Important: In this genuine article we share the good, the bad and the ugly of Kiwi.com. Please read it carefuly so you get the pros and cons.
Before making your final booking, please check as well our comment section. Travelers share here their own, first-hand (usually bad) experience.
This is a 100% genuine review; and even a guide for you to be smart and stay safe when booking flights. Please keep reading for the pros and cons.
Did/ do you have a bad experience with Kiwi? We keep the comment section open for you.
We do not claim it’s the only website we use, yet it’s part of our process finding flights every single time. And yes, we book our flights with kiwi and other websites like Omio.com, Skyscanner and even direct with Emirates for instance, as well! In fact, we wrote two detailed articles:
Also check out Klook.com in review for fantastic experiences across the globe. Make travel easier – book transport tickets with Omio. Here’s a genuine review of Omio to help you out. We also wrote a big review about Qatar Airways.
Your new favorite search engine for flights
Alright, let’s get started. Kiwi 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!
In this detailed article I will walk you through our research process for finding flights, followed by the actual booking itself. Is this Kiwi.com legit? Yes, but be careful….and I will tell you why, based on my personal experience.
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. You can now book your flights directly here as an Hostelgeeks affiliate. We even received a special promotional code for our readers, using Kiwi, read here.
1. The Research Process
Whenever I have to catch a flight, there are several websites I check out. Without even thinking about it, I open the following websites in my browser:
This is always my starting point! 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.
My first steps to find flights is checking connections. Is my destination actually reachable from my out flying airport? The second issue is the price range. I prefer to know if I am going to spend 20€ or something closer to 1.000€.
Google Flights covers the biggest range of airlines. BUT: They also do not cover all airlines in the world. I had to take a flight from Mexico to Spain, Google Flights did not show flights with Emirates.
Not sure if this was a one-time thing. But always keep this in mind. Always compare websites!
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.
Imagine you would like to fly from New York City to Spain – with no specific city like Barcelona or Madrid.
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.
The screenshots below show how it works.
Update: Drawing a Circle in Kiwi
Kiwi updated their functionality. Unfortunately now it is not so easy any more to find the “radius search”.
We do not know why they removed this since this is an epic feature.
However, we found a way to use this feature of radius search still.
Type in your destination
Click on the same field next to your destination again
the drop down will then show “XYZ Destination + 250km)
Choose this one
Now you have a circle above your desired destination
via drag and drop you can move the radius and make it even bigger and smaller
Solved! Luckily, the circle or radius feature is still there.
We made a quick video about Kiwis Radius search and how you can activate this again.
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.
Please, please please, even if they guarantee the connections, use your head before booking. Do not choose any connection flights with tight connections ( We do recommend 3 hours between flights minimum). The kiwi guarantee might cover your lost flight, but it is much better to avoid tight connections.
Another option here is also comparing different destinations. Or even combining your fight with other transport.
As an example: you could land in Napoli. Rent a car, visit the famous Amalfi coast, impressive Pompeii… and drive to Rome. Then continue traveling from Rome.
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
Is this website is legit? Is Kiwi reliable and safe? We all want to score the cheapest flights out there.
Update: As mentioned in the beginning, so many users claim Kiwi to be a scam, to be fraud, unreliable, you name it. There’s a lot of bad reviews about Kiwi. More in our cons section.
While we take these complaints serious and publish them here in the comments too (if language allows), we can only share here our own experience. Again, we actually book our flights with Kiwi too – NOT ONLY with kiwi, but we do use them. I am adding below our confirmation email of one of our first flights with kiwi from 2016 and 2021 and 2022 even.
We are not just saying this. We actually used them in the past and still use them! But, be aware, it is one of many we use. It is not the only one!!! As I also pointed out, I would not rely on the kiwi guarantee.
The 1 Million Dollar Question: Is Kiwi.com a scam?
Answer: No, Kiwi is not a scam; that’s just too much to state. They do have a lot of happy customers. Even Skyscanner links you to Kiwi. However, it is not a very reliable website with a perfect customer service. So, if there is a problem with your booking/ flight, it’s not good. If your flight has no issues, you will love Kiwi.
Back to the website; it is quite rare to be willing to pay more just because the app or website looks cool. Right?!
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:
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 always. My opinion: Always compare as there is no generic rule.
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!
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.
4. Kiwi Guarantee
When things go well, it’s fine, obviously. When things go not as planned, then it can get complicated. And this is exactly where all these bad reviews for Kiwi are coming from.
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. And yes, you guys leave bad reviews for Kiwi here as well. We publish them if your language allows. Therefore, if you want to share your first-hand experience, please do. This helps many more travelers.
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 says they need your help! 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.
They says, the guarantee protects you from:
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.
That being said, we never had to claim anything in our flights. We never missed a flight we booked with Kiwi. So we never ever had to check if the guarantee will fully take care of you.
And here is thing: There is many many many complaints on the web about Kiwi not following through with their guarantee. While we have zero ways to confirm this, some stories by travelers seem legit, others sound more like it was their own “fault“. We allow readers to leave comments below.
Therefore, here is our best tip: Do not rely on their guarantee and check the connection you are about to book! Only book flights you can guarantee yourself you will catch them. For instance, having only 1 hour for changing flights in Kuala Lumpur will be most likely impossible!
Use your own brain to see which connection flights are doable – and which one are not. We have seen connection flights with only 1 hour and 20 minutes for transition – in London! This is pretty much impossible, too. And even if it would be possible, the stress it not worth it.
Update: Travelgenio and travel2be are also travel agents you should not rely on. Read this reddit conversation between customers.
This is where we share our personal bad experience with Kiwi.com
This section is important to everyone with special requests for their food. When I booked one of my flight to Germany, I forgot to mention that I am Vegetarian. To be honest, to me it’s normal in a way and I always find vegetarian options.
Well, not so on a plane. And again, it was my own fault for not mentioning this when booking the flight.
I did not notice it until 1 day before departure. I could not change anything at this point which was dissapointing.They told me, I could have said something until 3 days before departure. The problem is that Kiwi is the middle-man and changing for them something also takes time to be processed. Well, again, it was dissapointing.
On the flight, I was served some chicken and I had to give it back. Again, I simply forgot to add this to my booking – my fault. The stewardess brought me some fruits they still had, that was at least something.
Therefore, pay attention and leave a comment with your booking about any special requests like being vegetarian, glutenfree etc.
This helps to stay not hungry. Since I knew this was gonna happen, I ate beforehand at the Airport. Lucky enough, the stewardess helped out with the fruit and I buy always a sandwich or something similar for my flights. That helped….
5. Cons of Kiwi.com
Although I am a huge fan of this web application, there are few cons I want to share. I do not claim this is the best freaking website out there and pretend there are now CONS.
Without them, this review would not be complete and certainly not honest. That being said, you will notice that Kiwi is still trustworthy and reliable. Again, at least in our experience!
Keep on reading:
5.1 Not all airlines are covered
Same as with the big Skyscanner, 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.
It is also worth it to know, I also could not find any Emirates flights from Mexico to Europe on Kiwi. I am not sure why this happens, but it is important to remember.
Keep an eye on other options out there to find flights and connections.
Note: flights.google.com does not include all local airlines neither.
5.2 Customer service
Update March 2020: There are many complaints abut using this website. When it comes to refunds, the website does not seem to be pro-active. This update is not based on our own experience, but on many comments and feedback we receive from Kiwi-users. Please refer to the comments section below to read more first-hand experiences.
Around the web you find many bad and horrible reviews of kiwi.com. While the majority are great, the bad ones are a tough read. People lost thousands of dollars due to Kiwi, and they had to rebook other flights.
I took the time to read through the reviews before actually using them the first time. And again before writing this article. I would not trust their customer service, anymore. Simply put, only book with Kiwi safe flights.
If you have a closer look, it seems like there were some errors made from various ends.
Either way, it seems to have changed. 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!
This is a good idea: 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?
UPDATE: Until October 2019, more than 4.300 of our users trusted Kiwi.com and booked their flights with Kiwi.com. Everyone was happy – or least no one told us any complaint or concern. (If you experience any, please let us know in the comments section.)
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!!
Update: This improved already!
5.4 Missed Connections Flights Complain
Many of the online complaints about Kiwi seem to be about missed connection flights. To stay absolutely safe, make sure you only book flights with a proper amount of time to change planes.
When there’s immigration and a visa involved, and you only have 45 minutes to change the terminal, that is in no way enough.
Sure, there is always the Kiwi guarantee. But yet again, most people seem to complain about exactly that issue. If you plan to book with Kiwi.com, be smart about it and avoid such a situation.
Please do not ignore physics! You cannot change a flight in less than 5 minutes with luggage, immigration and having dinner in-between.
5.5 Booking Issue (our own experience and others)
In this section I want to share an unfortunate experience we had with Kiwi. We booked a flight from Bogotá, Colombia to Cancún, Mexico.
When finalizing the booking, we noticed the booking date changed to exactly 1 week / 7 days before we actually wanted the flight.
Now, we were confident we did not change the date at all. Such a weird experience. So we got in touch with the customer support.
First reaction: It was our fault, they cannot do anything except giving us a 20€ voucher for Kiwi. We insisted more and the next day, we were told they will check with the airline.
They contacted the airline directly. The airline permitted a change of dates for a fee of $74. We had to cover this cost and they could change our flight.
Okay, deal, done.
So, here we are. We finally experienced first-hand the customer service. The first agent in Spanish language did not help at all. the English speaking customer service could help us out after we insisted.
Passport Numbers mixed up
Traveler Victoria left a comment, sharing her experience of her passport number totally mixed up. Here is what she wrote:
“I myself was cheated out of a few hundred dollars – not much by Kiwi dot com standards – when I purchased a ticket, to find the ticket had the wrong passport number on it. A mishmash of my actual passport number. Meaning, my ticket was invalid and I would have been refused travel.”
Our point of view: Obviously we cannot know what happened, we were not involved. However, no one really mixes up the own passport number entirely. Sure, having two numbers the wrong way…yes, that is possible. But, let’s face it, writing the whole passport number wrong and mishmashed, this sounds very unlikely.
Again, we do not have any more information than this comment. But, it sounds like a technical bug on Kiwi.com. This is only guess-work, really.
To have this review complete, we think it is important to share this too.
6. Our First Flights with Kiwi – 1st hand great experience
So, when did I start using kiwi.com? Back in 2016.
I used Kiwi for several flights. So here is my experience 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 4-5 years.
I always check the mentioned four websites and more. 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 will take it from there.
I only paid 255.50€ 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 with luggage, delays or cancelled flights. Fingers crossed! We now had an issue of wrong dates. Read more under cons.
Therefore: Yes, it is okay to book with Kiwi! As long as you book a flight with no issues and you do not want to change flight details .
It is reliable, fair, trustworthy, fast, easy to use and again, the Kiwi guarantee is a big plus!
As a proof that I booked with Kiwi, I uploaded here our booking confirmation. It is in Spanish, you will understand the most important parts nevertheless.
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!
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. And I cannot believe how many people actually skip this step.
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.
Personally, however, I would not rely on this guarantee.
8. New Kiwi Promo Code (*expired)
Update: Unfortunately the discount code below already expired. This promo code for kiwi was valid for purchases between 24th August – 2nd September 2020.
I would never ever recommend you to trust anyone online blindly. Do not do that! Use your own sense and actually read on what you are about to book. Do not just assume that it covers luggage for instance.
A few times it happened to us that users send us over a photo of their credit card, because they wanted to buy our ebook, before it was even launched. Seriously, we are touched for the trust you have in us, but come on: don’t do this, it’s dangerous. Of course we would not do anything, but there is a photo of your credit card in someones email. Not a good idea.
Back to Kiwi, make sure you read through the terms and conditions and make yourself familiar with what you are booking. You cannot book something and then claim you didn’t know about a cancellation fee and so on.
10. Packing for your flight (the hand luggage)
There are a few gadgets that makes flying always easier and more comfortable.
I recommend a travel pillow to sleep better, an eye mask and finally noise cancelling headphones.
Before checking in your luggage, make sure you have all the things you need in your hand luggage. I recommend
Back in August 2018, I checked flights for getting to Chiang Mai, Thailand.
There was a super sweet deal with Qatar from Barcelona. However, I checked the official website, where I also found the great price (with kiwi a bit cheaper).
When I read through the details, it stated: You can only bring a small hand-luggage, nothing else.
This is why I mentioned in this article that it’s important to compare more websites.
Kiwi would have been my choice for the booking since it’s cheaper. Yet, the airline itself was not convincing me, although it is the fantastic Qatar. In this case, it was a special offer, missing a few services like luggage and such.
Do not jump on every flight offer you find in the internet, read before you take out your credit card!
11. Summary Kiwi com review
kiwi.com is the ultimate flight hacking tool. Yes, we do love it and use it.
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. I also recommend to read our guide on Skyscanner and how to use it. Combine Skyscanner with Kiwi.com and you will have a good time hunting flights deals.
I would love to have this article as useful as possible. Therefore, please leave your comments, doubts, questions below.
Every single question helps me to write more details and I see what I must have missed in this review.
Therefore, do not be shy.
Update: Please please please read the article before leaving a comment!
Update: Official Statement by Kiwi
We at Hostelgeeks received positive but also negative comments about this service. Since we care deeply about our readers and community, we reached out to Kiwi team, to get an official statement on that negative feedback some unsatisfied customers left here.
Statement by Kiwi
Hey guys! Thanks for the review. We want to bring the best service to our customers by offering affordable travel to everyone. We are sorry for anyone´s bad experience and will do our best to resolve any issue with our Customer Support team. Please contact email@example.com.
Statement by Hostelgeeks
We only showcase great tools that help you to plan your trip better and in the best case, even let’s you save quite a lot of money. Kiwi com does exactly this and it is a service we and all our team uses on a regular basis. This review states our honest opinion and helps you to find better flight deals, and it is a step-by-step guide.
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