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Hipmunk.com Displays Flight Options Not by Price or Time, but by 'Agony'

January 20, 2011 at 8:31 AM | by | ()

What's up with the chipmunk wearing aviator goggles? Oh, he's just the mascot of new-ish flight search site Hipmunk.com. We've been kind of obsessed with it the last few weeks, and for good reason. Hipmunk is a very cleanly designed site, like if Kayak and Google Search had a baby, and made it display plane ticket options in very appealing ways. Overall, we're loving Hipmunk for two very distinct advances it has over many other booking sites:

1. Flight options display in colorful bar charts: Enter the basic information for whatever flight you want—dates, destinations, class and preferred airline. Now comes our favorite part: the way the search results show up. The default is not to show you tickets by price level or flight length or number of connections, but by general "Agony." They describe it as a "combination of price, duration and number of stops," so it pretty much gives the best summary of what's available. A bright chart is displayed, from which you can easily see the differences between the flights.

The "Agony" chart for a flight from JFK to MXP.

2. Multiple searches open with tabs: Unsure about what city you want to fly to or what date you even want to fly? Instead of hitting the back button, or jotting info down elsewhere so you can start a new search, Hipmunk allows you to start a new search in a new tab, just as you would open another website in your browser.

When you decide what legs you prefer, Hipmunk then kicks you over to the site (usually directly to the airline's own booking page) to get all set. It's easy, it's fresh, it's informative without inducing headaches, and—perhaps most uniquely—Hipmunk is actually cute.

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