Hotwire No Longer Offers “Hidden Name” Flight Options But Kayak Does

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When attempting to Priceline flights recently, I automatically went to Hotwire to see what my top bid should be. I wouldn’t want to bid more than I could outright pay on Hotwire. Only to discover that Hotwire no longer offers the “name hidden until booking” option for flights. In fact, you can’t book flights directly through Hotwire at all anymore.

But, it appears Kayak now offers this option for some days and routes through, and it’s alot more attractive.

How It Works

They offer “Major Airline” deals that give you a pretty exact time range for both departure and landing times and specific airports! No real risk if you’re interested in saving money and don’t care about miles or status. I couldn’t find any information on the site about whether these flights are mileage earning or not, but I would assume that they’re not.

Kayak Major Airline Booking Option

The closest price for an identified airline in the same time range was Swiss for $1066, a savings of $300. In fact, that flight probably was the Swiss flight 🙂

But it gets better. When I clicked on Select, it appears that you can also cancel the flight for no penalty by 11:30PM EST. I’m assuming they tell you the airline as soon as you purchase, so if you wound up on a carrier you hated, seems like you could cancel immediately.

Kayak Major Airline Booking Option Details

Since I never used Hotwire for flights (being obsessed with miles and points) I’m not aware if they offered this feature too, but this same day cancellation policy seems like it would take all the risk out of booking.

Kayak vs

I was curious as to whether there was any difference between the prices and selection on Kayak and since the tickets on Kayak were through And there was, but not what I expected.

I assumed that the Major Airline option would be less expensive on, but instead Scandinavian Airlines were listed for $767 and the Major Airline option was for different times and priced starting at $1039.

Seems like it would be worth checking out both sites before booking, as you might be able to find a better price on one.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.

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