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Seeing a higher price on the ticket than before? Clear your browser cookies

May 31, 2011

A lot of our readers complain that they see a different price of an airline ticket online after a 2-3 hour time lapse than what they had seen earlier. There are other complains where some users see a $300 plus price difference than their friend may see for the same airline travelling on the same date and time. Most airline booking websites use cookies to track your behavior on their websites. This means that your previous visits and what you did to look out for tickets on the website may be tracked by cookies saved on your computer.


One of the options and the easiest way to get rid of this is to clear your browser cookies before visiting the online booking website. This clears off any behavior tracking and there are chances that you may be considered as a new user. If the websites want your business then they may offer a competitive rate to you.

Option two is to use consolidated-prices websites like Kayak.com, which, even though they track you, will still search for the best rates offered by sites like Orbitz, Expedia and the same kinds. Once booked through Kayak.com those sites are bound to give you the rate they show there, almost all the time.

We mentioned the words “chances” and “may offer” above because other than cookies there are ways websites can still track you. One easy way for them to be able to track you is by your username or user id. Websites will offer you to register (if you haven’t already) or log in (if you have registered before) to give “competitive rates”. This way they know your previous purchases or bookings and will offer you rates that may or may not be different than what you may see as an unregistered user. So try to look out for rates as a non-logged in user and upon finalizing a price, book it with your login information.

There are other ways to track a user by collecting your IP address, which they can match up with your different arrivals at the same website. You can’t do much in this case, although there are softwares out there that change your IP address every time you’re connected to the internet. By doing so, this may seem to the website as a new user.

Send your thoughts and tips for our other readers in comments.

 
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