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Flights Booked, Thank You Hopper!

Since the previous post about using the Hopper app to track down the best hotel rates, I've been getting periodic notifications from the app that better rates were on the horizon. Prices rose to $1200 for flights from Los Angeles to Hong Kong on two sets of dates I had been eyeballing.

Hopper sent me a notification that cheaper flights could be found if I changed my departure date as well as switched destination airport from Hong Kong (HKG) to Macau (MFM). Flying directly in to Macau means the last leg - taking a ferry from HK to Macau - can be eliminated. Hooray! For whatever reason, I didn't accept Hopper's suggestions and kept my flight watch details intact. Hopper told me to keep waiting for a better deal.

Hopper Suggestions

On January 2nd, Hopper notified me that it had found a "good price" for the LAX->HKG and that I should "book now."

Hopper Result

Woowoo! I immediately roped in the boss (my wife, who told me to use Hopper to begin with) and showed her the notification. We talked about it for a bit and opted to wait a day or so before pulling the trigger.

Lo and behold, Hopper's "you will likely pay more if you wait" prediction proved to be true. Prices for the LAX->HKG flight went up two hours later. Damnit!

Hopper 1000

Fiddling with the app, it showed me again that better deals could be had if I changed destination airport to MFM and departed one day earlier than the original plan. Using the new criteria, Hopper found fares at $866 plus the bonus time and cash savings gained when bypassing the HK to Macau ferry.

After roping in the boss and doing some comparison shopping for the same flight, I pulled the trigger and booked the flight directly through the Hopper app.

Hopper Packbags

For all this big data crunching and prediction intelligence, Hopper charges a commission of $5 on every transaction you book through them. Using the app has been a complete joy, $5 is peanuts to pay for the service they provide. Hopper is available for iOS and Android.

So the dates have been set and flight has been booked... Viva Macau June 20-29, 2016!

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Comments & Discussion:

I'm gonna check out Hopper, but I do wonder if it really did get you the best deal given that oil prices had tumbled even further down since the beginning of the new year from their already historically low levels. I've been tracking flights from Chicago to Macau or HK using other apps (e.g., airfare watchdog) for a while now, and saw them dip another $100 or so over the past month. Not that such changes would apply in perfect sync necessarily for LA to Macau/HK flights. Anyways, I wish I could see the Wynn Palace opening too, but I am delaying going until late 2017 or early 2018, after the last big project on Cotai, Lisboa Palace, is up. I will have to vicariously enjoy Macau through your pictures and words until then. (Man, the hotel rates now look so tempting, though!)

Funny you should ask that. I've continued to keep Hopper searching for rates for various date and arrival airport configurations and as yet it has yeilded only one fare that was lower than the LAX->MFM rate.... into HKG. The rate was beat by $10... about 1/4 of what a hydrofoil to and from Hong Kong will cost. So to answer... Hopper hasn't beat itself yet. It did predict in one of these continued searches that flights could beat the price i booked in the future. Fascinating stuff.

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