Travel app Hopper, which tells you when to book your flight to maximise savings, has rolled out a new feature to help you avoid getting smacked with hidden fees.
The basic premise of Hopper is that you set up what days you want to fly, and then Hopper sends you push notifications telling you how prices are changing, and recommending when you should buy. Then you can buy your flight directly in the app.
It’s been my go-to travel app for over a year, and I recently used it to book a one-way flight from San Francisco to New York for only $US131.60 — cheap!
But my main gripe with Hopper has been that it’s not always clear which tickets are going to have potential fees associated with them. Now Hopper is trying to change that with a new feature, which will give you “an overview of all the restrictions and fees related to cancellations, changes, carry-on baggage, checked baggage, and seat selection.”
And as airlines continue to cut the base fares on flights by adding in sneaky fees, this will likely become more useful over time.
In conjunction with the new feature, Hopper also released a new report on the state of fees in the airline industry. Here’s a few of the things Hopper found:
- Big re-booking fees. “Cancellations are almost never allowed (99%) for domestic trips, but tickets can almost always (98.8%) be changed for a fee, which will cost you $US287 on average.”
- You’ll pay extra for bags. “Bags are no longer included and it will cost an average of $US25 to bring one piece of luggage, or $US59 for two pieces. As more airlines roll out basic fares, you’ll be expected to pay for your carry-on too. Frontier and Spirit both charge an average of $US35 for carry-ons.”
- International is a bit less crazy. “About two-thirds of international flights included at least one free bag, so that a trip with one piece of luggage adds only $US9 with two pieces coming it at $US55.”
- But still. “About 10% of [international] itineraries offering cancellation for a fee which will cost you about $US300. And, almost all (97.5%) international itineraries offer changes for about $US250.”