The Friendly Skies

We’ll Always Have Paris—Thanks to This App

How one phone application convinced a couple to fly to Paris for the weekend…six days before takeoff…for dirt cheap.

By Jeanne Lyons Davis June 13, 2016

Shutterstock 238825138 sne6rh

The 5th arrondissement awaits...

Sometimes, your phone isn’t trying to kill you. 

That’s what I thought as I checked my email in bed one Friday morning and received an alert notifying me that tickets to Paris were $600 bucks (Mon Dieu!)… for that upcoming Thursday (Sacre bleu!).

After a little convincing (read: coercing), my husband and I booked our flights. We took Friday and Monday off from work, packed a carry-on suitcase and booked the most charming AirBnB in the Fifth Arrondissement that boasted balcony views of the Notre Dame and La Sorbonne. (We were willing to look past the six floor walk-up.) Since we'd both traveled to Paris before, we were able to skip the obligatory Mona Lisa selfie and Eiffel Tower elevator lines (thank God). It was a perfectly-timed getaway that included aimless strolls through the Tuileries and Luxembourg Gardens, hot chocolates at Angelina and enjoying a handful of bottles glasses of Rosé at neighborhood cafés. We cut our Monday morning flight home close, but that’s a story for another day. In short: the weekend was très bien.

So what’s this game-changing travel app?

Hopper bjlpye

Houstonians, meet Hopper, a phone application that alerts you when is the best time to book flights. Simply tap the dates you’re considering on the color coded map—green are the best deals that you should book soon, red are the worst and you should wait—then Hopper sends you alerts about flight prices, telling you to wait or buy. But heads up to Southwest frequent flyers—much like Kayak and other flight search engines, Hopper does not consider Southwest flights in its algorithm. 

For all the parents reading this and thinking “must be nice, but that could never work with kids in the equation”—this app is for you and your roost, too. It works great for long-term, pie-in-the-sky trips that don’t need to be booked for several months. Pondering a trip to Orlando next Easter? Plug in dates and Hopper will send alerts over that time span, advising you when it’s time to pull the trigger and book. 

I was alerted this morning that flights to Barcelona for Thanksgiving are $900. Unrelated, I just texted my husband that the Spanish word for turkey is turquía. Unlike Hopper, he hasn’t responded with a notification. Yet.

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