Fresh off its $16 million funding round from earlier this spring, popular airfare prediction app Hopper is moving beyond simply helping travelers figure out when to fly in order to snag the best deal. With the launch of Hopper 3.0, out this morning, the app will now also make personalized recommendations regarding how to adjust your trip plans to save more money, as well as point users to other travel deals.
Although there’s certainly no shortage of travel applications on the market today, Hopper has become – at least for me, personally – one of the most useful tools for trip planning.
The service tracks airlines’ ever-changing ticket prices in order to present information in an easy-to-read format, telling you when it’s the best time to snag a ticket without overpaying. Its system’s price predictions are up to 95 percent accurate, the company claims.
In the app, you can set up watch lists for your preferred destinations, view color-coded calendars that show you the more and less expensive dates to travel, and receive notifications when it’s time to buy. Hopper makes money when users book through the app, thanks to compensation from airlines and a $5 convenience fee charged to consumers.
The company is currently monitoring over 2 billion flight prices per day and sending out 12 million notifications to users per month. Its over 6 million users (half of which are active monthly) have set up over 9 million trip watches and are adding over 2 million new trip watches per month.
With Hopper 3.0, the app will begin tapping into that data even further to customize the experience to the individual user.
A new notification feed will offer updates about your currently watched trips so you can see, with a glance, the changes to the ticket prices in one location.
But the best new feature is that the app now suggests how to adjust your dates to save money. Before, Hopper was only looking at your dates and telling you when to book, while also giving you tools to get an idea about when airfares are higher. With this release, however, it’s functioning more like a travel agent by suggesting how to configure your trip to save more money.
The company knew there was demand for this sort of functionality because over half its users were watching the same destination but with different date combinations.
In addition, the app can suggest if a similar destination is on sale – giving you the option to fly into a different airport, for example, for a better deal.
Finally, the feed will also help point you to travel deals and sales from your home airport. You can tap these deals to be presented with a calendar view that shows the valid deal dates in green.
Since its launch in 2015, Hopper has been downloaded 6 million times – up from 3 million this March. And it has become the #2 flight application on iOS according to App Annie, which puts it ahead of top travel apps like Expedia, Booking.com, Kayak, Skyscanner and others.
Going forward, Hopper plans to become even more of a mobile travel agent, as it focuses its attention on pointing users to different fare types (ultra-low cost vs regular tickets, e.g.), helping users minimize layovers or other hassles, and better manage their international travel plans, among other things.
The updated version of Hopper is live now on iTunes App Store, with the Android release to follow.