Last weekend we booked the first part of our trip, basically from landing in Vancouver to flying down to LA and everything in between – a bit over two weeks worth of traveling that spanned accommodation in Vancouver, Banff, Jasper, Seattle, San Fransisco and all the different transportation methods that come with it.
Each place we booked sent us a confirmation email and we then forwarded that email to each of the ‘My Trip’ functions of KAYAK, TripCase & WorldMate. Submitting the trips is very simple and is the same experience for all three sites used. You forward the confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org and within a few minutes you get an email confirming receipt.
Below I’ll describe our experiences with each and reveal which one we”ll be using for the rest of the trip. Note in this post I’ll just going through the Trips function of each app.
KAYAK had the best recognition of confirmation emails. Of the twelve emails we sent KAYAK managed to pick up eleven. KAYAK was also smart enough to merge each of the emails into the same trip – something that was important to me. It also has a great web interface allowing you to manipulate the trip and make minor changes as needed.
The only negative I have is the iPad version of KAYAK doesn’t appear to have the My Trips feature built in although this was only a very minor issue as you could just use the website from the same device.
I can see a lot of potential in the Trip Case app, however it just didn’t stack up to the others in my testing. Firstly, it only recognized nine of the confirmation emails we sent it, and the ones it did pick up they were all added a separate trips with no obvious way of merging them together.
That being said, the interface on the iPhone is pretty slick and I would probably rate it just above the others in terms of functionality.
I think Trip Case would be great if you booked your whole holiday through a travel agent and they gave you the full itinerary in one go. Although this seems to void the use of the app in my eyes. I prefer not to be locked down to one provider so this app didn’t really appeal to me.
I think WorldMate sits somewhere in-between KAYAK and Trip Case. It had similar recognition scores as Trip Case but was able to group more of the emails into groups of trips – three is not ideal but three is better than nine!!
I think the biggest let down for WorldMate is the interface … it’s just not that nice. Its very busy and the free version has ads all over it.
KAYAK is easily the standout here. And it all comes down to the ability of how it recognizes the confirmation emails. You can have all kinds of bells and whistles but if you don’t get the basic tasks right, then the rest is simply a distraction.