Kayak.com Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Kayak.com Reviews

Updated 16 November 2018
144 reviews

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4.1
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Kayak.com CEO and Director Steve Hafner
Steve Hafner
99 Ratings

144 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • "Great culture, work/life balance" (in 19 reviews)

  • "I think Kayak has the best of both worlds in terms of company culture and work environment" (in 18 reviews)

Cons
  • "communication between teams is often slow and clunky" (in 5 reviews)

  • "Independent nature of teams sometimes means limited access to upper management" (in 5 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Senior Email Specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    There are a lot of employees who are all passionate about what they do and are willing to teach and learn. Therefore there is lots to learn, lots do do and the culture is great.

    Cons

    Being a part of a company that was recently bought buy Kayak there has been a bit of confusion with re-shuffling while the dust settled.

    Advice to Management

    keep learning, keep listening to your employees and keep encouraging them to grow.


  2. Helpful (10)

    "Worse work experience"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    Plenty of food in the canteen and work/life balance

    Cons

    Disgusting internal politics, dodgy things going on, constant change of direction, no support whatsoever. I would not recommend working there to my worse enemy

    Advice to Management

    Change the management

  3. "cool young place to work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    fast paced tech company at the forefront of travel industry. exposure to leadership, product and customers.

    Cons

    a bit too many politics and silly drama.


  4. "Commercial"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Commercial Manager in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Current Employee - Commercial Manager in São Paulo, São Paulo (Brazil)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Company Culture and New Investments/acquisitions

    Cons

    Management, Lack of work structure, disorganization.


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Not for everyone but you cannot deny they are successful"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA (US)
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA (US)
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Great benefits and work space
    Leadership trying to improve and acknowledge this need
    Great people

    Cons

    Leadership is trickle down - need to know basis
    Management improvement badly needed - must figure it out with little nurturing
    Very competitive and politics exist

    Advice to Management

    Focus more on helping employees develop in meaningful ways


  6. Helpful (5)

    "horrible communication/ managing system."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berlin (Germany)
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Berlin (Germany)
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Generally, the most important decision(PM/design/devs) is made in Cambridge, Boston. Berlin is a supporting office - you won't have any important project in Berlin. Communication between two different offices is very challenging, especially if your manager is in a different office. But don't worry, if you are good enough they will relocate you to Cambridge, Boston ;)

    Cons

    - some of the upper managers are very insensitive culturally/ethnically. very horrible. the worst part is they aware of it and don't care.
    -. Your coworker disappears out of sudden and you won't hear a good reason from the manager. (in Germany) and people don't know how to appreciate their team memeber. People just want to get credit along as much as possible to get promoted.
    -. The top-down working process. Sometimes, even C-level executive involves in the projects with their very personal reason. Managers are the decision maker, not you or user. and people are busy with their politics and making their boss happy. If you against your boss's opinion/decision with good reasons, be prepared to be fired. (I am not joking.)
    -. Communication/managing skill is very horrible.

    This company may used to be a good place to work, but lots of people are unhappy and leaving.

    Advice to Management

    Value your team member's voice more than the number you will get.


  7. Helpful (13)

    "Engineers Beware: Don't believe the hype"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Former Employee - Software Engineer
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    As an engineer: Expectations are very low. Little-to-no personal accountability. No one will ever ask you your opinion, or to exercise critical thinking, or to step out of your comfort zone. The development tools and infrastructure are so awfully slow that you have plenty of time to goof around, eat snacks, pick up a new hobby, all while waiting for your local environment to boot up.

    These points are of course actually all Con's if you have any aspirations beyond an easy paycheck.

    Cons

    KAYAK has long since ceased to be an innovative company. Make no mistake, this is not the scrappy, innovative, boundary-pushing KAYAK of 10+ years ago. If you've read the book "A Truck Full of Money" (about the company's founder and its early days), do not expect it to in any way resemble the company described in the book. Pretty much all of the company's original visionaries and A-players have long since left, and it is now a complete shadow of its former self.

    Today, KAYAK as an employer feels akin to a forever-busy, rich businessman dad who showers you with shiny gifts and money but never puts in the time or effort to actually be there for you. Tech industry perks like free snacks, massages, happy hours, and ping pong abound. But almost zero effort is put into helping employees build their skills, take on additional responsibility, or advance in their careers. The leadership fundamentally does not care about anyone, despite their continual statements to the contrary. This is probably because their revenue continues to climb year after year despite minimal improvements to the product, and numbers are all that really matter to them.

    Indeed, from a technical perspective it seems KAYAK has basically been in "maintenance mode" for many years now. The service they provide is fundamentally a solved problem now and has been largely commoditized with dozens of other near-identical competing sites fighting for a share of the pie. Engineering effort is primarily spent chasing and patching the absurd amount of bugs in its horrible code base rather than tackling new problems. What little experimentation that does happen mostly just boils down to tweaking the UI and moving things around on the page to increase conversion and ad clicks.

    Having no agenda for big technical endeavors, KAYAK has allowed its engineering organization to decay into a terrible state of dysfunction. Talented people are leaving constantly, taking most of their knowledge with them (because hardly anything is documented), and they are being gradually replaced by less skilled engineers.

    Consequently, mediocrity and status quo reigns here now above all else. New ideas, innovation, and creativity are not only NOT encouraged, but often actively suppressed. It seems just about every idea put forth is met with some form of "it just can't be done" / "that wouldn't work" / "that's not how we do it here" / "that's just the way it is". Sadly, most line managers really are genuinely nice people just trying to do their best, but basically have no license to do anything because of lack of support from upper management (most of whom don't understand software management).

    Communication and collaboration between teams is almost non-existent, and when it does happen it usually goes very poorly. The company mantra of "No Stupid Meetings" sounds great on paper, until you realize the result is that no one communicates with one another, managers have no idea what's going on and everyone is re-inventing the wheel every day because teams can't figure out how to collaborate or effectively share resources.

    Ask yourself, is this the kind of environment you want to work in? When you could instead easily go to any number of other tech firms where people still want to try, to learn and improve, to push boundaries and change the world? KAYAK is not that place anymore.

    Advice to Management

    Stop wasting time and effort trying to masquerade as a "great tech company" where people "love to work", and instead focus on actually BEING that kind of company. Maybe instead of focusing on shallow perks like kegerators and silly office slides, you could instead try to: pay attention to your employees, value their ideas, take their concerns seriously, and help them grow professionally. All the money and fun toys in the world cannot make up for this. If you continue to neglect your employees' professional needs the company will not last long.

    Also: KAYAK hasn't been a "start-up" for many years, so stop running the place like it's a start-up. Invest in: on-boarding programs, documentation, knowledge-sharing, management processes, and transparency. Newer employees need to be empowered to grow into future leaders and senior contributors, and right now they simply don't have the tools or guidance to do that.

  8. Helpful (9)

    "Very hierarchical and mgmt don't follow own company values"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I have been working at Kayak.com (Less than a year)

    Pros

    great colleagues
    Travel to different offices
    Very diverse

    Cons

    Awful management
    No process for reporting
    No feedback process

    Advice to Management

    Be more present, listen, don't be too proud


  9. Helpful (9)

    "A Company With No Culture and HORRIBLE management"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Nice office, flexible hours, some amazing people

    Cons

    Incompetent management, poor communication, low integrity, untrustworthy CEO, low job security (CEO will say otherwise then people will be laid off the following week), focus on short-term revenue, promotions often given to people based on favoritism rather than ability, high turnover of smartest people, people who complain/brag/socialize the most and deliver the least get rewarded

    Advice to Management

    Learn to communicate and manage. Stop taking the easy road and cutting corners. When a position opens up and there are multiple internal candidates, interview everyone instead of just giving the position to your favorite.


  10. Helpful (5)

    "Amazing company. Fantastic global and latam teams. Fast paced and high energy!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Miami, FL (US)
    Current Employee - Senior Marketing Manager in Miami, FL (US)
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Data Driven company that functions as a start up. This helps us to ensure we are working at a fast pace and thinking outside of the box to grow the business. MD of the Latam region is a great coach that not only adds insights to help guide you in your strategies, but gives you the freedom to build out your own approaches and really own your projects. Very smart team overall, you learn something new everyday. Couldn't recommend this company more. I enjoy coming to the office in the mornings!

    Cons

    Not really a Con but it is fast paced and you are expected to wear many different hats in order to keep everything moving.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the good work!


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