A new iPhone app from Hipmunk aims to make it easier to find and book your next flight on the go.
Known for its travel search site, the Hipmunk crew just launched its first app for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch crowd. Letting you find and compare all the available flights to your destination, the free app aims to help you choose the best one based on price, time, and other factors.
Taking the stage and wowing the crowds yesterday at the Launch 2011 event in San Francisco, the Hipmunk app is a snap to use.
Just enter your starting point by city, airport name, or the three-letter airport code, and Hipmunk will find the right airport. Enter your destination the same way. Choose your departure date and, if needed, your return date from an onscreen calendar. You can also choose your seating area among coach, business, and first class. Select the number of people who'll be traveling. And then just tap the button to search for flights.
In return, Hipmunk displays a colorful time line of all available flights, each one on a separate row showing you the cost, the departure and arrival times, and the name of each carrier.
By default, the flights are sorted by price from cheapest to most expensive. But you can also sort the time line by departure time, length of flight, and even a fourth factor known as "Agony," which Hipmunk describes as a combination of how pricey the flight is, how long you'll be stuck in the air, and how many layovers you have to make.
You can tap on a flight to more clearly see all the details. Drilling down further displays all the details together in one screen. If the flight fits your needs, just select it, and a time line of all possible return flights will then pop up for you to choose one. After you've selected your return flight, you'll see a summary of the flights you chose, which you can then e-mail to yourself or someone else or book directly through Orbitz.
Hipmunk saves each search you run, so you can return to any of them. I ran a variety of searches through the app, and it gave me a healthy range of flights from which to choose. The next time you need to travel, the Hipmunk app is a quick and easy way to help find the best (and hopefully least agonizing) flight.