If you’re a frequent flyer, you can spend a lot of time on Hopper.com, the site offers, “insightful, data-driven research to help travelers make better decisions about what where to go and when to fly and buy.” Hopper.com uses data sets comprising “billions of flight prices” to help travelers find the best flights. You can plug in where you wish to go and a report will be created showing you what would be considered a good price ($1,074 or below from San Francisco to London, for example), when is the cheapest time to go (March) and what days are the cheapest to fly (Wednesday to a Wednesday) and other information about the flight possibilities. The Hopper Flight Explorer allows you to plug in your departure airport, possible destinations, and approximate or exact dates to find flights. You can also set up a flight alert.
Another offer from Hopper.com is the Airline Fee Calculator ( http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?11785 ) where you can input your origin and destination along with how many bags you wish to check, if you want a seat selection, extra room, cabin pet and more and be presented with a list of possible airlines and the total fees they would charge for what you selected. It’s also a quick way to see the cost of a ticket because the amounts displayed are the cost of the ticket plus the amount of fees. For example, a flight from SFO to JFK is $340 on JetBlue, $358 total when you check one bag, have a carry on and select your seat compared to American Airlines, where the cost of the flight is $400 but when you check one bag, carry on a bag and select your seat, the cost goes up to $550.
Not all airline fee information is available, but the following airline fees are: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Silver Airways, Island Air (WP), Great Lakes Airlines, Cape Air, Era Alaska, SeaPort Airlines, Seaborne Airlines, Air Choice One, Peninsula Airways, Bering Air and Kenmore Air.
Bottom line: You can also click through the site to book the flights you find. The site is a fun way to research when you’ll get the best deals. Although Hopper.com is an interesting tool, we suggest you look at it as a starting point for your own research–especially if you like to plan ahead and are flexible with your dates. The site debuted in 2007.