As a fellow traveler myself, I've fallen in love with travel deals sites and providers that help you cut costs on that expensive flight ticket you need for your trip.
While there are many ways to find cheap travel deals online, I find it can be overwhelming sometimes to decide on the one for you to use!
Just like our review of Momondo or Thrifty Traveler, I'd like to make sure travelers know what they're signing themselves up for when they're looking at cheap flights online. After all, with the tremendous amount of cheap flight offers out there, it's easy to get caught with some that aren't real or are straight-up scams.
One provider, in particular, that’s frequently mentioned in the travel circles is Hopper app. Hopper has made its name in the travel industry, but is it any good? Find out what my take is on this well-known app!
What Is Hopper?
Hopper is an app designed to help you find the best prices on hotels and flights (in fact, their goal is for you to “spend less, travel better”). They focus on predicting fares and nightly rates so you can choose when to travel so it fits best within your budget.
The Hopper app was created in 2015 by Frederic Lalonde, an ex vice president at Expedia. Based in Montreal and Boston, Hopper has since received over 20 million downloads.
The Hopper app saves an average of $50 on domestic flight and $120 on international flights per user, ranking #1 travel app in over 35 countries.
But just because it's the #1 travel app doesn't mean it's the one for you. I wanted to learn a little bit more on what people are saying about the app.
How Does Hopper Work?
If you've seen Hopper's advertisements lately, you're probably wondering the same question I'm wondering: How can Hopper book flights cheaper than I or others possibly can?
I discovered that Hopper relies on several data analytics, machine learning, and computing algorithms to track when a flight, or hotel, might be due for a sale or discount.
Some of the key factors Hopper look at is:
- Seasonal demand fluctuations
- Historical pricing trends
With a bit of data science prediction magic, Hopper claims that they can predict future prices of flight tickets, hotel room prices, or car rental rates consistently with a 95% accuracy. It's a bold claim for sure.
When they find an opportunity for a cheap flight or stay, Hopper will notify you instantly based on your select preferences at the predicted lowest rate so you can book immediately right from your phone.
Huh. Isn't that neat?
I do like that I'm also able to see its price projection charts on a calendar format to be informed of it's predicted pricing fluctuations throughout the near future.
How to Use Hopper App
Ever grappled with the unpredictability of flight prices? Hopper Flights is an in-app feature that tries to take away some of that stress.
All you need to do is punch in your departure and destination cities, along with your preferred travel dates, and Hopper Flights scours the internet, analyzing a whole load of flight prices.
It's that easy!
One of its coolest features is a color-coded calendar which aims to give you a bird's eye view of the priciest and cheapest days to fly. Its claim to fame is its ability to predict flight prices with 95% accuracy up to a year in advance.
Of course, it's not always a sure bet, but you can set the app to "watch" a trip and it'll ping you when it thinks prices are about to hit rock bottom. It's a nice touch if you're not in a hurry to book and enjoy playing the waiting game.
Once you've taken a stab at the flights, Hopper doesn't leave you hanging for accommodations. Enter Hopper Hotels. Similar to the flight feature, you let it know where you're headed and the dates, and it sets off to find you potential places to rest your head.
It takes into account your preferences to personalize your search. Whether you're all about that five-star experience or you're more of a budget-friendly traveler, Hopper Hotels tries to find a match.
Like Hopper Flights, it boasts price prediction technology. It tries its best to give you a heads-up on whether it's a good time to book or if holding off might snag you a better deal.
Again, you can use the "watch" feature for your favored hotels, and the app will alert you if prices dip. This feature can be a handy tool in your travel-planning arsenal, especially if you're open to waiting for the best possible deal.
Top Features: Summarized
Not only does the Hopper app help you predict prices of flights, stays, and rentals, they also have some cool features that helps make budget traveling easier than ever.
Here are some of the best features I think you should take advantage of with Hopper:
While Hopper used to only have flight deals, they've since expanded to cover the whole range of travel booking functionalities, which includes hotels, car rentals, and even rental homes.
Hopper's travel deals feature that encompasses flight deals, hotel/homes booking prices, and rental rates allow travelers to look for cheap prices on all parts of their travel. This allows Hopper to compete with the likes of SnapTravel, Expedia, Skyscanner, and more!
Log-In Gifts & Frequent Deals
I'm always on the hunt for travel deals and down to be spontaneous, so this is one of my favorite features!
Hopper rewards you with a welcome cash gift. They'll also reward you if you open the app daily. Yes, you heard me right!
If you're hunting for travel deals, make sure to log-in into Hopper daily to check out some of the travel deals + rewards they're offering. Yeah, I know it's just building more addition to the app, but I'm already addicted to travel, so why not take advantage?
To give you an idea of what they could offer, my Hopper app is currently showing $135.42 CAD (around $100.48 USD) off Fiji flights to Australia, NZ, and Fiji (my offers only for reference and not an expectation of service.)
Looking at heavily discounted flight prices but not yet committed? I've been there, too.
Hopper's price freezing feature will helps me here, with a small deposit, I can lock in that travel deal to give me enough time to finally convince stubborn friends and family its time to go travel.
You'll get a full 24 hours for price freeze. After that, you can either forfeit the deposit or book the trip you've been meaning to go!
Carrot Cash is Hopper's very own internal loyalty and rewards incentive program.
When you book flights, stays, or rentals through the Hopper app, you'll earn Carrot Cash in return. You'll then be able to stack up the Carrot Cash and use that to redeem for future trips, similar to how many credit cards points system works.
Another cool thing with Carrot Cash is that they do Carrot Cash matching (Limited time offer!)
If you put in $20 in your wallet on the Hopper app, they'll match the $20 you've put in with Carrot Cash. This effectively doubles your cash to $40!
You'll only be able to redeem this for a limited time offer twice per user, so make sure you take advantage of this great deal!
Is Hopper Legit?
The reason you're probably here, you want me to answer: Can you trust Hopper flights, hotels, and car rentals? Are the deals on the Hopper app legit?
Simply put, yes, Hopper is definitely legit. In fact, I was delighted to learn Hopper is an accredited accredited travel agency, which means that the app contains privacy, trust and security measures that makes sure your data and personal information is safe.
I find that if you're traveling on a very tight budget, Hopper can be a great app to scan for cheap flights and hotels.
That being said, many online comments have indicated it’s an app best used to see what the best rates are, and then to book directly with the airlines or hotels themselves. This protects you should anything happen where you need to contact customer service, or should any other difficulties arise. I have also done this a couple times which I'll touch on a bit further down.
And remember there's plenty of other travel deal sites you can check out to expand your options when finding cheap flights.
What Are People Saying About Hopper?
Hopper's app features and how it works all sounds great, but is it actually a great tool or do they fall short, just like all of the other apps out there?
With the service only being provided on mobile apps, it’s important to look at what Hopper's customer service is like before you dive headfirst into purchasing a flight or a week in a hotel through them.
Generally, Hopper is widely positively perceived by millions of its users to be a trusted app available for budget travelers. They'll help you analyze pricing trends so you're able to book the cheapest deals to destinations across the world at your fingertips.
I've discovered that Hopper's not without its flaws, though.
If you have any concerns or problems, you must make any requests directly through your booking on the app. That is the only way to contact the support team directly. This means that you essentially have to make a purchase to speak with anyone, which I find a bit unsettling.
Do note that if you purchase a flight through a low-cost carrier, you’ll need to contact them to manage your bookings.
Cons: What Are the Complaints About?
Hopper reviews have an average rating of 3.3 stars out of 5 from over 2,400 users in public review platforms.
The majority of Hopper reviews either receive an excellent review, or a bad one, so it seems that customers have had very polarizing experiences.
I admit, there have been more positives than negatives for me, but it's fair to paint the entire picture.
I'm going to dive into some of the negative experiences some travelers have with Hopper so you can decide for yourself.
Price Freeze Issues
One recurring complaint Hopper receives has to do with the prize freeze feature on Hopper.
Several Hopper reviewers commented that despite paying a deposit to freeze their fare at the low rate they wanted, they were ultimately charged more after returning to pay the remainder of the fare.
In my opinion, this is something that feels a bit like a bait and switch. I would prefer to have total confidence in this feature.
Carrot Cash & Low Fares
If these Hopper users then requested a refund, they were only offered Carrot Cash, rather than the money itself.
Carrot Cash is Hopper's internal reward system, with 1 Carrot Cash being equivalent of 1 USD. The downside to getting Carrot Cash instead of real money back is that you'll only have the option to reuse that money within their app and nowhere else.
Another recurring complaint is that Hopper doesn’t offer the lowest fares available and that they won’t price match if you were to find a cheaper fare elsewhere after already booking through them. I tried to contact customer service in this situation and discovered this was the case and it certainly made things very disappointing.
I have even noticed some hidden fees popping up so the fare is actually more expensive than I thought it would be. Many reviewers recommend cross-checking Google Flights, or airlines directly to see how their fares compare, and I would co-sign that recommendation.
Customer Service & Cancellation Policy
Other Hopper reviews also speak to poor customer service, especially in regards to canceled flights.
Unfortunately, Hopper maintains a strict third-party and respects all stringent cancellation policies set by airlines or hotel booking providers out there. This also sometimes mean no cancellation for flights and hotel bookings.
It's not they aren't polite, it's just seems sometimes they just can't help you.
Limited Options on Flights
Another downside to using Hopper is that while Hopper's been expanding their platform to encompass most of the travel booking functionalities like stays and rentals, Hopper still does not have all of the flights available for booking on their app.
This means that you'll sometimes find yourself leaving the app just to go back to square one on looking for the right flights with the right deals to book from.
Price Prediction and Fluctuations
While Hopper maintains a 95% accuracy on deal predictions, there's still a chance that predicted fares may not drop. In fact, some users have also seen a rare increase in price while hopper predicted a decrease.
I must stress though that Hopper does not guarantee best prices as it uses technology and prediction algorithms. So while frustrating, this is not a totally unexpected possibility.
Is Hopper Worth It?
While I may have seemed to be back and forth a bit, I wanted to give a full picture of the app. Overall, I definitely think Hopper is worth a try.
Based on the Hopper app reviews, the app has an average rating of 3.8/5 stars on the Google Play Store and 4.8/5 stars on Apple's App Store at the time this blog was written.
The Hopper app functions similarly to their website, offering travel deals up to 40% discount on flights, hotels, and rental services.
You'll also be able to receive personalized recommendations, helpful information on airports and hotels, and compare prices based on specific filters, and even flight tracking features.
However, as I mentioned prior, the Hopper app reviews often mention the lack of a great system for customer support. You can find reviews saying how inconvenient it was to contact customer support through email and receive responses from different agents.
Re-booking is often through email as well, which decreases many users' experience with the app.
Other issues mentioned in Hopper's app reviews are unfavorable travel packages and bugs.
So, is the hopper app just right for you? Sadly, you'll have to make that leap on your own. I think that they're definitely an option any traveler should consider. While there have been many negative app reviews on Hopper, the general consensus is that the app is super helpful and there is certainly a way to use the app as a tool and not the end all be all option.
Out of all the best travel deal sites out there, Hopper remains great at the core of what it does: finding cheap flight deals, hotel deals, and car rental deals.
Given that Hopper is free on both platforms, I recommend you giving it a try!
My Rating: 3.1/5
- Easily search flights & hotels
- Push notifications for routes or dates
- Easily monitor and navigate on app
- Price freeze with non-refundable deposit
- Hard-to-reach customer service
- Not available on desktop
- Fare offered not always the lowest
- No actual cash refunds
General FAQs About Hopper
How Does Hopper’s Price Drop Guarantee Work?
Hopper's Price Drop Guarantee is a feature that allows users to get a refund of the difference if the price of their booked flight or hotel drops before their trip starts.
Once you've made a booking, Hopper monitors prices 24/7. If they find a lower price, they'll automatically refund the difference to your account.
How Accurate is the Hopper App?
Hopper claims that its pricing is 90% accurate.
That being said, Hopper's accuracy largely depends on its complex predictive algorithms which analyze large amounts of data to forecast flight and hotel prices.
While it generally does a good job, predicting price trends in the travel industry isn't always foolproof. Reviews have been largely positive, with users finding the app helpful in planning and saving money on their trips.
What is Hopper Carrot Cash?
Carrot Cash is Hopper's loyalty program. Users can earn Carrot Cash through various activities like inviting friends to use the app or participating in certain promotions.
Carrot Cash can be used towards future bookings made within the Hopper app.
How Do You Call Hopper Customer Service?
Hopper primarily offer customer service through in-app messaging and via email. They didn't provide a direct customer service phone line.
How Do You Get a Refund From Hopper?
Refund policies on Hopper depend on the rules of the airline or hotel you've booked with. If eligible for a refund, you can request it directly through the app.
In the case of cancellations due to extraordinary circumstances, Hopper will work with the provider to try and get you a refund or credit.
What Are Hopper Alternatives?
These services also offer flight tracking and price prediction tools. The best choice depends on your specific needs and preferences.
Does the Hopper App Support Multiple Currencies?
Yes, the Hopper app does support multiple currencies. You can change your currency preference in the app's settings.
This allows for a more personalized and convenient experience for users around the globe.
Pair Cheap Flights & Planning With Pilot!
Hopper is a useful app to research flight fares and nightly hotel rates.
Based on reviews and user experience though, it is best to use it purely as research, and to then go book directly with providers. Sometimes booking with third-party vendors can be a risk, and Hopper is no exception.
Whether you decide to use Hopper for your next trip or not, you should definitely think about using a trip planner. Why not try Pilot?