More search via instant messenging to report on.
This time travel search aggregator Kayak is announcing the release of Kayakbot for AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). This new feature offers flight search, rental car search and more. You can also get flight status info. Simply add "Kayakbot" to your buddy list or use this link, aim:addbuddy?screenname=kayakbot. More about Kayakbot here.
fly - flight search - (fly bos 1/28 sfo 1/29 nearby)
room - hotel search - (room san francisco, ca)
car - car search - (car bos 1/28 1/29)
status - status of a flight - (DL 1149)
help - context-sensitive help
menu - returns to this top-level menu
quit - nice way to say goodbye
I searched for flights using Kayakbot from from IAD (Washington Dulles) to SFO (San Francisco Intl.) and had no problems. On the AIM screen I was given five flight options and a price. For more info on these flights, to see more flight options and to actually book a ticket, you'll need to click on a link at the bottom of the page that offers a direct link for that specific search to the Kayak web site.
Neat idea, good start, but it needs work, It would be great to see more flight options on the AIM screen along with options to limit to non-stop flights, direct flights, etc. without having to open a browser window. All of that said, if Kayakbot continues to be developed this is a service I could see myself using.
In the past couple of months I've also blogged about Kayak Buzz. This cool feature lets users see the lowest fares people have found for a specific location mapped with Google Maps. Yes, an air fare mashup.
Finally, Kayak now offers an email alert service (Yahoo "Best Fares" Alert and Travelocity also provide this feature) that lets you know when an air fare price reaches a certain price threshold for a city pair that you determine. Mail can be sent daily or weekly. Here's a screen cap of a sample report.