Is A Free Tool That Finds The Best Time To Book Your Trip Too Good To Be True?

Hopper is a free app that claims to give users detailed insights into flight price predictions, allowing them to choose the best time to book flights and hotel stays. It scans a variety of data points to predict when airfare prices may go up or down, but how accurate are these predictions, and how satisfied are customers who try the Hopper app?

According to Hopper, the price prediction tool will show you the likelihood of an increase or decrease in price with 95% accuracy to give you the best idea of when to book. The app then provides fare alerts, notifying you of any price drops or increases on the flights and hotels you're eyeing. Users have given mixed reviews of the accuracy of the app, with some users stating the app is "almost shockingly accurate," while some disagree entirely.

To use the app's price prediction feature, Hopper users can enter their desired dates, click on "Watch This Trip," and enable notifications from Hopper on their smartphone to receive real-time updates whenever the prices fluctuate. The app uses multiple years of historical and other data points in an algorithm to make its predictions. Though some have experienced issues, most users have deemed Hopper a valuable tool for tracking price changes but are more hesitant to use the app for booking.

How does using Hopper compare to booking directly?

Hopper's interface is easy to navigate, but you must download the app to search for flights. The app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices and pulls real-time data from multiple airline and hotel websites, saving users the hassle of manually searching through each one. Hopper also allows you to store your payment information and personal details, making it easy to book and track travel plans. So, if you're looking for an efficient and quick way to view your options in one place, Hopper is worth checking out.

If you're concerned about connecting your frequent flyer account, Hopper allows users to easily connect these accounts to earn points and benefits. However, using miles and points to book your flight through Hopper is another story, as it doesn't allow you to use airline or hotel loyalty points to book your reservation. You'd need to book directly with airlines and hotels in this situation. 

Some perks of booking with an airline directly are missing from Hopper. The app may or may not allow you to select your seats, depending on the flight, nor does it allow for upgrades. Hopper states that upgrade requests are considered a "voluntary change to your booking" and directs users to contact the airline directly. If seat flexibility and upgrades are important to you as a traveler, it's worth considering booking directly with the airline. 

Customer reviews of Hopper

Although Hopper claims that booking through the app can save users up to 40% on flights and hotels, user reviews indicate discrepancies between advertised prices and billed costs. For instance, on Tripadvisor, Nico S. writes, "I do not recommend using the app to purchase flights. It may be useful for predicting fares, but their prices are not accurate. In my case, I was billed 3x the cost of the ticket advertised on the app."

Overall, the app has a 3.7-star rating on Sitejabber and a 2.2-star rating on TrustPilot, with many conflicting experiences shared in the reviews. Even many positive reviews note billing issues but praise Hopper's support team for correcting them. Customers also report issues booking car rentals and cabs, with one review on TrustPilot stating that a car rental through the app ended up costing more than if booked directly due to additional fees and a security deposit. Extra fees, canceled bookings, and inaccurate pricing are common themes in the negative reviews, especially among users on the Better Business Bureau website. 

Whether Hopper holds up to the money-saving reputation that it claims may depend on individual experience and specific situations. Still, it's clear that Hopper excels in convenience and finding the best times to book, but users may want to consider all their options when it comes to actually booking their travel.