Saturday, 15 August 2015

Do you delete cookies before searching for flights?

Did you know that when you research flights online, the websites you're visiting store cookies (of course), but then they track your steps online, and when they spot you search for similar flights, they work on commission with flight operators and increase the prices? It is true, and the price can suddenly increase for up to £200 - £300, depending how expensive the flight initially is. It is not a housewives' tale, it is an actual fact. I remember when I started looking at the flights to New Zealand, the cost was about £800 - £900 from UK, then I was reading New Zealand guides, blogs etc. and after 2 weeks I looked at the flights again, suddenly the prices jumped up to £1000 - £1100, no joke. At that point, I was like 'oh, well it's not £800 as I thought'. And left it at that. But after viewing few travel videos and blogs, this was mentioned by few people. It is all to do with your IP address.

So, the best way, is not to research the flights on a regular basis using laptop at home, but leave it for one day (let's say 2 months prior to your trip, when apparently that's the best time to book), and then either block cookies on your laptop for the whole day and focus on searching the flight. Why can't you block the cookies for good anyway, and live in privacy? Unfortunately it doesn't work that way. Cookies allow you to view the majority of websites, remember passwords, display content etc. so they are essential for everyday surfing. But, if you block the cookies for one day only, and don't do anything else online until you find the flight, you should be ok.
Another option is to use different laptops when searching for the flights. E.g. use computers in the library, our library has got at least 10 different computers. Just come one day, use one, the next day use another one. Genius! And don't trust the comparison sites exclusively. They work on commission, so might not show you all the flights, and you might find cheaper flights directly on the flight operator website. Don't shy away from 2nd, 3rd, and (yes it exists) 4th page of Google. They can contain a highly valuable pieces of information, and when you're on a mission to find the best deals, venture there too - Good Luck :)

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