Have you ever booked a hotel with high hopes, only to have them crushed on arrival? Popular travel app, Hopper, announced last week that they have added new products to their service, including a Leave For Any Reason option. The new option allows travelers to cancel their hotel booking for any reason at or after the check-in process. Travelers will then be able to secure a booking with a new hotel with all associated costs paid for by Hopper, provided the new hotel has the same star rating as the original.
As the past few years have shown, nothing is certain. The added flexibility of being able to change travel plans has proven to be a valuable option. Hopper has taken notice and has added more services than just the new Leave for Any Reason option. A service previously only available for flight bookings, Cancel for Any Reason, has been added as an option when booking hotel rooms. This offers flexibility, though not as much as the Leave for Any Reason option. Cancel for Any Reason allows travelers to cancel their booking anytime before check-in for a 100% refund.
Hopper has also added a product for rental cars that was previously only available on flights and hotel bookings, Price Freeze for Cars. This option allows travelers to lock in a car rental price for 21 days, giving travelers more time to decide. Hopper will pay up to $100 towards the new rate if the price goes up. Conversely, travelers will be able to pay at a lower rate if the price goes down. As car rental prices continue to climb, this could be an option that more travelers take advantage of this year.
For many travelers, flexibility is king. The new offerings from Hopper fit the bill for those that require more wiggle room in their travel plans. Perhaps the most interesting new option, and certainly the one that offers the most flexibility, is the Leave For Any Reason option. In order for the option to be viable for Hopper, it has to be priced low enough that travelers will purchase it and high enough to cover the costs of the travelers that end up using it. To get an idea of what kind of fees travelers can expect, a sample booking was completed at the Rio All-Suite Hotel in Las Vegas for July 4th through the 8th.
All selections were made with the flexible traveler in mind, including the option to pay later. Trip insurance, Cancel For Any Reason, and Leave For Any Reason were all selected as options for the booking. With a room rate of $33 per night, the Cancel For Any Reason fee was $60, the Leave For Any Reason fee was an additional $36, and the trip insurance was $16.50.
In total, the additional fees for maximum flexibility added $112.50 to the booking. This brought the price of the entire booking to $442.21. This may seem a steep price to pay when expecting a trip to go according to plan, but many travelers are happy to pay the extra cost for peace of mind.
With the Leave For Any Reason option, Hopper means it. Reasons as small as wishing the room had a better view and noticing that the room isn’t clean enough were cited by Hopper as acceptable uses of the new option. Time will tell if they stick to this promise, but for now, it seems like a highly flexible cancellation service that truly does cover any reason.
With more and more countries opening up and dropping Covid-era rules, including the United States, travel plans are less likely to be affected by Covid. However, travel disruptions from staffing shortages and increased travel demand are factors that can still affect upcoming travel. Those who are worried about disruptions when making a booking may find that Hopper’s new products are worth the extra cost.
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