KAYAK Vs. Hopper: How Do These Travel Sites Compare For Booking Flights And Hotels?

When it comes time to book that vacation getaway or business trip, KAYAK and Hopper are two popular platforms that offer discounted airfare and hotel rates. But how exactly do these travel booking sites stack up against one another?

We’ll compare the features, search capabilities, price accuracy, travel perks, and overall user experience offered by KAYAK and Hopper. Read on for a detailed comparison to see which booking service best fits your travel needs.

A Brief Comparison Table

BackgroundTravel metasearch siteAI-based prediction app
Search CapabilitiesAdvanced filters and comparisonsAI-optimized recommendations
Pricing ApproachAggregates realtime faresUses algorithms to predict best deals
PerksPrice alerts, travel deals, flexibilityPrice freeze, predictions, free cancellation
Options Beyond Flights & HotelsCars, activities, parkingExpanding to more ground transportation
Mobile ExperienceBroad search and bookingStreamlined predictions for airfare and hotels

Company Backgrounds

First, a quick overview of KAYAK and Hopper’s histories and company info:

KAYAK Background


KAYAK was founded in 2004 as an online meta search engine combining results from other travel sites and airlines. It allowed users to easily compare flight options in one place. KAYAK offered online bookings starting in 2009.

The platform was acquired by Booking Holdings in 2013 but still operates independently. KAYAK pulls flight and hotel data from hundreds of travel partners to give comprehensive search results.

Hopper Background

Hopper has a more tech-focused backstory as an AI-driven prediction app launched in 2015. Users could watch flight prices and get alerts on the best time to book trips based on predictive algorithms.

Hopper integrated booking capabilities in 2018 to keep users inside the app. The company uses machine learning technology to analyze billions of travel data points and provide data-driven recommendations.

Also Read: Comparison Between Outside Agents And KHM Travel Group.

Key Differences Between KAYAK And Hopper

So while both now offer booking, KAYAK comes from a travel search background while Hopper is centered on AI and predictive algorithms. Let’s compare them briefly:

  • Search Functionality

Ease of searching for flights, hotels, and other trip needs is crucial to any travel site. How do KAYAK and Hopper compare on search features?

KAYAK Search

The KAYAK homepage makes it simple to search one-way or roundtrip flights by inputting your destination and travel dates. Preferences like cabin class, number of stops, and airlines can filter down results.

Flexible date options show alternative nearby travel days that may offer savings. KAYAK matrices let you quickly compare days/times side-by-side before booking.

Hopper Search

Hopper’s search is similarly straightforward – choose your departure airport, destination, dates, passengers, and preferred cabin class. You can organize results by departure time, duration, airline, number of stops, or price.

The Price Prediction calendar shows the best times to fly for lowest fares based on historical data. Recommendations help optimize savings opportunities.


  1. Both have simple search flows for dates, routes, and passenger needs.
  2. KAYAK offers more advanced filters and comparison views.
  3. Hopper uses predictive data to recommend best booking options.

KAYAK gives more robust filtering and comparison power during initial search. But Hopper’s predictive algorithms simplify analysis to find savings.

  • Pricing and Deals

Savings potential is a major point of comparison between booking services. How do prices and deals compare?

KAYAK Pricing

KAYAK searches aggregate flights across airlines, online travel agencies, and airline websites to display the cheapest available fares. Their Price Forecast graphs show if prices are rising or falling.


Flexibility tools let you broaden searches across different days, airports, and flight connections to unlock lower pricing. KAYAK also highlights any current sales and promotions offered by airlines or travel partners.

Hopper Pricing

Rather than aggregating current prices, Hopper looks at historical trends to predict future price drops and alert you to book at the optimal time. This takes the guesswork out of knowing when “deals” are truly deals.

The app tracks billions of flights to forecast shifts in pricing up to one year in advance with about 95% accuracy. Hopper claims users save an average of $50 per flight booking.


  1. KAYAK displays realtime pricing aggregated across sources.
  2. Hopper uses historical data to predict best future price drops.

KAYAK gives you current rate transparency across different providers. Hopper leverages AI and patterns to estimate ideal future savings opportunities.

  • Perks and User Experience

Booking platforms aim to make travel not just affordable, but also easier and more rewarding. What perks and features do KAYAK and Hopper offer?


  1. Price alerts notify you when rates change on monitored flights and hotels.
  2. Price forecasts show historical trends to predict if prices will rise or fall.
  3. Travel deals and guides provide insider tips on destinations.
  4. Simple filters and comparison matrices make analyzing options easy.

Hopper Perks

  1. Price freeze holds a selected fare for up to a week while you finalize plans.
  2. Price prediction algorithms determine the best time to book for your route.
  3. Free cancellation on most hotels allows flexibility if plans change.
  4. Conversational chatbot interface makes searching, booking, and managing trips simple.


  1. KAYAK simplifies comparison shopping across providers.
  2. Hopper uses predictive data and AI to optimize timing and rates.

KAYAK excels at traditional search and transparent comparison. Hopper’s algorithms provide tailored recommendations to time bookings right for maximum deals.

Also Watch This Review Video:

  • Additional Options

Good travel sites offer more than just flights and hotels. What other booking options are available?

KAYAK Options

Beyond flights and hotels, KAYAK also lets users easily search, compare, and book:

  1. Rental cars from leading providers like Hertz and Avis
  2. Airport parking deals
  3. Vacation packages and activities

So KAYAK acts as a one-stop shop for all major travel needs tied to a specific trip.

Hopper Options

While more limited than KAYAK, Hopper does offer additional features beyond airfare and hotels:

  1. Price prediction and tracking for rideshares like taxis and Uber
  2. Car rental search powered by Rentalcars.com
  3. Trip reservations at restaurants and local attractions

So Hopper aims to expand capabilities while still staying focused on core flight and hotel booking coupled with predictive algorithms.


  1. KAYAK offers a wider range of bookable trip components like cars, parking, and activities.
  2. Hopper sticks to core booking but is expanding to cover more ground transportation and local attractions.

KAYAK is a more comprehensive one-stop travel shop. But Hopper is beefing up features beyond just flights and hotels.

  • Mobile Apps

Ease of use on the go via mobile is now a must for travel platforms. How do the KAYAK and Hopper apps stack up?


KAYAK offers dedicated apps for iOS and Android with full functionality mirroring the desktop experience:

  1. Mobile search, filters, and booking for flights, hotels, cars, etc
  2. Price alerts, tracking, and predictions
  3. Itineraries, travel documents, and organization tools
  4. Multi-language and currency support

Hopper App

The Hopper app focuses exclusively on flights and hotels with predictive algorithms optimized for mobile:

  1. Mobile-first interfaces for easy flight and hotel booking
  2. Predictive price calendars and freeze options
  3. Tracking trips and sharing etineraries
  4. Chatbot for seamless search conversations


  1. KAYAK provides broader search and booking options on mobile.
  2. Hopper streamlines predictive pricing tools for airfare and hotels on mobile.

For wider trip planning uses, KAYAK excels on mobile. But Hopper’s flight and hotel predictions are optimized for mobile ease of use.

Also Read: Comparison Between Travelocity And Priceline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Hopper safe to use for travel?

Yes, Hopper is very safe to use for booking flights and hotels. They partner with leading airlines and hotels to provide realtime pricing and availability within their app and ensure all bookings are done through trusted providers. User personal data and payment info is protected and encrypted.

Is Kayak the same as booking directly?

No, KAYAK is an online travel agency (OTA) that aggregates options and fares across airline, hotel, and other travel sites. So booking through KAYAK is not the same as booking directly with an airline or hotel site. But KAYAK partners directly with providers to book travel and packages once you’ve compared options.

How accurate is Hopper’s predictions?

Hopper claims about 95% accuracy for its price predictions based on tracking billions of historical flight and hotel prices. Variables can affect accuracy, but Hopper is constantly updating its algorithms. For most standard routes and dates, Hopper’s technology accurately forecasts optimal booking times and future price drops.

Is Kayak reliable for hotels?

Yes, KAYAK is very reliable for comparing hotel rates and booking hotel rooms. They pull realtime rates from major OTA sites, hotel chains, and independent properties. User reviews help validate quality. KAYAK also offers flexible cancellation and modification policies for most hotel bookings.

The Verdict

So which booking platform comes out on top – KAYAK or Hopper?

For the widest range of trip planning and booking options, KAYAK is the better one-stop travel shop. But Hopper dominates when it comes to leveraging price prediction algorithms to pinpoint the optimal times to book flights and hotels for maximum savings.

If you value expansive search capabilities and choices, go with KAYAK. But if you want an AI assistant to track and forecast airfare and hotel deals, choose Hopper. Depending on travel style and needs, either platform can provide huge value for trip planning and booking.

The bottom line – KAYAK simplifies casting a wide net, while Hopper leverages technology to find savings. With smart use, both sites can lead to major travel savings and an awesome trip.

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