Let’s face it, buying a plane ticket is a terrible experience. The price that you get today in your searches is not the same as the one you will see tomorrow. You never know if you are getting a good deal or if waiting would be better for your wallet. What if waiting backfires and you end up paying more than you should?
While the absurd state of plane ticketing is a topic for another article, it is time to highlight Hopper, one of the most useful services in the Play Store. Search for a flight, mark it as watched, and let Hopper do its magic.
Developer: Hopper Inc.
When launching the app, Hopper shows a small onboarding screen with information about what it does. The premise of Hopper is really simple: search for a flight, watch it, and Hopper will check for the best deals on the internet. The app claims to watch “billions of flight prices a day” in order to give you the best deals and to predict if prices are going to increase or go down.
The app consists of four different tabs: Watch, Notifications, Search, and Trips. The Watch tab is where all of your watched flights will appear. They will also have a label recommending you to either wait for a better price or to buy a ticket now. The Notifications tab shows all of the information that Hopper has gathered about your flights. The service relies heavily on push notifications, but you can also see here how your flights are doing in case you want to remember previous notifications you received.
The Search tab is the most important in the application since this is where Hopper’s service truly shines. The application asks you for your origin and your destination. Fancy a romatic trip to Paris with your significant other? How about to a getaway to the always-warm Canary Islands? What about New York, home of the most convoluted subway service I have ever seen? The world is at your fingertips.
Hopper then shows what is, in my opinion, the most useful screen in any flight-related service. A color-coded calendar will be shown to you, displaying shades of red for days that are in high demand (thus commanding higher prices) and greenish colors for days that are more wallet-friendly. This screen is incredibly useful in a plethora of situations, primarily if you have flexible dates for your flight and are looking for the lowest prices.
This screen also displays a couple of useful options. You can decide if you want to search for round trip tickets or one way only. Also, you can choose if you want tickets with basic fares (which normally strip you from benefits such as checked baggage, food, or seat selection), and the number of layovers.
Afterward, the app will show the current lowest price, along with a prediction about how the prices will vary in the following days. Since Hopper has been doing this for years, it has a sizeable amount of historic data, which allows it to do a decent prediction about the fluctuation of prices in the following weeks.
In case you decide to buy a ticket now, the application shows a trip summary along useful information, such as cancellation terms, changes fees, and baggage allowance. You can buy a ticket from the app, but you need to create an account in order to do that. This isn’t a problem at all right? Wrong.
To create an account, Hopper asks for your phone number. There is no way of creating an account with your email, for example. Since Hopper earns money by selling the tickets themselves, one would think that they would make it easier for you to spend money on the app. However, giving away your phone number is a huge turnoff that limits the number of people that is willing to create an account.
The final tab is called Trips. Here, you will be able to see the trips that you have bought from the application itself. I haven’t been able to see this screen in action. This is a combination of me refusing to create an account with my phone number, and me being too poor for plane tickets. Sad times.
Our phones are full of useful services that make us more productive and allow us to accomplish more. However, when the time comes to take a well-deserved rest, Hopper is there to alleviate the pains of looking for a plane ticket. Just mark a flight as watched and Hopper will shoot reliable and trustworthy notifications every once in a while.
I have used this service for years, and I can attest to the usefulness of it, having scored decent deals thanks to its constant scanning of ticket prices. Aside from the fact that creating an account inexplicably asks you for your phone number, with no other options, Hopper is one of the most reliable services in the Play Store. Let Hopper show you the world.