Two views of Hopper’s new Price Freeze feature, a step in the search process (left), and a list of active freezes (right).
After a year of blocking and limited travel, Americans want flexibility and freedom in planning trips.
They became accustomed to this during the coronavirus pandemic as travelers sought to adapt to both market and medical conditions by introducing new health and safety protocols in the spring and summer of last year, as well as book cancellation and cancellation rules.
Most of the changes should stay here.
“Airlines and hotels, so many, are still offering convenient booking options,” said Mike Rubinstein, travel consultant, owner and director of UprouteMe in Los Angeles. “And while airline tickets are as insanely cheap as they were a few months ago, there are still some great airline tickets out there – and great prices for hotels, too.”
To help travelers keep up with the prices of these great hotels, Hopper Travel app launched a new “Freeze for Hotels” feature on Wednesday to take advantage of this zeitgeist. The feature allows users to block the best price at a particular hotel for up to 60 days.
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If the night rate rises during the freezing window, the Hopper will cover up to $ 100 of the total cost of living to help keep the rate lower. If prices fall, users will pay a new lowest rate.
“Hotels don’t actually take the risk; Hopper takes the risk,” said Anwesha Bhattacharjee, head of the Hopper Hotel fintech. “When you go to Hopper, we guarantee you a reasonable price.”
Users determine the deposit determined by the algorithm by the duration of the trip and the factors that change prices in a particular market, Bhattacharji said.
When they are ready to book their rooms at a frozen price, their deposit is taken into account in the booking price. (The actual room will not be retained until they do this, even if they freeze the price.) If they want to change hotels, the freezing and deposit can be transferred to a new item.
Hopper estimates that Price Freeze users save an average of $ 17 per night and $ 43 per accommodation when booking for two to three nights as usual. “But we’ve seen buyers save $ 100 or more in the’ 80s, ”he said.
According to Hopper, based in Boston and Montreal, accommodation rates appear to be on the rise, which has seen a 130 percent jump in hotel searches since the beginning of 2021 and an increase of 7 percent per week.
Hopper noted that due to declining demand for seasonal and domestic travel, night rates could rise by 17% by early July, averaging $ 165 nationwide. “Users always save money by using Price Freeze,” Bhattacharji said.
Online ticket prices have been available for several years.
“As we entered the pandemic, we realized that many of our customers were very worried because they would not take the trip because they don’t know which places will be closed or reopened or what the quarantine rules will be,” Bhattacharji said.
“A 14- or 21-day freeze wasn’t what they were looking for, so we started offering prices with a longer freezing period,” he added. “We knew our customers felt like they wanted to travel, but they still couldn’t make their decisions and it would take some more time.”
Freezing the price is especially beneficial for large groups and families planning to travel together if a few OKs are required on rates before going to the hotel, Bhattacharji said.
“That need won’t go away,” he said, “a pandemic or no pandemic,” he said. “Many of our customers also like the payment delay option,” which is an added advantage of the price freeze function.
Hopper said it is the largest tourism program in North America, with more than 50 million downloads and $ 1.2 billion in travel and travel through the selection of 2 million hotels, 300 airlines and car rental partners last year. products sold.
Hopper is the next evolving feature that allows users to choose the bed configuration they want (e.g., double, queen, king) at freezing speed, Bhattacharji said. Price freeze for hotels is available in iOS and Android versions of Hopper and wherever the app works.