Kayak.com Reviews | Glassdoor

Kayak.com Reviews

Updated March 18, 2017
75 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

4.1
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Steve Hafner
53 Ratings

75 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • On top of all of that the work/life balance is great (in 10 reviews)

  • Kayak has a very good working environment (in 7 reviews)

Cons
  • Management doesn't seem to care much about diversity on the technical team, or about mentoring young/new hires (in 3 reviews)

  • No emphasis on people management (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Kayak cares about technology with minimal bureaucracy"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Data Scientist in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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

    Pros

    I've worked across multiple companies/industries in my 10-year career, and this is by far the most fulfilling company i've worked for. Employees are treated at smart, independent contributors who are encourage to solve problems with scalable solutions.

    My synthesis of complaints is most around not enough guidance and training. These are real concerns, particularly for people out of undergrad or unsure about their career direction. For people enjoy travel and technology, this place is just about heaven.

    The compensation is outstanding for how much fun I have at work. As a frequent user of Glassdoor, I'm usually wary of "fanboy" reviews like these, but this is honestly how I feel 1 year in.

    Cons

    Kayak is a fairly small company with a 500 person headcount. Unlike large global corporations, this potentially limits lateral move options and definitely limits geographic options.

    Advice to Management

    1. To help people onboard, add more more material explaining the company organization and benefits.
    2. Make the outside education opportunities more concrete. Encourage employees to attend conferences and take classes. These is a generous education stipend, but my sense is that few people take advantage of it. Not for lack of interest, but from few examples of people who actually do it.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Great Company to work for and grow."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Concord, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Concord, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great benefits, smart people, tons of office perks : beer hour, Monday Morning Bagels, Wednesday Company lunch.

    Cons

    Not much to say, really.


  3. Helpful (2)

    "Software Engineer"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Software Engineer in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    The cafe is stocked with food.

    Cons

    Does not encourage learning and your technical skills are of no value.

    Advice to Management

    This is not a school project. Learn software management.


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  5. Helpful (1)

    "Commercial team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Stamford, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    If you are young and just starting your career KAYAK is for you! Great benefits and lots of social activities. Most people are super friendly and welcoming.

    Cons

    The leadership team is a joke including middle managers. They throw people into management roles with little to no experience and provide no training. It's very cliquey so if you are not part of the "crew" then you have little chance of advancement. Speaking of advancement management does a poor job of developing career paths. Also seriously lacking diversity overall and especially in management roles.

    Advice to Management

    Stop acting like a start up! Hold people accountable for their actions. Senior leadership needs to open their eyes. Its surprising bad behavior continues under the Priceline group.


  6. Helpful (3)

    "Not what I expected"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

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

    Pros

    The benefits are great.

    The free parking, massages, free snacks and lunches are nice perks.

    Cons

    There is no actual training when you join the team. Programs are mentioned (out of context) and when it comes time to actually use them you will probably have no clue what to do.

    Advice to Management

    Communication is key, stop assuming people are mind readers.


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Great company, great benefits, awesome product"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Customer Support Representative in Stamford, CT
    Former Employee - Customer Support Representative in Stamford, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The company has growing pains but they want what is best for employees and consumers. My manager was exceptional at her job and very good at supporting the team. Outstanding benefits and 401K package, nice 4 weeks vacation and unlimited snacks

    Cons

    The 1% of customers who contact KAYAK can be extremely anger.


  8. Helpful (10)

    "Disappointing"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Kayak.com full-time

    Pros

    super nice people, nice office, great food / coffee, massage is a plus, free parking is wonderful

    Cons

    Young team, doesn't know what to do with new hires that are at the more senior or principal level.

     The no-meeting culture means that you will have a billion small conversations and won't be able to get any work done because of the near constant interruptions

    They are obsessed with AB testing and if you're not familiar with the culture that engenders, it means that nothing can go forward unless it's exhaustively proven to positively impact the bottom line. Seems like a great idea until you realize that it means you will work on a dizzying array of micro-features instead of broader more valuable features that are harder to quantify.

    Onboarding experience varies, can be abysmal. They really don't know how to get people up to speed efficiently let alone kindly. Unless you're an engineer.

    Massages are only 15 min and you can only get one per week so don't overflow their significance to your well-being.

    They are growing quickly which means that they don't know what to do with all the new hires, and it means that there's an inner circle that is way too overloaded and can't delegate effectively to the sea of new hires who desperately need things to do. It's becoming a clique and they won't let you in unless you were there in the olden days.
    It also means that people have been promoted solely for their longevity not necessarily for their talent at managing others.

    Advice to Management

    Bone up on onboarding best-practices. There's no excuse.

    Shift the obsession with AB testing to proving things that can't be proven any other way. Over using AB testing kills innovation, discounts experience and discourages intelligence.

    There's so much to love about Kayak, why occlude your genius with clueless new-hire practices and OCD testing?

    Train your managers. The wing-it mentality of startups is great fun, but doesn't scale and in larger companies will just cause confusion and turnover.

    Free parking discourages is wonderful but it discourages public transportation. You should reimburse people for their choice of T-Pass or free parking.


  9. Helpful (4)

    "Cool office space and smart team"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Nice office space, gym and massage. Free parking. The team are young, smart and working fast. Good work life balance.

    Cons

    I would say nothing at the moment.

    Advice to Management

    Keep the best travel product in the world!


  10. Helpful (3)

    "Awesome company!!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Kayak.com full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great office, lots of perks, free food, massages, game room, gym, regular outings, weekly happy hour with drinks, flexible hours, free parking, bonuses!! Awesome location, adjacent to CambridgeSide Galleria mall, and Charles River. Fun place to work! Not stressful, definitely not a sweatshop (the opposite). They are making lots of money, which makes life easy, and the environment is happy and productive. Great place to work!

    Cons

    Location can be a little challenging for commuters, if you leave far away and you need to drive. But, given the flexible hours, you can always avoid rush hour.

    Advice to Management

    Keep up the great culture, and pay attention to employees happiness, it pays both in short and long-term! Also keep the Concord office, it is a good solution for people who don't want to commute to Cambridge.


  11. Helpful (3)

    "very nice culture!"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Cambridge, MA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    smart and nice people, the working area are open, it is very easy to communicate with others. The location is very good.

    Cons

    If you live outside of the Boston, traffic may be a big problem for everyday's commute. I did not find any other Cons.


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