Hopper’s New Feature Can Save Travelers Hundreds of Dollars

May 2, 2018

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Hopper, the app that helps travelers find the best pricing for flights by predicting price changes, just got a new feature called “Secret Fares” where the app updates users via push notification if prices for selected flights drop.

Here’s how it works: Hopper partnered with several airlines — Air Canada, LATAM, Turkish, WestJet, Copa and Air China — and the airlines offer discounts exclusively to Hopper. If a flight you’re tracking has a secret fare associated with it, Hopper will send you a push notification to alert you of the price drop. 

Hopper’s goal is to take the stress out of planning travel by saving users time and money. The app wants to change the way people search for flights by making flight-planning a “mobile conversation.” Everything for booking travel plans can be done in the app — from purchasing to planning. The new Secret Fares feature opens up an arena of cheaper flights that can only be found on Hopper. 

Right now, Hopper only partners with five airlines so the Secret Fares are only available on those flights. TPG reached out to a representative for Hopper, and they said that there will be domestic airlines joining the Secret Fares program — “we are very far along in our discussions with one of the big three,” said the representative, who added that Hopper can’t disclose which airline yet because a contract has not been officially signed. 

Because Secret Fares are only available on certain flights right now, not every flight route will be available for Secret Fares. And there’s no timeline for when/if a Secret Fare will be applied if it’s available because these are “dynamic discounts” — meaning, it’s a percentage off the published price of a flight. For example, if Air Canada has a flight from New York City to Sydney for $1,000 online, and the airline is offering Hopper a 25% discount for the Secret Fares program, then the price on Hopper will be reflected as $750. If Air Canada were to double the online fee to $2,000, then the price on Hopper would be $1500. The 25% discount on this flight will never go away, so it will always be the cheapest flight available for that route. 

“If an airline offers these kinds of discounts online, it typically results in a fare war because it’s easy for competitors to spot the discount and price match,” Dakota Smith, Hopper’s head of growth, said in a press release. “By offering Secret Fares on Hopper, airlines are able to reach a valuable audience via a private communication channel and secure bookings months ahead of departure.”

So, Hopper users will be alerted to Secret Fares and could save hundreds of dollars. Secret Fares is now available on the Hopper app and is currently available on more than 60,000 routes. The app is free to download on iOS and Android. 

Photo by Rob Hampson via Unsplash

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