[Inputs departure code; arrival code; dates of travel. Clicks ‘Search’]
That groan is what we at Hipmunk call agony—the feeling you get seeing your flight search results based on nothing more than the cheapest flight. You know, the one you’d have to wake up at 4 AM to catch. Or one that makes you mill aimlessly about for hours, thanks to a long layover. Or both.
The Agony-Free Algorithm
Alleviating that agony is precisely what Hipmunk set out to do back in 2010.
“One of our first decisions was to not sort results by price. We believed that most frequent travelers were willing to spend a little bit more to take a more convenient flight,” said Adam Goldstein, co-founder of Hipmunk.
So Hipmunk launched its proprietary algorithmic sort as a combination of price, duration, and the number of stops. Travelers searching for flights on Hipmunk would see agony results as the default sort. You’d also have the ability to re-sort search results by just price or just duration (among others—see below), if you wanted to explore those options, as well.
From Reducing Agony to Finding Your Right Flight
While the industry took note (and eventually followed suit), Hipmunk continued to innovate, adding ‘dependability’ to the algorithm. We also introduced one of the first-ever and the most-widely used travel chatbots, Hello Hipmunk.
As the first to introduce the agony sort, Hipmunk effectively disrupted the way travelers discovered the right flight for them. Travelers could go beyond the industry-standard single sort option to view flight options that included all of their preferences in one fell swoop with Hipmunk.
Most recently, we launched a small business travel product called Concur Hipmunk with now-parent company, SAP Concur.
As for those savvy frequent travelers? They’re still sorting search results by the least amount of agony. They’re also using the Hipmunk app to set fare alerts and exploring unexpected destinations via the Discover feature.
So, the next time someone asks how you bide your time during a long layover, you can tell them to skip the trip to the airport lounge and head straight for Hipmunk’s agony sort results. We can’t take the stress out of your work, but we can take the work out of travel planning.
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