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The airfare app is adding personalized flight recommendations.

Jessica Plautz
July 21, 2016

There are plenty of flight deals out there—if you're looking in the right places and are quick to act.

But most people have these pesky things called jobs and families and responsiblities that make it difficult to spend hours monitoring airfares.

Airfare prediction app Hopper has already made progress on solving this for travelers, and on Thursday the company announced a new feature that will take their current service to a new level: personalized flight deal recommendations.

“Until now Hopper only alerts you for what you ask for,” Hopper's CEO and founder Frederic Lalonde told Travel + Leisure. “It does a very good job at that. We've had over 9 million trips watched.”

After choosing travel dates and a destination, travelers get alerts from Hopper when prices are likely at their lowest. The new features, however, will make informed suggestions about dates that travelers hadn't searched for, destinations similar to those they've booked or browsed, and alerts on airline flash sales.

Courtesy of Hopper

“We noticed something interesting when we started analyzing the data. A lot of people have flexibility for their dates and destinations,” said LaLonde. “For a different destination they'll set up all these different watches and dates.”

In fact, about half of Hopper's users set up alerts for different dates for the same trip, he said.

Instead of leaving it to users to keep putting in all the possible dates they'd be open to, Hopper's algorithms are getting smarter.

“We're inferring. When you set up more than one date to watch, we'll guess,” said LaLonde. “If the price drop is large enough, even if you haven't set up flexible dates, it'll suggest this to you.” And if you don't set up alternate dates, or don't respond to alerts about personalized deals, the app won't bug you.

Hopper could also suggest cheaper fares nearby airports, if users have been searching different destinations in a specific region.

“The approach we're taking is all about personalization. We don't want to inundate you with stuff you don't care about,” said LaLonde. “Your feed will look completely different than anybody else's, and the more you use Hopper the smarter it'll get.”

The personalized recommendations are rolling out to iOS first, and will be available on Android soon.

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