September 29, 2011 | by Andrew Kameka
Hipmunk, the lesser-known but arguably better than the other travel websites, has released its Android app. Developed by a self-described Android “fanboy” hired by the company for the sole purpose of creating the app, that fanboy did an excellent job of translating Hipmunk to Android.
Searching for flights on Hipmunk starts out like any other service: enter your departure and arrival cities, select a travel date and class (Coach, business, first), and then wait for the results to file in. However, the unique aspect of Hipmunk then comes into play when it comes time to select a flight. The app has a great “Agony” feature that helps users quickly weigh the benefits of flight cost and perks. This feature lists flights according to how many stops and how long total travel time will be. Users can then change to tabs that list flights according to Price, Departure, and Arrival. Each mode readily displays the most important information, so people will have an easy time making sense of which flight is the best option.
There are also indications on which packages support in-flight Wi-Fi, listing of the plane model, and very fast results. The only downside I’ve discovered so far is that Hipmunk doesn’t support direct booking within the app. Instead, it books flights through the website of the airline or a aggregator like Orbitz. That’s fine for an airline like Delta, which has a mobile booking site, but less appealing for the desktop-only results that came up for US Airways. Silver lining: users can finish the booking process on a computer sing a code created by the app, or send an email with all the important information.
Download Hipmunk if you’re frequently searching for new flights. The app requires Android 2.2 or higher and is available for free in the Android Market.