Expedia's criticisms of Hopper's fintech products don't seem to be hurting Hopper's ability to enter into new partnerships.
Air Canada began offering a service through a partnership with Hopper that enables travelers using AirCanada.com in Canada to cancel an otherwise non-refundable fare for any reason for a fee.
This is the first airline partnership for these so-called fintech products for Hopper, an app-only online travel agency, which is headquartered in Montreal.
Hopper offers at least three other key fintech products beyond cancel for any reason for airlines, including the ability to freeze a fare, change a flight, and a flight disruption guarantee, but Air Canada is implementing just the cancel for any reason feature.
For an CA$881 economy – standard fare from Montreal to Paris, Air Canada offered travelers the ability to purchase the cancel for any reason perk for CA$227 per traveler to be eligible for an 80% refund and CA$273 for a 100% refund. Flyers can cancel the flight up to 24 hours before departure for any reason via the My Booking page on the website, and receive immediate refunds, Air Canada said.
The fees get priced dynamically depending on the particular flight or demand, for example, so the fees for cancel for any reason vary. Air Canada is offering the feature as a supplement to its standard refund and cancellation policy.
Introduction of the feature may help Air Canada compete with U.S.-based airlines such as American, United and Delta, which offer more flexible cancellations policies than does the Canadian carrier. Air Canada is looking to boost its business in flying to Europe, India, and East Asia.
Hopper has a number of these types of distribution partnerships, including with Capital One and Uber, and hopes to expand this business with airlines. A spokesperson said Hopper has additional airline partnerships in its pipeline.
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Photo credit: An Air Canada plane. briYYZ/Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Air_Canada,_Airbus_A320-200,_C-FGYL_%2824008848686%29.jpg BriYYZ / Wikimedia Commons