Hipmunk: Quite Possibly the Best Way to Search for Flights

Last Updated Aug 30, 2010 12:09 AM EDT

The worst part of planning a trip is slogging through travel sites in search of the best flight -- a blend of price, departure time, stopovers, and other factors. Most flight search sites don't make the job especially easy, though recently I told you about Matrix, which has an awesome graphical display of flight data, but doesn't actually let you buy the tickets on site. Now there's a site that has an even better visual presentation of flight options, and lets you purchase tickets to boot. It might be the best flight search experience ever.

I'm talking about Hipmunk, a flight search site that lays out your choices in a time grid so you can easily compare price by flight time. The grid clearly shows the airline and layovers, and you can click an entry for more details.

The best part is the filtering and sorting -- it's a snap to rearrange the grid by price, stops, arrival or departure time, and more. A category called agony is a smart sorting tool that considers several of those factors automatically. You can also choose to hide red eye, early morning depatures, and more, for a custom view.

When you find the flight you want, you can click through to Orbitz to book.

I have to say: Hipmunk is the best flight search tool I have yet found. [via Appscout]