Kayak goes direct-connect with Air Canada and debuts split-booking hotel rates
And, among other tweaks to the travel metasearch site, Kayak debuted “split-booking rates” for hotels, added Jetsetter hotel pricing (not flash sales) and editorial, as well as content from Travel + Leisure.
The direct-connect has little to do with search, but alters the booking dynamic so Kayak doesn’t have to send users via deep links to the Air Canada website. Kayak’s flight search is largely handled by Google’s ITA Software, Amadeus and Web-crawling etc.
But with the AC2U connection, Air Canada customers can book flights without leaving Kayak.com (none of Kayak’s international sites have the functionality).
When users click “Kayak” for an Air Canada flight, they select their flights, fill in their booking details and complete the booking on Kayak.com.
The new relationship, however, does not turn Kayak into an online travel agency. Air Canada remains the merchant of record and handles customer service.
The book Kayak option for Air Canada, which will be coming to Kayak’s mobile apps in the coming weeks, is in some ways similar to the book Kayak option for hotels, which is handled through Travelocity.
“We’re committed to improving the booking experience for people by providing this choice on the website and on mobile, and we’ll continue to be committed to it,” says Robert Birge, Kayak’s chief marketing officer.
Birge is tight-lipped about plans for future direct-connects with airlines, but one can assume that additional ones are in the works.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the Kayak Split-Booking rates for hotels is a tiny experiment or is ready for prime time.
In the above example for a weeklong stay in March at the Aria Resort & Casino at CityCenter, Kayak claims there would be a whopping $224 savings when using the Split-Booking option.
To accomplish this type of booking, users would have to open two windows, one for Tripres.com and the other for Kayak (Travelocity), verify availability for the suggested dates, and book the two stays (March 20 to 23 with Tripres at $146 per night with taxes and March 23 to 27 with Kayak at $220 per night).
The new hotel feature is similar to a Hacker Fares, a Kayak offering which enables users to book two one-way fares on different carriers to save money.
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.