A pioneer in the travel sector since 2004, KAYAK is also home to engineers Igor Gaidaichuk and Justas Belevicius, who are receiving our Developers of the Year Award for building travel apps that embrace the future of work and make business travel as easy as it can be.
KAYAK, the first metasearch engine for the world’s savviest travellers, meets people where they are and enables them to get where they want to go. The company has grown from a few daily travel searches to processing billions of searches annually, and was acquired by online travel leader Booking Holdings in 2013.
The concept of the ‘connected trip’ is at the core of Booking Holdings, dedicated to offering travellers a seamless experience in which its brands, including KAYAK, offer the intuitive next step to booking the perfect trip.
Among the Booking Holdings brand portfolio, KAYAK sets the example for how to optimise Slack, using custom bots and workflows to streamline processes and automate everyday tasks, which frees teams up for more impactful projects. The team is especially keen on the ChatGPT integration for Slack, and has already built their own bot that has more than 800 users. When they need to quickly talk something through and make sure that nothing is misinterpreted, they spin up a virtual space with Slack huddles.
Gaidaichuk and Belevicius are among KAYAK’s biggest Slack advocates, tapping into the power of the productivity platform to connect and engage with teammates to keep work moving forwards. Instead of siloed and disconnected communication, everyone stays informed and aligned to produce powerful travel apps for millions of travellers.
For example, the KAYAK for Business Slack app simplifies the complex process of planning and managing business travel. Without ever leaving Slack, users can send trips to their manager for approval, noting their reason for travel and confirming that it’s within company policy. Managers approve or decline trips with one click, receive trips to book on behalf of their team and see a clear overview of everyone’s travel.
Then there’s the Slack Out of Office (OoO) Generator plugin, launched in spring 2023. Travellers simply use a slash command to pull up the app, then fill in a few details about their trip. After a quick quiz, the app does the rest, whipping up a personality-filled OoO message.
Internally, the KAYAK team relies heavily on bots within Slack to streamline processes and ensure that tasks don’t fall through the cracks. For example, any time content is published via WordPress, an automated message with all the details is sent to relevant stakeholders. They also have a bot that polls employees weekly to check in-office attendance, and another that prompts teammates to send project status updates on Monday morning.
As KAYAK continues to build the world’s favourite travel tools, its teams use Slack to not only create and innovate, but to help its travellers save time and money.