a few hundred). Arthur Frommer recently tested Momondo against top American aggregators like Kayak and FareChase, discovering it consistently produces fare results of up to 40 percent less than the rest. Plus, the Momondo tecchies are currently in the throws of devising complex algorithms that aim to predict when fares will rise and fall -- so you can rest assured after making that final click that you truly booked the best available price. For “searching far and wide, fast,” take our word for it: Momondo is the new site to beat.
Give Momondo a whirl, then tell us what you think. Which search sites do you like best and why?