After we published our 16 favorite winter destinations in Europe, we got so many questions about how we find our flight deals.
We realized this is still a huge topic.
Therefore, we wrote up a big, detailed review of kiwi.com.
Your new favorit
e search engine for flights
More specifically: it is the flight hacking app we have all been waiting for!
It comes with extra features that improve the research and booking process.
This website will change the whole way YOU and your travel buddies look for flights on the internet.
It is a huge time saver with smart features that actually work in favor of the traveler, not the airline!
Besides collecting the worlds finest hostels, finding cheap flights is a regular task for me at Hostelgeeks.
There are a few techniques and websites you can use to achieve good flight deals.
I recommend the best one, kiwi.com.
Ever since I found this website with the cute name, me and the team have been using and recommending it. There are several reasons why this is the best website and app to find flights.
Download the Kiwi app here.
Details covered in this review
In this detailed article I will walk you through our research process for finding flights, followed by the actual booking itself.
I will share in detail how I found flights across Europe for only 9€ and crossed continents for a sweet price.
In a nutshell, the top features of Kiwi are the date range, the so-called radius search and the combination of airlines.
But I am getting ahead of myself.
Update: After we used this booking engine so many times and since we love their service, we teamed up with them. appYou can now book your flights directly here as an Hostelgeeks affiliate.
Our Kiwi Review covers:
- Research Process (the websites I use for flight searches)
- Features of kiwi.com
- Search Radius
- Fly Anywhere
- Multi-city Feature
- Combining different Airlines
- Date Range
- Price Alert
- The Booking Process – is Kiwi cheaper?
- Kiwi Guarantee
- Cons of Kiwi
- Our Flights
- How to get started
- Sign me up
- Get the app
- become familiar with the kiwi guarantee
1. The Research Process
Whenever I have to catch a flight, there are three websites I check out.
Without even thinking about it, I open the following three websites in our browser:
Over the years, these platforms have proved to be great resources.
I do not open and check them in any priority, it’s mostly random.
Good to know: OTA stands for Online Travel Agency.
As an OTA, Kiwi issues tickets, takes care of customer support and bookings are finalized on their own website.
Skyscanner on the other hand is a meta-search.
It is a price comparison, gathering data from many providers and redirects you to partners websites.
Here you can see the Pros and Cons of each one:
|+ Overview of airlines (international + local)||– not all local airlines||+ Overview of airlines (international + local)|
|+ shows calendar with rates||+ best website to find cheaper dates||+ Great to compare prices|
|+ fast loading time||– average loading time||+ good loading time|
|– No App||+ App||+ App|
|– Aims for return flights, one-way not supported 100%||+ Multicity Feature||– some airline partners are not recommended to book|
|– no booking possible||+ Kiwi Guarantee||– no unique feature|
|– not easy to change currency and language||+ Search Radius|
|– No booking service||+ Full Booking service + customer care||– No booking service|
I use them to get a general idea of rates and flights out there.
- Is there a direct flight?
- Which airlines fly to the destination?
- What is the average price?
flights.google.com and kiwi, in particular, make a big difference.
Both share the different rates in a handy calendar.
It’s helpful to put the rate in context.
Maybe the next day it’s cheaper?
Bear in mind, cheapest flights are normally on weekdays and outside of school holidays.
BTW this photo shows me and my backpack from Lowe Alpine in Kuala Lumpur.
I use Google Flights for:
Google Flights covers the biggest range of airlines.
Type in your destination and let Google Flight do the magic.
I use Skyscanner for:
Skyscanner is fast loading and I love to check it out for comparing airline rates on specific dates.
It also comes with the multi city feature.
In November 2017 they added their inspirational map.
It shows you cheap destinations in your area.
You can filter by price and set the dates yourself.
An interesting tool!
I use Kiwi for:
I use Kiwi for finding cheaper destinations and dates to fly.
It is especially handy when I are looking for inspiration.
Give me a good deal to a destination I’ve never been to or already love and I’m in!
Obviously, I use all three websites to compare the rates.
Our final booking is usually made with kiwi.com.
After comparing prices, it is the kiwi guarantee that makes it so convenient.
However, I still check the airline directly to compare the rates.
More info on the booking process here.
2. Features of kiwi.com
Time to have a closer look.
Here I share the features that make Kiwi such a great flight hack and time saver.
2.1 Search Radius
My absolute favorite feature is the search radius.
This takes researching flights to a whole new level.
What does that mean?
Instead of typing in a fixed destination, you draw a circle on the map.
The app searches for flights in this radius. It shows you all the different destinations and the cheapest air fare in a handy way.
You can filter for cheapest flights and direct connections.
It also shows you the rates of all the other destinations around your circle. Maybe you missed a good opportunity here?
So, when do you need this feature?
This is useful when you are looking for flights to a country or area, rather than a specific city.
Let’s say you want to go to South East Asia, coming from Europe.
Ho Chi Minh for instance or Jakarta, Indonesia are not to be underestimated.
Let us have a look.
Imagine you would like to fly to Spain from New York.
Select “Spain” as a range and kiwi will display all the options.
It shows even near areas nearby your selected range in case you want to change your mind.
2.2 Fly Anywhere
For inspiration, Kiwi is my go-to website.
Just type in your departure airport and set the destination to “anywhere”.
You can set the date to a fixed one or select a date range, for instance March and April.
In fact, “Anywhere” is the default destination.
Hit the search button and see what comes out.
This helps us to get an idea of cheaper destinations out there.
It puts destinations on your map that you may not have considered beforehand.
2.3 Multi-city Feature
Another feature I always miss with the many flight search engines out there.
Choose multiple cities and go around the world.
World-hopping if you will!
Kiwi combines different airlines and schedules which makes it so easy for a world traveler to travel from A to B to C and D.
Again, this is very, very important: they combined several airlines. You can book several airlines with 1 click!
You can select exact dates or even a date range.
You can even spot the cheapest prices on the calendar while you are choosing the dates.
It is 100% flexible!
They even guarantee that you will get your connecting flight.
If not, there is always the Kiwi Guarantee.
Another option here is also comparing different destinations.
You are not sure which destination you wanna fly?
Maybe the price will help you to decide.
Now it is not necessary to have 4 different windows with the destinations you would like.
E.g.: You are not sure about going to London or Germany after Paris?
Just compare the prices between them. kiwi will let you know all the options. Simple as that.
2.4 Combining Different Airlines
The Multicity Feature in particular requires booking with different airlines.
Kiwi combines them for you.
They look for the cheapest flight combinations out there, no matter what.
They cover the major airlines around the world such as
- Turkish Airlines
- Singapore Airlines
- All Nippon Airways
- Etihad Airways
The list is actually endless.
That being said, Kiwi does not include all the airlines in the world.
The smaller ones in South East Asia for instance are not included.
In our section of cons I give you more details.
2.5 Date Range
One of the golden rules to score cheap flights?
Be flexible with your dates.
Yet again, weekdays are cheaper than weekends and of course skip the holidays.
This is why this date range feature is a true gem. You can choose from
- Specific date (e.g. 15th June)
- date range (e.g. all May and June)
“anytime” and “specific date” do not require any explanation, so let’s have a look at date range.
It is really that simple: you choose a date range, for instance all February.
The App will then instantly filter by dates and give you the cheapest dates to take your flight.
2.6 Cheap Price Alert
The cheap price alert is brilliant.
Setup an airport or radius as your departure point and select the area or radius you want to travel to.
To activate the cheap-price alert, simply hit the button below the search fields.
Here you’ve got to include a maximum price. That’s it.
Your Price Alert has been created and Kiwi will let you know when the price is right.
They will send you an email like this one.
If you have the App installed on your smartphone, you will receive a pop-up message as well.
This feature is especially great when you have a fixed time window to travel.
Let’s say you have vacations from the 1st February until 14th February, but you still don’t know where to go.
Setup your starting point, your destination as “anywhere” and edit the time-range to 1st February to 14th February.
I also recommend signing up for their newsletter.
Talking about newsletter…in our 14 booking hacks for hostels I recommend signing up for hostel and airline newsletters.
You will be surprised what kind of offers will land in your inbox.
Why is it a good idea to sign up for newsletters?
You receive exclusive discounts and you are the first one being informed on new offers.
I recently got this newsletter below by RyanAir. Since I wanted to travel anyway, guess what I did?
3. The Booking Process – is Kiwi OK to book?
We all want to score the cheapest flights out there.
It is quite rare to be willing to pay more just because the app or website looks cool.
So, let’s talk about the elephant in the room:
- Is it cheaper?
- And is it trustworthy?
- is Kiwi ok and safe to book with?
As mentioned at the beginning, I compare different airlines and booking portals. Always.
The websites I compare are:
- Google Flights
- the airlines directly on the official website
The chances of finding cheaper flights with Kiwi are quite high.
However, airlines official websites could be even cheaper right?!
After all, the official websites of hostels tend to be cheaper than booking platforms.
This rule does not seem to apply to flights apparently.
Almost every booking engine has their own agreement with the airlines.
Some of them can give you a better price, sometimes there are special offers.
I don’t know the background, and it doesn’t matter to a traveler.
All I want: a cheaper flight!
On our flight from Sri Lanka to Munich I used kiwi.com.
Before hitting the book-button, I compared the airline’s rate.
As it turns out, I saved a sweet 56€ – by using kiwi.com!
So again, I used them for several flights as I got the best deal with them.
So far I have had no issue with missed flight connections or lost baggage.
Let’s hope this continues.
But…what if something happens?
Delayed or cancelled flights, for instance?
This is where the Kiwi Guarantee kicks in.
It is one of the services that is actually worth paying more for.
4. Kiwi Guarantee
Kiwi is quite confident when it comes to its booking service.
They promise you that you will catch your connection.
After all, this is how their algorithm runs.
And if something happens, they are there for you to help you out.
During our research I came across some really bad reviews. Some of them were quite harsh.
So, what was this all about?
Is there a reason to be nervous about Kiwi?
There is always a risk when booking flights with separate companies.
If you miss a connection, because of the first delayed flight, well, good luck.
You have to buy a new ticket and the one you missed only serves as a bad souvenir.
Kiwi guarantees that you will catch your next flight(s).
They are that confident, they made a whole page about it, promoting it heavily.
They will help you…
BUT: they need your help!
“ Help them to help you!“
You should make yourself familiar with their service.
This way, and only this way, they can help you in case something goes wrong with your flight.
The guarantee protects you from:
- Flight delays
- Flight cancellations
- Schedule changes
If any of these events happen, Kiwi guarantees an alternative flight or to refund the price for the unused ticket.
But, again, you have to follow their rules. Their guarantee needs your cooperation.
To quote from their website:
- Inform Kiwi as soon as you are aware of any of the situations above (delay, cancellation, schedule changes)
- Respond within 24 hours to all Kiwi offers
- Don’t make any flight changes without their approval
- If Kiwi agrees that you should buy a flight that’s not available online, they need to receive your email with proof of payment within 14 days
This is really important to remember.
Although these instructions are fairly easy, I understand it might be hard to remember in a situation of stress.
Missing a flight for instance. Nobody likes that.
However, keep calm, Kiwi will help you out.
Check out their full guarantee here.
5. Cons of kiwi.com
Although I am a huge fan of this web application, there are few cons I want to share.
Without them, this review would not be complete and honest.
5.1 Not all local airlines are covered (but all main ones are)
The small airlines around South East Asia are not included at the moment.
This is not really surprising, considering you can buy some airline tickets in the supermarket!
No, I am not kidding.
I reserved our latest flight from Bali to Labuan Bajo and had to go to the supermarket to pay in cash.
“Hey there, one coke and one flight to Labuan Bajo, please!”
I am sure they will add more local airlines over time and as soon as it is technically possible.
However, I check flights.google.com to see if there are other local airlines around.
Note: flights.google.com does not include all local airlines neither.
5.2 Customer service seems to have had some hiccups
Around the web you find many bad reviews of kiwi.com.
While the majority are great, the few bad ones are a tough read.
I took the time to read through the reviews before actually using them the first time. And again before writing this article.
If you have a closer look, it seems like there were some errors made from various ends.
Either way, it changed. Now you can fully count on them!
Yet again, you have to be familiar with the Kiwi guarantee.
This way, kiwi has no excuse and they won’t need it, since they will stick to their promise as many reviews showed as well!
BTW: In case something happens, it’s a good idea to stay calm and not start insulting the customer service agent. I mean, who really wants to help out when they are insulted?
5.3 Slow loading time
flights.google.com always loaded faster than the Kiwi App.
In order to use Kiwi properly, you should be patient and not click around while the app is still pulling its data from the backend.
Now, I make it sound like it’s really slow.
It actually works ok, it’s just that most websites pull up faster.
First world problem…okay, okay, I know, guilty!!
6. Our Flights – 1st hand experience
So, when did I start using kiwi.com?
I used Kiwi for several flights. I don’t mean to brag or anything. It is just to give you a better understanding from my 1st hand experience.
BUT, I did not use them for all our flights I took during the last 2-3 years.
I could pretend I did so, but it’s not honest. I always check the mentioned three websites!
I used them for instance to travel from Barcelona to Fuerteventura on the Canary Islands.
I scored a 9€ flight thanks to kiwi.com.
Another big win was the flight for 15€ from London to Barcelona.
The latest flight I booked was from South East Asia to Europe.
This is where the search radius played an important part.
All I wanted: A good flight from Sri Lanka to Europe. We arrived in Germany and we’ll take it from there.
I only paid 220€ per person. And it was not a low cost airline.
We had meals on board and luggage was sent directly to the destination.
There you have it, I used Kiwi for several flights.
I have not had any issues so far; not with luggage, delays or cancelled flights. Fingers crossed!
Therefore: Yes, it is okay to book with Kiwi!
7. How to get started?
After using this website now for a while, there are some basic recommendations I want to share.
Before I wrap it up, here is our recommendation on setting things up.
1. Sign up – NOW!
It is definitely a good idea to sign up with Kiwi. It is free!
You can sign up directly here. Make sure you sign up with your “good email”.
(Meaning, your real email, not the spammy one. C’mon, everybody does that!)
After all, you may receive your flight confirmation here one day.
Signing up also gives you the opportunity to set up the cheap price alert.
This is how the price alert looks like:
2. Get the App
Download the app to your smartphone. Both Android and iOs are available.
Sign in with your account.
If you already created a price alert, you will receive this alert on your phone in the form of a pop-up message.
I know, I mentioned this earlier.
I just think, it’s a killer-feature, don’t miss it.
Here are three screenshots I took from the app.
3. Set Price Alert $ €
After signing up, this is something I would do instantly.
Check your bucket list, talk to your travel buddies.
Where would you like to go next?
For some inspiration, I collected here our 16 favorite winter destinations in Europe.
That is actually the article that made us write this huge review here.
Even though you don’t have any fixed plan yet, maybe not even any vacation days, I would set up price alerts to your dream destinations.
You will receive automatic notifications once the price drops or is in your preferred price range.
You can also setup the “inspiration mode”.
This means setting the destination to “anywhere”, the date to “anytime” and choose the maximum price you want to pay.
You will then receive emails with all destinations that are cheaper than your chosen price.
4. Become familiar with the Kiwi Guarantee
We already walked you through the Kiwi Guarantee.
And yet again, I mention it.
Although I have never had to use it as the flights ran smoothly, it is recommended important to be familiar with the service.
In case something goes wrong, it is the only way to find a solution without paying more and starting to hate Kiwi.
Is Kiwi OK to book with?
Indeed. You have an extended explanation in our booking process.
We also spoke about the cons of Kiwi.
9. Summary kiwi com review
kiwi.com is the ultimate flight hacking tool.
For the first time ever, I got the feeling that this app was seriously built for the traveler instead of for selling flights in a smart, aesthetically pleasing way.
It is THE flight hack we have all been waiting for.
A time saver, a fun way to explore new destinations and a safe way to get your confirmed ticket to your inbox.
Head over to kiwi.com for your next flights.
pint it for later
I was not paid to write and share this article!
As always, Hostelgeeks aims to help our community to find smarter ways to book, stay at better hostels and travel safely.
This is a full review and insight into our flight research process!
After using kiwi.com, we teamed up with them.
Please use this link for your flight bookings.
Hostelgeeks will receive a small commission on these bookings at NO EXTRA COST for you.
As every experienced traveler knows, these kind of websites change very frequently.
We’ll try to keep this article up to date. I wrote this article to the best of our knowledge.
If you have any input, please leave us a comment or drop us an email.
The team and I appreciate it.
Once you have your cheap flight, complete your trip with a budget-friendly stylish accommodation, a stunning 5 Star hostel.
You can check all 5 Star Hostels here.
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