Travelling is stressful enough without the added pain of wondering if you’ll be able to afford this month’s rent if you book a direct flight to your destination. Air travel can be remarkably expensive, to the point where there are hundreds of websites dedicated to finding you the best price for a plane ticket. Most of them operate in much the same way, by scouring airlines’ websites and searching for the best prices on flights that meet your search criteria.
But now there’s a brand new iPhone app that takes a very different approach to finding you cheap flights: It predicts the future.
Instead of giving you the best currently available options for booking your flight, a new app called Hopper uses historical data to try to tell you when you should book your flight.
As we have likely all become painfully aware of at one point or another, airlines constantly change the costs of their flights from one day to the next. By simply waiting a few days or weeks, you may be able to save a ton of money on your flight.
“Hopper predicts future prices by analyzing historical price data and advance purchase curves for similar trips,” Hopper’s Brianna Schneider wrote in a post on the company’s blog. “Hopper’s Price Prediction will advise you whether to book now or wait for a better price. It also provides a timeline of exactly how we expect prices to trend.”
The post continues, “About a third of the time the current price is the best it’s going to get, and the app will advise you to book now; more often—two-thirds of the time—the price for your trip will be lower at some point in the future. In 95% of cases, following the advice from the Price Prediction will get you a cheaper flight or at least the same price as found in your initial search.”
The Hopper app is a free download in Apple’s iOS App Store.