Another thumbs down for Kayak

Let me preface my rant by saying that I’m a pretty frequent customer of Kayak. The only reason I’ve been so harsh is that they’re king of the hill right now–and for that, they deserve to be the very best. But they’re not there yet.

In December, I first pointed out their major flaw in having outdated prices. Why is this such a huge (and expensive) problem, even if it happens once in a blue moon? Because of what just happened with me when I was trying to buy a roundtrip to Jakarta, Indonesia.

The lowest fare on Kayak was roughly $1500 on Cathay Pacific. Ok, fair enough. I go to book it; the link takes me to Orbitz. Surprise surprise, like back in December when I tried to book a ticket to Peru, it’s the old bait-and-switch. Now the price is $2200, and for that, I have to go through Dubai.

Except unlike what happened with Peru (which was that the inflated price was actually the lowest available, unfortunately), this time the real price was $1100. WHAT!? That’s right, if I hadn’t browsed over to Cathay Pacific’s own website, I would have lost $1,100 ($2200-$1100). How’s that for an expensive problem?