Fare predictions are the latest airline industry trend. Google Flights and Kayak Flights already have them built into their web searches. And now there’s Hopper, an app that helps you decide when to purchase your flights.
I’ll show you how it works!
Search for Flights Through the Hopper App
Link: Hopper for iOS
Link: Hopper for Android
Hopper also recommends when to purchase your flight to get the best price. You can monitor the flight search. And get a notification when the price drops!
This is convenient for those of y’all who like to shop on your phone!
How to Use Hopper
Let’s see how it works.
Step 1. Begin Your Search
You can begin your search right away after you download the app. I searched for flights from Orlando to San Francisco.
On the next screen, you’ll immediately get an idea of prices. For the route I chose, Hopper let me know I could expect to pay between ~$260 and ~$320 round-trip in coach. Right away, you get useful information.
In the example above, if you want to travel in April 2017, your best bet is to travel the first or second week of April. So you’ll get the best deal if you’re flexible around those dates.
Step 2. Choose Your Dates
When you settle on a time you want to travel, touch the start and end dates on your phone screen.
Then tap “Select These Dates” to search.
Step 3. Get a Recommendation to Buy or Wait
On the next screen, Hopper will say to buy your trip now or wait for a better fare.
If it says, “You should book now,” select “Shop Flights” to move forward with choosing a schedule to compare prices.
You can use the filters at the top to arrange results based on price, times, or how many stops are involved.
It’s easy to select flights. Just touch the departing and return flight that fits your times the best.
On the final screen, tap “Choose Travelers & Payment” to purchase your ticket.
From there, you can enter your passenger information and credit card details to book your trip.
Step 4. If You Wait, You Can Watch Your Flight
I checked another route to see if I should buy or wait.
For Chicago to Cancun in early April, Hopper advised me to wait for a better price. In that case, you can click “Watch This Trip” to receive an alert on your phone when the price drops.
That’s a neat feature! If your dates are set, but you still have a while before your trip, you might decide to wait to catch a lower fare. In which case, you’d save some money on a trip you were going to buy anyway!
Get Price Predictions and Tips
Two other things I liked about Hopper are their specific fare predictions. And money-saving tips.
The dates for price changes are very specific. Hopper will let you know when ticket prices are expected to go up or down. And how much you can save by waiting (or purchasing a seat now)!
Touch “See Tips” to learn more about how to save on the route you chose.
Hopper will tell you if there are similar dates with lower prices. Or if you can do better by flying from another area airport.
Both of these are interesting for the specific data. And helpful to save you money!
Are There Drawbacks?
Even though you can see when a fare is expected to change, it’s not a guarantee.
That said, you might be willing to wait to purchase a fare if it will save you money. Especially if it’s for a fun trip you want to take but don’t necessarily have to take.
But if your dates are firm, you risk losing a seat on the flights you want by waiting. So while Hopper’s advice is very helpful, it’s best if you have some flexibility.
Hopper Charges a $5 Commission
And on the final payment screen, I noticed there was an extra $5 added to the ticket price.
This is Hopper’s commission. It’s misleading because it’s built-in to the ticket prices displayed when you search.
I’d be more inclined to pay it if it were more transparent up front. Or if there were an option to add a donation as a way of saying “thanks,” instead of having it included automatically.
Of course, you can always take the flight information you found and purchase your tickets directly from the airlines. Or on another site. But it’s up to you if you want to pay the $5 fee to book through Hopper.
The app gives helpful information about specific routes. And tips on how to save more money on your tickets.
Keep in mind they charge a $5 commission to book a flight through the app, though. And it’s built into all the ticket prices you find.
I also like how you can get notifications on your phone when a fare drops, which is a handy addition. But I’m not sure if I’d pay the $5 fee!
Have you used Hopper to buy flights? I’d love to hear your opinions!