Kayak & Sidestep merger: Benefits them or you?

It was interesting to hear about this high-impact merger of Kayak and Sidestep. Both are lauded, successful travel search companies, each claiming their share of devoted users. There is an immediate benefit to each company from a cost savings standpoint. Each generates traveler traffic through online relationships where they will now see a larger volume discount, pay-per-click savings, and reduced competition previously driving up ad prices.

But what do the travelers get? Sidestep will incrementally benefit from Kayak’s technology. You’ll see a faster search with a greater content footprint, resulting in a potentially lower ticket price. With larger traffic volume, you’ll see more meaningful fare predicting data too. For example, you are going to Hawaii in May for your honeymoon but are willing to leave up to ten days after your wedding if you could save $400 on airfare. Sidestep gives you a chart section that shows you what days are the cheapest for your desired destination over the next month. It’s based on other users’ stored data, so with more data now we’ll see more meaningful results, giving you handy access to the cheapest travel days.

Kayak will benefit from Sidestep’s larger hotel business, but I’ll talk more about hotels in the next few weeks. In the meantime, while it’s not a sea change, sidle on over to Sidestep for a test spin if you haven’t already.

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