First of all, I’d like to say this isn’t an advert for Kiwi.com and we are in no way related to this app. I’m writing this because I think it’s awesome and you should know about it.
Hopefully you will have already enjoyed our guides to getting the best deals on budget and long haul flights. One of our tips for getting cheap long haul flights is to combine bookings for flights with long haul and budget airlines to get the best of both worlds.
However, this isn’t easy. Budget airlines are not on the ITA matrix which means a company like American Airlines or Cathay Pacific wouldn’t use a company like Easyjet or Ryanair for their connecting flights.
Unless you’re a flight booking ninja this is difficult and it’ll take visiting a lot of websites like www.whichbudget.com and then individual carrier sites to get all prices and flight times.
However, there is a new app and a website which is so super smart that it kind of blew our minds the first time we used it.
Introducing Kiwi.com! Kiwi.com is a website and app that manages to search and combine budget and long haul companies to create some pretty amazing offers and possibilities.
It can search flights all around the world so companies like Air Asia, Asia’s budget airline, are bookable on it.
It also has an incredibly wide search radius. Literally. One of my favourite features of the Kiwi.com app is that when choosing where to fly to or from you can set a radius. The app will pull up a a circle on the map and you can increase or decrease the size of the radius. You could search all airport within, for example, 200 miles. The radius can be as small as 20 kilometers or as big as 2620 which comes in useful if you want to go to Africa, South East Asia, or a Pacific Island but are more interested in a cheap deal than whether you’re going to the Ivory coast or Cameroon.
Kiwi.com also allows you to specify if you want a one-way or return flight, and how long your trip will be.
I’ve just tested it on the Kiwi.com app and put in a search for a flight departing within 200 miles from my home to anywhere in South East Asia and Australia. I haven’t specified a date but have said the trip needs to be 4 to 11 days.
The top result: Hong Kong for £250. Now, cheap long haul flights are not hard to find for big cities as they’re easily searchable. This app’s real moment of genius is finding cheap flights to smaller destinations. The same search reveals options to get to a dozen small airports in the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand for under £400, or even places like Chiang Mai for under £370.
Usually the danger with mixing budget and long haul flights is what happens if you miss a connecting due to delays, as they aren’t booked on the same ticket. However Kiwi.com guarantees all flights and will replace/refund you in the case of a delay.
The app isn’t perfect. There are still a number of bugs and glitches which mean that certain flights aren’t bookable. For example, the Kiwi.com app will tell you that flights to Lanzhou in China are available from Brussels for just over £200. However, the app is getting Lanzhou’s airport code mixed up with Zagrebs and eventually won’t let you book.
It also isn’t necessarily the cheapest way to book flights as often other websites will have the same flights cheaper. But if you book them independently, you would’t be covered if you missed any connections.
Also, always double check your flight details before booking. I know that goes without saying, but if you set the app to find the cheapest price, you may find the route goes to Berlin from Manchester via Dublin and Oslo. So always double check.
However, I do believe that it is first and foremost the best tool to start planning a trip, especially trips like we do, where we’ll hop from country to country every couple of days during a trip to maximise our time and take everything in.
It’s also an incredible insight into the world of air travel today. By bringing in so many airlines, you can see through Kiwi.com that you can literally go anywhere in the world easily and most importantly cheaply.
Give it a download and let your imagination roam.
Last modified: 5th September 2017