Airlines are struggling more and more each year to increase their profits. A stagnant economy, increasing governmental fees and the rising costs of raw materials all combine for a lethal cocktail of weak quarters and lower revenues.
In response, airlines are turning to technology to combat the downtick. And when airlines fight consumers, consumers need to fight back. Here are 3 proven tech hacks to keep more of your cash in your pocket.
1. Always Private Browse
Ever wonder why your friend, family member or colleague was able to buy a cheaper flight along the exact same itinerary? Airlines have every right to charge a higher price based on demand, but many go one step further.
Search for the same route multiple times over the course of a few days and that site might place a cookie (trackable code) on your device that tells them you’re more likely to pay a higher price for that specic flight. As a result, they have systems in place to automatically raise the price just for you.
Avoid this shadyness by using a private browser when you search for flights. Private browsing automatically deletes those annoying little cookies and other info that could possibly identify you as a prime target. Info on how to private browse here: Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari.
2. Use a VPN
No, we’re not suggesting that you literally hop on a flight to another country and continue your search from there. (Actually, why not?)
Use VPN software (every frequent traveler should have some) to connect through to the country you’re traveling from or to. Located in the US, but traveling from Beijing to Shanghai? Trick your network into thinking you’re already in China. Same goes for international flights departing from somewhere other than the United States. If you’re stuck at home, but know you’ll be traveling from Europe back to the States in a few months, trick your network into thinking you’re already in Europe.
3. Use Flight Search Sites, Always
Last, but not least – don’t ever buy a flight directly from an airline. Just don’t.