Hopper Price Tracker

Our Price Tracker monitors U.S. prices for domestic and international airfare as well as national prices for hotels and rental cars.

Adit Damodaran - Jan. 9, 2022

U.S. Domestic Airfare

For our national average, we weight domestic airfare by the number of searches along that specific route. This makes our national average a good representation of the airfare most U.S. travellers will encounter on their next trip. Although both departure date and search date affect airfare, we calculate our average at the time of the search (in other words, this can be interpreted as a general "When to Buy" recommendation since these are average prices encountered at the time of booking). This means that airfare may appear higher in the weeks leading up to a holiday than on the holiday itself.

The table below summarizes the above chart's time series into Month-over-Month (MoM), Year-over-Year (YoY), and Year-over-2-Year (Yo2Y) changes. Since data for the most recent month updates daily, the last row's statistics are not yet finalized.

U.S. International Airfare

For our international average, similar to domestic airfare, we weight by the number of searches along that specific route across all regions from the U.S.

This makes our national average a good representation of the airfare most U.S. travellers will encounter on their next trip. Although both departure date and search date affect airfare, we calculate our average at the time of the search (in other words, this can be interpreted as a general "When to Buy" recommendation since these are average prices encountered at the time of booking). This means that airfare may appear higher in the weeks leading up to a holiday than on the holiday itself.

The table below summarizes the above chart's time series into Month-over-Month (MoM), Year-over-Year (YoY), and Year-over-2-Year (Yo2Y) changes. Since data for the most recent month updates daily, the last row's statistics are not yet finalized.

Historic Inbound to U.S. International Airfare

Inbound international airfare is the average price of an international flight ticket to the U.S. from other countries. The United States announced on September 20th, 2021 that it will begin allowing vaccinated foreign visitors starting in November, specifically opening November 8th.

The table below summarizes the above chart's time series into Month-over-Month (MoM), Year-over-Year (YoY), and Year-over-2-Year (Yo2Y) changes. Since data for the most recent month updates daily, the last row's statistics are not yet finalized.

Searches for Flights

Hopper collects, from several Global Distribution System partners, 25 to 30 billion airfare price quotes every day from searches happening all across the web. Because of the size of this data, we use a sample of searches to analyze search demand. This sample can tell us whether search demand for flights is increasing or decreasing relative to the same year, but a consequence of using a sample is that we cannot compare the number of searches between years. Hence we normalize searches below to focus on their trend. The proportion of domestic to international searches is preserved (for example: if international searches is 1 and domestic searches is 2 on a given day, then 66% of searches are domestic).

U.S. National Hotel Prices (Weekly)

Similar to our airfare indices, we also monitor hotel prices. The chart below shows hotel prices over time, aggregated at the weekly level. We do it this way to smoothen over the weekly trend, since hotels tend to be more expensive on weekends. We began tracking hotel prices consistently in late 2019, and hence only have complete annual data for 2020 onwards. This index is derived from nightly base rates (before taxes and other fees) that users would see in the Hopper app. Similar to airfare, this index is weighted by the number of searches for that particular hotel.

U.S. National Rental Car Prices (Daily)

We began tracking car prices consistently in 2021, and hence only have complete annual data for 2021 onwards. This index is derived from booked rental car rates (before taxes and other fees) that users would see in the Hopper app. Similar to airfare and hotels, this index is weighted by the number of bookings. The index below is filtered for major national rental car suppliers only, to best represent prices travellers should expect at the largest national suppliers. We also filter for rental car bookings that are at least one day in duration (thus excluding same-day pickups and dropoffs).

FAQ

  • Q: How often is this data updated? A: Values that can change significantly day-to-day, such as airfare or searches, are updated daily. Values that are more steady over time (such as nightly hotel rates), are updated weekly.

  • Q: Why isn't the data for yesterday showing up? A: Occasionally we encounter errors in our data pipeline that results in delays for some charts. This is usually resolved within a few days.

  • Q: How do I calculate the % Change in a value (like airfare or searches) since a given date? A: Take the current value and divide it by the previous value. Then subtract 1. For example, if airfare is currently $250, and it used to be $300, then the % change is (250/350) - 1, or -17%. For Month-over-Month or Week-over-Week calculations, we recommend using the weekly average instead of a specific day's airfare.

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