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Hipmunk FAIL: Graphics without content is not enough

I love a good GUI but not if it doesn’t give me the information I need. I again tried Hipmunk and it again failed (this time for a trip to Baltimore where it gave only a useless subset of the available Amtrak trains).

I don’t know anything about the internet biz. What I’m guessing is that they set up this cool website that is pretty much functional, with the goal of selling it for a few million dollars to Travelocity or Expedia or Kayak. What I’m wondering is, why haven’t they made the deal already? Hipmunk’s GUI is great. The site is useless because it’s missing so many flights, but if you put it in an actual travel site such as Expedia, it would be great.

It’s enough to make me want to hit someone with an i-phone . . .


  1. What is the search that is giving you trouble? We did not start this company with the goal of selling for a few million dollars to whomever. What we’d really like to do is improve the travel search experience. If you share the route that is giving you trouble, we’d really appreciate it.

  2. Ryan says:

    Travelocity, Expedia, and Kayak don’t have Amtrak at all, so I fail to see the complaint…

  3. Vince says:

    It’s not useless—it’s just not of maximal use. It’d be ideal if they could do what you recommend, but I’m sure for plenty of people the GUI and sorting features (Agony / Ecstasy) [more than?] compensate for some of the omitted bookings in the search results.

  4. Andrew says:


    Most times I’ve tried to use Hipmunk, it’s been missing a bunch of key options. So now I do both Himpunk and Kayak or Expedia. Every flight on Hipmunk seems to be on Kayak or Expedia, but not the other way around. Several times I’ve tried Hipmunk and thought there was no convenient flight, then I’ve tried K or E and found something right there.


    Yes, but Himpunk says they have Amtrak. I tried Hipmunk for my train, was suspicious that there were so few options, then I went to Amtrak (talk about a horrible user interface!) and indeed there were lots of convenient options so I went for that.

  5. Foster Boondoggle says:

    I’ve been using Hipmunk* since I first learned of it, about 6 months ago, and have only once run into an itinerary where it seemed to be missing a flight. The interface is great, the “agony” ranking is great and the clean look is great. I’ve been recommending it to everyone I know… Never tried booking Amtrak there, but wouldn’t have expected that to work anyway. Who knows what kind of bug-ridden API Amtrak provides to third-party developers…

    * I don’t work for them, don’t know anyone who does and have no financial stake.

  6. Hmm. I couldn’t even get my dates entered. I have no idea what scheme it’s using to change dates if you have a start and end date entered and hit a date on the calendar. It ineveitably gets into a state where it has only an end date, then I hit a date and it makes it the start date, erasing the end date, and back and forth, always saying the other is “optional” (Safari 5.1).

  7. Andrew, if you have a specific itinerary we can look into things, and we’d be grateful if you gave us the opportunity to do so.

  8. Karl Broman says:

    I feel exactly the same way. For me, the worst aspect has been prices that were not accurate: I’d click on a reasonable flight at a reasonable price, and then find that the actual price was 2x what it had listed.

  9. […] post on Hipmunk Posted by Andrew on 20 September 2011, 9:38 amThere was some confusion on my last try, so let me explain one more time . . .The flights I where Hipmunk failed (see here for background) […]