Tech Thursday: Hipmunk Gets a Last-Minute Upgrade
We’ve long loved Hipmunk for its brilliant intelligent search capabilities, which help you find the least agonizing flights or the hotels that are best suited to your individual needs. Today, the app launches an update that once again changes the game: this time, it takes on the last-minute hotel booking sphere that has become quite the competitive space as of late.
So how does Hipmunk plan to disrupt such a crowded arena? Simple: rather than sourcing exclusive deals and making them available at particular times of the day, Hipmunk is serving as an aggregator that will offer, as they are claiming, the most comprehensive range of last-minute deals available. Says CEO Adam Goldstein, “All other last-minute booking apps are limited in some way or another.” Not here. For Hipmunk’s Tonight Only feature, deals will be pulled from a variety of sources, from Expedia and Booking.com to the hotel brands themselves. They’ll represent a broad number of price points, with discounts up to 60 percent off, and unlike other sites, won’t be limited to certain cities—a crucial point of differentiation.
Despite the name, they won’t all be same-day bookings, either: once a hotel is ready to consider their inventory unsold, it declares a rock-bottom price that shows up as a “last minute” deal—usually 24 hours before check-in, but sometimes as much as three days in advance.
Also fun: the app lets you integrate your calendar into your hotel search, highlighting properties that are closest to your points of interest (say, the venue of that wedding you’re going to). The upgrade is available today for both Android and iPhone.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.