I’ve only been out of college for a year and half, so you could say I’m not exactly rolling in dough. However, I do make enough to support myself and my passion for exploration… but just barely. With that being said, I’m penny pinching the majority of the time and am constantly looking for ways to save on travel. One such way that I’ve been able to do so is with the Hopper app.
However, my experience with the Hopper app hasn’t been all rainbows and hundred-dollar savings. Below, you’ll find my review of the app and a detailed overview of my personal experiences with it. Let’s get started with a more in-depth look at what Hopper is and does!
What is the Hopper App?
The Hopper app is a smartphone app that is designed to help you find cheap flights and hotels. This app, which is for sure available for both iOS and Android smartphones (I can’t be certain about other types of smartphones), is designed to scan all current existing flights for the best available price. The Hopper app promises to save you “up to 40%” on your flights with “95% accuracy up to 1 year in advance [with] no ads, no spam, [and] no stress” by scanning billions of flights and prices all around the globe.
How to Use the Hopper App
To find a cheap flight for your next trip, you just have to plug in an outgoing airport and a destination. Then, it’ll bring up a yearly calendar with each day of the year colored in with green, yellow, orange, or red. The days that are predicted to be the cheapest to fly are colored in green while the days that are predicted to be the most expensive are colored in red.
Select the days that you’d like to travel and press “select these dates”. Then, Hopper will scan all of the current existing flights for those days and come back with the cheapest one available that still have bookable seats.
If the price you see isn’t low enough for you, you can choose to “watch” the trip. “Watching” a trip will prompt the Hopper app to scan flights for your desired specifications every day. Then, it will update you when the prices for your trip change, both when they go up and go down.
Hopper takes the convenience a step further by using calculated predictions to give you advice on when the best time to book is. For example, if Hopper believes that the prices won’t go down anymore in the six months leading up to your trip, it’ll tell you so you can book your flight before all of the seats are taken on the cheapest available flight.
My Experience with Hopper
I downloaded the Hopper app in November or December of 2017, a little over a year before this article was published. I didn’t know much about it other than that it did the legwork of finding cheap flights for me. I had nowhere in particular to go when it downloaded Hopper but was eager to try it out.
I plugged in a few destinations — did a little mixing and matching in terms of where I was flying to and from just to get a feel for the app. I set a few destinations to be “watched” for various random dates throughout the following year and left it alone.
Maybe two or three weeks later, as I was sitting at my desk at work, I got a notification saying there was a roundtrip flight available from Newark, New Jersey to Stansted, UK for just over $300…. And I subsequently lost my mind.
I, then, spontaneously (and I mean, one of the most spontaneous things I’ve ever done) threw a five-day trip to London with two of my best gal friends together in less than a day.
For all intents and purposes, our flights to and from London on Primera Air were fine. More than fine, actually — I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the aircraft and we had no delays whatsoever. Smooth sailing all around in terms of the actual flights themselves.
On a slightly unrelated note to the Hopper app but still 100% worth mentioning, Primera Air went bankrupt less than a month after we landed back on American soil. And not just bankrupt, but shit-out-of-luck bankrupt and almost out of nowhere. This bankruptcy caused flight cancellations less than 24 hours before departure of some flights and stranded thousands of people all over the world. We barely dodged a bullet there LOL.
So, if you look at the grand scheme of things, the Hopper app did its job — it found me the cheapest flight to a destination of my choosing near enough to the dates that I wanted to travel on.
However, as I mentioned at the top of this article, that one fleeting success that I had with this app was roughly a year ago… and I haven’t had any luck since. I was “watching” a flight to Vegas from Philadelphia for more than six months and, ultimately, I ended up finding the cheapest flight for that trip (Maddie:1, Hopper: 1).
I also “watched” a few flights from Philadelphia to various parts of Florida over the summer, and this never came to fruition. In fact, my aunt and I were able to find flights from Pennsylvania to Florida for several hundred dollars cheaper than what Hopper could find.
As fair as the reliability of the app goes, I have no complaints. Paying hundreds of dollars to an online service for the first time can feel risky, and many times it is. But Hopper is not a scam — this is a legitimate business and service that will not
However, you should be privy to the fact that there are service fees that come with booking through Hopper. No matter where you book a flight, you will have to pay similar service fees. It’s just a fact of life. But you should go into the process knowing that so you don’t get blindsided on the other side of the process when you look at your credit card statement.
You should also take these fees into consideration if you’re comparing Hopper’s prices and other prices that you find online. The flight itself might be cheaper on Hopper but you may end up paying more money in service fees than you would paying someone else’s service fees — just something to consider!
After booking my flight to London through Hopper, I was able to log onto Primera Air’s website and see (and edit) my flight. So, there was no issue with the communication between the app and the airline’s website, which is another thing that I was worried about. But don’t fret — Hopper won’t hop away with your money.
The only portion of the app that I can’t speak to is their hotel services. From what I can gather, these hotel services work much like their flight services in that they are constantly scanning prices for specific nights that you put in.
Would I Recommend It?
In the spirit of the review framework of this article, I’ll give you a solid rating — I’d give the Hopper App a 3 apricots out of 5. In summation, I’d say that the Hopper app is all luck. If you’re patient enough to wait around for Hopper to find cheap flights for you, then you’ll love it.However, I’d highly suggest vetting any information this app gives you before you book a flight through it. Hopper is a good resource, but it shouldn’t be your only resource. Do some research on your own for cheap flights to make sure that the Hopper app actually has the cheapest flight for you and, as always, read the fine print!