How to Track Flights and Find Hotels Using the Amazon Echo

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The Amazon Echo’s feature set keeps growing constantly, and this time around, the voice-activated virtual assistant has added support for Kayak, allowing you to track flights, find hotels, and much more using just your voice.

The Echo can already do some pretty crazy stuff: order pizza from Domino’s, call an Uber to come pick you up, and even control your home theater setup using Kodi. Granted, searching for flights and hotels is likely a better experience in a web browser, but being able to quickly find out when a certain flight will land using your voice is pretty cool. Plus, if you’re in the kitchen and casually talking to your spouse about where you want to go this summer, using Alexa can be a great way to quickly help you out with any vacation plans.

You can do a lot more with Kayak through Alexa, with a handful of different phrases. However, before you can get started with all that, you need to install the necessary Alexa Skill first, so let’s get started.

Step One: Install the Kayak Alexa Skill

To do this, start by opening up the Alexa app on your phone and tap on the sidebar menu icon in the top-left corner of the screen.

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Tap on “Skills”.

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Tap in the search box at the top where it says “Search Skills”.

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Type in “Kayak” and the Kayak skill will appear. Tap on “Enable” at the bottom.

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Once it’s enabled, you can go back to the main screen or just exit out of the Alexa app.

Step Two: Use Alexa to Search for Flights, Hotels, & Rental Cars

Once you have the skill installed, you’re off to the races and can ask Alexa to search for any flights, hotels, and even rental cars. However, you have to start every voice command with “Alexa, ask Kayak…”, so keep that in mind when doing your searches.

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Here are a handful of things you can say to your Amazon Echo using Kayak:

“Alexa, ask Kayak to track United flight 310.”

“Alexa, ask Kayak when the Delta flight from Boston arrives in New York City.”

“Alexa, ask Kayak how much it costs to fly from Los Angeles to New York City.”

To make things a bit simpler for you, you can set a home airport that Kayak will use when looking up flights:

“Alexa, ask Kayak to set my home airport to JFK.”

“Alexa, ask Kayak to set my home airport to Chicago.” (You’ll then get options of which Chicago airport to choose).

From there, you can make your searches a bit shorter and say things like:

“Alexa, ask Kayak to search for flights to Barcelona.”  (You’ll then be asked when you’re leaving and if it’s a round-trip flight or not).

“Alexa, ask Kayak where can I go for $300”.

As for hotels, you can get the information you need from Alexa using a handful of commands (including rental cars):

“Alexa, ask Kayak to look up hotels in Chicago.” (You’ll then be asked when you plan on checking in and how long you’ll be staying.)

“Alexa, ask Kayak to search for hotels in Chicago from July 13 to July 17.”

“Alexa, ask Kayak to search for rental cars in Denver.”

To book a flight, hotel, or rental car, you have to go to Kayak’s website and physically book it, since you can’t do it through the Amazon Echo. You’re using Alexa just to search for flights and hotels, but it can be a quick way to accomplish that.

Title Image by RobWilson/Bigstock, Kayak, Amazon

Craig Lloyd writes about smarthome for How-To Geek, and is an aspiring handyman who loves tinkering with anything and everything around the house. He's also a mediocre gamer, aviation geek, baseball fan, motorcyclist, and proud introvert.