Sneaky trick allows you to buy flights MUCH more cheaply
- Airlines will often raise prices around significant dates such as bank holidays and school holidays
- Here are the easy tricks to make sure you beat those price hikes and get the best deal
There are few things more frustrating than holding off on booking flights for a trip – only to check again the next day to find the price has rocketed.
But tech experts have revealed a few simple tricks that can prevent this from happening.
They say people browsing flights may be unwittingly driving their prices up by repeatedly viewing the airline’s website online – with their visits tracked by their computer’s IP (internet protocol) address.
This can give the artificial impression of increasing demand, or show the airline that the browser is serious about booking the trip.
Cookies – online ‘crumbs’ showing the websites a web browser has previously visited – are used by airlines to track repeat visitors, and can also be used to increase a flight’s price, just for that person who is repeatedly browsing.
They have other ways of inflating prices too. Some are common knowledge – air fares, and the cost of travel in general – will always increase during popular times such as school vacation times.
But others are less obvious. Airlines may charge people living in wealthier countries higher fares, meaning people who can circumvent online ‘borders’ have a shot at landing a cheaper fare.
Here, DailyMail.com details some of the tricks travelers can use to try and bag cheaper flights…
Tech experts have offered a range of options to potentially bring down the cost of air fares for savvy internet users
The first trick is to delete your cookies. This only takes a few clicks, and a quick search online will give you details on how to do so, depending on whether you’re using Windows or a Mac.
Cookies act as digital breadcrumbs which show websites that you’ve visited them before.
In the case of airline websites, this can help give the impression of increased demand for a flight you’ve been looking at.
Or it can simply signal to the airline that you’re serious about booking the flight – and let them bump up its price, just for you, knowing that you’ll likely have to swallow the increase.
Deleting them may save you from unexpected price rises by wiping this trail of breadcrumbs, meaning you’ll appear to be a new visitor to the website you’re browsing.
CLEAR BROWSING HISTORY, OR USE INCOGNITO MODE
These are two other simple tricks that can potentially result in cheaper flight prices.
Clearing browsing history has a similar effect to clearing cookies by erasing traces of demand.
Incognito or private mode can also be activated on your web browser, making it impossible for websites to track your activity in real time.
Using that does make finding your way back to something you’d previously browsed more cumbersome – but fans would argue the potential savings are worth the inconvenience.
Websites, including those used to book flights, usually determine your location by using the computers IP address which stores your location information
USE A VPN
This offers another potential route to savings on flights.
As mentioned above, airlines may price flights more cheaply for people living in less wealthy countries.
Using a VPN – virtual private network – can circumvent the online ‘border’ which makes foreign websites realize you’re ‘visiting’ them from abroad, before directing you back to the landing page for the country you’re in.
VPNs can be downloaded online, with the most popular usually costing around $10-$15 a month.
They allow you to change your computer’s unique IP address, which allows websites to see where your computer is based.
You can instead select a foreign country from a drop-down list, with your computer then using an IP address from that country.
It will give websites you visit the impression that you’re actually living there, and you’ll see an airline’s website the way a resident of that country would see it too.
VPN’s can also encrypt your traffic, so third parties won’t see what you do online, and you will avoid customer profiling based on your actions and data.
It can also allow you to select your server to appear in a country of your choice so you can see the pricing differences all across the globe and choose the best deal.