Thanksgiving weekend is a notoriously busy time of year for airlines. Sure, the miracle of flight is still pretty amazing, but dealing with constant airline delays, cancellations, and layovers can be a nightmare when you’re just trying to fly down to Palm Beach to visit grandpa.
While the flight booking company Hipmunk can’t guarantee a perfect travel experience, it can make purchasing your tickets and comparing flights a lot easier. Featuring an adorable little flying chipmunk logo, Hipmunk was co-founded by one of the guys who brought you the social news site reddit.
Unlike other online booking companies, Hipmunk uses a unique “timeline” layout to display your potential flights on a grid based on what time they depart and arrive. You can organize this grid by price, duration, departure time, arrival time, and my personal favorite, “agony,” which takes all these factors plus layover into account and places the least agonizing flights atop.
Like reddit, Hipmunk’s user interface is extremely simple, which is part of its charm. It’s not your typical blue gradient-covered “web 2.0” graphical mess, and instead of ads, you get a live help chat window at the bottom of your screen!
When you select the flight that suits you best, you are then directed offsite to purchase your itinerary. You can also look at hotels and AmTrak trains, and the site lets you know if your flight has free WiFi, which is always a plus. So give Hipmunk a shot, and even if the flight is agonizing, try show up in a good mood when you finally visit poor old grandpa.