Shopping for the cheapest flights has never been easy. Even travel experts will admit that it’s something of a “dark art” that few people truly understand. Buy too far in advance or too last-minute and, either way, you’ll pay a premium. Thanks to a clever new tool, travelers can now lock in pricing for up to a week before pulling the trigger.
With Price Freeze from Hopper, travelers can shop airfare all they like. If they find a great deal, they can “freeze” the offer for up to seven days for a small deposit of between $1 to $40. The final cost depends on the length of the freeze, and the money will go toward that flight or any other flight booked through Hopper during the Price Freeze window. This means that, even if the price drops within the window, travelers can take advantage of the additional savings. Hopper confirms their average users save around $80 per flight with the tool, and some have saved as much as $200. Travelers who ultimately don’t book a trip during their window forfeit the deposit, however.
By U.S. law, air travelers have always been given a 24-hour window to consider or reconsider their flight purchase. According to Transportation.gov, U.S. and foreign air carriers are required “to hold a reservation at the quoted fare for 24 hours without payment or allow a reservation to be canceled within 24 hours without penalty.” Price Freeze adds incredible flexibility to the process by adding as much as six more days to that window, during which the customer won’t have to deal with the airline’s shenanigans if they ultimately need to take advantage of this rule. Anyone who’s ever tried to file a dispute or service complaint with an airline knows that it’s a special kind of hell — especially if there’s a refund involved.
Diligent budget travelers know that airfare can swing dramatically in just 48 hours. In fact, according to Hopper’s research, the price for domestic flights can change as many as 17 times in two days. International flights vary up to a dozen times over the same period. For the most popular routes (say London to New York City), the price can vary as many as 70 times in a 48-hour period.
Price Freeze is available on more than 90% of all Hopper flights. The tool is currently only on iOS, but the company expects Android support to follow within the next few months.
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