Travel search engine Kayak.com launches "Flexible Search" functionality to help consumers find lower priced air fares on alternate dates. Kayak.com users can now search up to three days before and/or after their preferred travel dates for the best fare and itinerary combination. Also launching is a new Traveler Profile page and enhancements to the popular Kayak Buzz feature.

"According to Jupiter Research, one out of two consumers want the ability to search for lower fares by flexible dates," said Steve Hafner, Kayak.com CEO and co-founder. "Kayak.com innovations like Flexible Search and the new Traveler Profile page help ensure that our 25 percent month over month increase in traffic continues."

Flexible Search

To use Flexible Search, click on the "My dates are flexible" link on the Kayak.com homepage. Users will be prompted to sign-in or register so Kayak.com can incorporate user preferences into results and save searches to the new profile section.

To compare prices and availability for a range of dates using Flexible Search, users simply input preferred travel dates and use the drop down menus to specify up to three days before and/or after their desired travel dates. Results are displayed in order of price, but consumers can use the sorting and filtering tools to change results instantly. Check boxes are provided for each date of travel, number of stops, airlines and airports while sliders are used to filter results for departure/arrival time and price. To save time, Flexible Search allows users to further specify number of travelers (up to six), cabin class (first, businesses and coach), itinerary type (roundtrip, one-way or multi-city) or number of stops.

Traveler Profiles

Kayak.com has revamped the "My Profile" section, enabling the site to provide more personalized services than any other travel site.

"As the leader in travel search 2.0, Kayak.com is building personalization features that recognize a user and display results tailored to that person's travel preferences and search history," said Paul English, Kayak.com CTO and co-founder. "Consumers will benefit from more relevant search results, providing a more efficient and productive search experience."

The My Profile section is divided into the five following tabs:

- My Profile: general information including nickname, name, email address, email preferences, password and home airport

- Preferences: specify preferences for airlines, hotel brand, hotel stars and hotel amenities

- Email Alerts: create a new Fare Alert or Buzz Alert or manage existing alerts

- Search History: saves all searches and click thru history for air, hotel and car. This information is also used by Kayak.com to help personalize a user's search results

- Member Pages: share your travel interests and profile with the world, including personal blog page, Flickr screen name, travel videos, member quote, personal quote and picture. Kayak.com will be the first travel site to incorporate community and social networking with travel search

Best Fare History

The popular Kayak Buzz feature has been enhanced to include "Best Fare History," the 100 best prices found by other Kayak.com users searching the same route over the past 36 hours. Launched in November 2005, Kayak Buzz displays the lowest fares to the 25 most popular destinations searched by Kayak.com users from a specific airport. Consumers use Kayak Buzz to price multiple destinations from their own airport instantly. Best Fare History improves this process by displaying up to 100 options for each destination, providing a comprehensive snapshot of prices and itineraries available to the traveler.

To get the Best Fare History, perform a Buzz search from the "Fare Buzz" tab. On the results page, click on the city or push-pin, which displays an information bubble with the lowest fare and a link to Best Fare History. Enhanced Buzz Alerts, email alerts received daily or weekly, also include a link to Best Fare History. Consumers can sort history options by price, date found, and departure/return dates or use drop down menus to filter by month or day. Click "Check availability" to search real-time rates and availability for an itinerary.