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Budget Travel

Hopper v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Flight Booking Website Comparison


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What is in this blog? Table of contents:

In the digital age of today, where everyone literally has countless options at their fingertips, the traditional dynamic of booking flights and holidays at your local travel agent has long gone.

Instead, it has been replaced, in the main, by online platforms equipped with advanced technology that offer everything the end user could want, from price predictions to seamless booking services.

Among these innovative platforms, Hopper and Skyscanner are two of the most prominent. In this article, we will be focusing on both Hopper and Skyscanner, but we will also be comparing them to ourselves!

This comparison aims to delve deep into the capabilities and benefits of each platform, with each offering the user an array of unique services and features than enable them to cater to the diverse needs and preferences of their audiences.

By exploring their different approaches to travel planning, this analysis will provide valuable insights, making it easier for users to navigate their options and make informed decisions that enhance their travel experiences.

What are Hopper, Skyscanner, and Moonsand?


Hopper Flight Comparison Website

After its launch in 2007, Hopper quickly rose to prominence as a premier flight comparison website with its ability to forecast the best times to purchase flights and hotel stays.

Their ability to do this came from their use of comprehensive data analytics, enabling them to save their users fairly substantial amounts of money (a win in everyone’s book!) through timely advice.

Perhaps most well recognised through their distinctive orange branding, their intuitive interface appeals to tech savvy audiences seeking intelligent travel booking solutions.

Hopper's user-friendly features not only help in making bookings cost-effective, but also in the efficient management of travel plans, ensuring they are a favourite among both budget conscious and travel savvy users.


Skyscanner Flight Cmparison Website

After exploding onto the scene in 2003, Skyscanner has stood tall in the flight comparison website sphere. Arguably the biggest name in the travel sphere, Skyscanner offers its users exhaustive travel options, comparing prices across flights, hotels, and car rentals.

Serving users around the globe with their powerful technology, Skyscanner sifts through mountains of data from thousands of travel providers to deliver a broad range of options to their audience.

This data allows users to make informed and unbiased decisions, simultaneously simplifying the booking process, getting users a good deal and providing flexibility.


Moonsand Flight Comparison Website

As a relative newcomer to the world of flight comparison websites, we’re not (yet) considered to be household name. However, we hope that that is all about to change.

Created by travel enthusiast, for travel enthusiasts, we endeavour to not only provide our users with the best deal possible on their travels, but also the best service possible.

Aiming to cater to all types of travellers, as a travel aggregator, we compare prices from major airlines and hotel sites to deliver excellent prices to our users. And, as we will come to a little later in this article, we not only match the biggest names in the industry when it comes to prices, we beat them!

Hopper v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Key Features Comparison

Search and Booking Capabilities

Leveraging advanced predictive analytics to inform their travellers of the opportune moment to purchase their flights and accommodations, it is easy to see why Hopper is a firm favourite.

They also have a unique, ‘Watch a Trip’ feature, that allows their users to closely monitor their chosen trip to keep an eye on price fluctuations. A particularly valuable feature for those planning their travel months ahead of time as it allows for cost-effective decision making at the perfect moments.

Hopper Flight Search and Booking App

Another booking capability of Hopper is the price freeze option. Hopper allows you to freeze flight prices for up to 21 days using their mobile app.

Hopper is also planting trees for flights booked on their platform. That's a great example of there commitment to sustainable travel.

Discover Hopper.

Skyscanner is perhaps best known for its pioneering "everywhere search," enabling travellers to input their departure airport, before being offered countless cheap flights to destinations around the globe.

Skyscanner Search Everywhere Feature

Our research indicates that this function is particularly appealing to travellers who have the ‘travel bug’, and perhaps aren’t fixated on a single destination, but would rather discover new destinations (on a budget, of course). By broadening the travel destination possibilities through the removal of the constraints of specific destinations, adventurous travellers can explore new corners of the globe while maintaining a budget.

Discover Skyscanner.

Here at Moonsand, we use hundreds of trusted and vetted flight and hotel providers to keep you safe. As a travel aggregator, we gather flight and hotel price data from our providers, collate that data and offer you the best price possible (which we’ll prove a little later on).

Designed by travellers, for travellers, our website is powered by your savings, meaning that when you save, we save. We’re here to stay, and we don’t think it will be long until we’re knocking boots with the big boys in the flight comparison website industry.

A key feature of our platform, the display of baggage cost. We know most flight aggregators and airlines only show the basic fare in their results. When searching for a flight on Moonsand we display the flight price both with, and without baggage options. Transparent ey?

Moonsand Flight Luggage Feature

Find cheap flights, compare cheap hotels & view latest deals ↓

Discover Moonsand.

Price Comparison and Deals

The key to the heart of a traveller, aside from sun, sea, snow, or sand, is the price of flights and hotels…

Hopper excels with its "Secret Fares," a feature that provides deals that are available exclusively on their platform. These are particularly important for travellers who are aiming to travel at peak times – school holidays being a prime example – when the prices typically see a steep upwards curve.

Access to these special rates means that Hopper’s users often experience significant savings, ideal for frequent travellers and/or families.

Meanwhile Skyscanner is fully committed to transparency, and runs on a no-commission model. By doing this they allow users to see, and pay, prices that are as close as possible to those which they would pay directly to the flight provider.

This approach have garnered a significant amount of trust over the years, with Skyscanner known for excellent prices, making them an ideal choice for users who value pricing transparency.

At Moonsand, we adopt a similar approach to that of Skyscanner, aggregating price data from our providers to find them the best price possible. We then direct them to our partner websites to complete their booking.

But, as we know, when it comes to price, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding…

That’s why we’ve gone to great lengths to prove that not only are we able to match the prices of the biggest names in the industry, but we’re able to beat them!

For this example, we opted to fly from London to Dubai, looking at direct flights only but opting for flights from any airport on all three platforms.

As you can see, Hopper comes in at $650 (roughly £522), Skyscanner at £486, while at Moonsand, we came in at £473!

*Prices below accurate as of 13.4.2024

Flight Comparison Site Cheapest Flight Airline / 
Route Outbound Flight Details Return Flight Details
Moonsand £473 Emirates
July 1st 
14:30 - 00:40 (+1) 7h 10m (Direct) July 15th10:20 - 15:05 
7h 45m (Direct)
Skyscanner £486 British Airways
July 1st 
21:30 - 07:35 (+1) 7h 5m (Direct) July 15th12:05 - 16:50 
7h 45m (Direct)
Hopper $650 (£522) Emirates
July 1st 
21:30 - 07:35 (+1) 7h 5m (Direct) July 15th 12:05 - 16:50 
7h 45m (Direct)

Additional Services & Perks

While all three platforms are primarily flight comparison websites, each does have other features that should be taken into account.

Hopper, for example, recently expanded its portfolio to include "Hopper Homes," catering to the ever increasing demand for holiday rentals, primarily in the US.

Hopper Homes Website Hero

This new service, which some are saying is aiming to become a rival to Airbnb, allows users to book private homes, which is ideal for family holidays or group travels looking for home comforts when on their travels.

Skyscanner takes travel planning to the next level by offering detailed flight insights, such as duration, layovers, and in-flight amenities like Wi-Fi. This is exactly the type of information that travellers love, as it allows them to plan their trips with utmost precision.

Skyscanner Search Filter Options

At Moonsand we ensure that there are no hidden fees when travellers book through us. That means that at the point of the results being shown, we give you the cost of the flight, both without baggage and inclusive on luggage and a carry on.

Moonsand Luggage Information Feature

After all, we are designed by travellers, and we’re sure you’d agree that there is nothing worse than navigating through a booking journey, only to have extra fees added on at the very end for the addition on hold baggage and carry-on bags!

Hopper v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Pros and Cons

Each platform brings distinct advantages to the table:

Hopper is renowned for its advanced price prediction algorithms and exclusive deals, making them a great option for those who plan in advance and are budget conscious.

They have an excellent mobile app which helps travellers to plan their trip wherever they are. However, this focus on mobile first can be detrimental to those who prefer to plan their trips on desktop.

Additionally, we noticed that when searching for flights on Hopper, if you select direct flights only, the best priced results are not always exclusively direct. We noticed that when you then select the direct option, the price increases.

Skyscanner offers users perhaps the most comprehensive range of options for their travel thanks to its advanced search capabilities. While its intuitive interface allows users to have a high degree of flexibility in their planning. Additionally, they have their ‘Everywhere Search’ feature, and do not take booking commissions.

However, on the downside, all of this choice could potentially be overwhelming, leading to some users feeling that the site is over complicated.

Finally, here at Moonsand, we’re here for those who love to travel. With our easy to use interface, excellent scope of options, and prices that we’ve proven can compete with the biggest names in the industry.

However, we do not yet have a mobile app, something which could count against us for some users, and when compared to full service platforms, we lack some of the functionality that they posses.

Hopper v Skyscanner v Moonsand: Pros and Cons Summary:

Pros Cons
Hopper • Features price predication, allowing users to get the best deal possible
• Primarily mobile first
• Excellent mobile app
• Has hidden fees at the point of search
• Primarily mobile first
Skyscanner • No booking fees
• Excellent for price comparison and finding low prices
• A clean and easy to use interface
• Direct booking is handled by third parties, which can lead to inconsistencies in customer service
• Limited additional services compared to full-service platforms
Moonsand • Modern, user friendly interface
• No booking fees
• Excellent for price comparison and finding low prices
• Designed by travellers, for travellers
• Indicates the cost of flights with luggage included
• Offers price match
• Direct booking is handled by third parties, which can lead to inconsistencies in customer service
• Limited additional services compared to full-service platforms
• No mobile app

Final Recommendations and Tips

Choosing the right flight comparison largely depends on your specific travel needs and preferences.

In this article, we’ve given you a detailed run-down on three of the biggest names in the sector, Hopper, Skyscanner and Moonsand, with the aim of giving you as much information as possible in order for you to make an unbiased decision.

But ultimately, the best flight comparison website will be the one that closely aligns with your goals, and we hope we’ve given you all the information you need in order to make a wise decision.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out our related articles:

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Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and
displays all your search results in one place.
Moonsand compares hundreds of flight and hotel booking platforms and displays all your search results in one place.
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