If you don’t already know it, the airline companies are taking advantage of you. They do this by increasing the price on your screen for a list of different reasons. This is called Dynamic Pricing. It’s been going on for quite a while now, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
Today, I want to help you save as much money as possible on your next airline ticket. In order to do so, you must learn a few key steps. But don’t worry, they’re easy. You simply need to be aware how airline companies are taking advantage of you, so you know how to prevent it from happening.
Dynamic Pricing is Used to Take as Much Money From You as Possible
Dynamic pricing is basically the ability to automatically fluctuate pricing on a website based on a large list of user criteria. The flight companies can change the price based on these factors (and maybe more):
- Which country you are searching from
- Which region within that country you are searching from
- All demographics (rage, age, marital status, current job, education level, household income, etc)
- How many days before departure
- Which device you are using (laptop, desktop, phone, tablet)
- How new/old the device is
- Chosen seat
- How many seats remain
Yes, it’s sickening. They know more about you than you think. And they use all of your information to identify the exact price that they think that you will be willing to purchase a plane ticket for.
If they miscalculate, they will display a price that is too high and you won’t purchase the ticket. If they display a price too low, then you will purchase the ticket but then the airline companies lose potential profits.
They use massive algorithms to help to decipher and calculate proper price points to charge people, based on the criteria mentioned above. I have learned that when people are purchasing a plane ticket through a system that is using Dynamic Pricing, people are charged an average of 7 to 10% more than if there was not Dynamic Pricing.
6 Steps To Find Cheap Flights by Using a VPN
- Search For a Flight While Logged In
- Log Out & Clear Cache
- Connect to VPN Server Near Destination
- Connect to VPN Server Near Airline Headquarters
- Connect to Random VPN Servers in Underdeveloped Countries
- Purchase the Cheapest Flight That You Found
1) Search For a Flight While Logged In
Before you turn on your VPN, and sign out of your email account, I want you to do a quick search for a flight that you want to purchase. By searching in this way, the airline company will most likely know everything about you. They will completely understand all of your demographics. They will use this information to identify you and it will factor into the price of your plane ticket. Take a screenshot of the potential plane ticket, or write the information down. You will use this to compare and contrast your future searches.
2) Log Out & Clear Cache
Now logout of your email account and clear your cache. This will remove all information about you. Now when you visit the airline website, they will have no idea where you have been on the internet and therefore cannot identify much (or anything) about you.
Note: There is mixed information about clearing your cache on your internet browser, when researching this topic. Some people believe that your cache has nothing to do with the airline’s ability to track you and identify you. There are other people who claim the opposite. To me, it makes more sense that the airlines can read everything about you when they look at your cookies within your browser. But, I’m not an IT expert. In my mind, it’s better to clear it and be on the safe side.
3) Connect to VPN Server Near Destination
Connect to a VPN server that is near the destination of your plane ticket. If you don’t have one, here is one that I have used for a long time – and my favorite (check current price). For example: if you want to fly to Germany, make sure your server is in Germany. If you want to fly to Iceland, make sure your VPN server is connected to Iceland.
I have done a lot of different tests when searching for cheap airline tickets and have found this to be the most effective method. For some reason, connecting a VPN server to the destination yields some of the best results – consistently. But I still do recommend trying a couple other methods as well.
4) Connect to VPN Server Near Airline Headquarters
After you think you have found a relatively cheap flight from step 3, delete your cookies again and now try to search for that same flight while using a VPN server near the headquarters of the airlines that you want to use. For example, if you see a cheap flight on American Airlines, then change your VPN server to the United States. If you see a cheap flight through Vietnam Airlines, then change your service to Vietnam (yes, even if the flight is going to a completely different country). Notice if the price changes at all.
5) Connect to Random VPN Servers in Underdeveloped Countries
After you clear your cookies again, try searching for a flight using a VPN server in a country that is notoriously undeveloped. Sometimes the airline companies will charge a cheaper price to people who live in an underdeveloped country. Not always, but it was definitely worth a try.
6) Purchase the Cheapest Flight That You Found
Now, simply purchase the cheapest flight that you found. Hopefully you were able to find a flight that is between 7 to 10% cheaper than the initial flight when you were logged into your email account.
Example Screenshots: Here, I looked for cheap flight tickets by using both a USA VPN Server, and a UK Server.
In this particular example, it would have been cheaper for a person to purchase a ticket by using the UK VPN Server. You would have saved $16.68 per ticket.
You may have noted that they were not the same return ticket. Why? Because I only selected the cheapest price displayed using each VPN. The algorithm changes based on which IP address you use, so therefore, different plane ticket options (and combinations) are shown. More on that in on of the paragraphs below (and in the above video).
This Is How Airline Websites Can Track You
Whether you know it or not, you are being tracked. Your computer might be giving information to the website that is currently being generated, or, your computer will automatically share information on your computer that is a few days or even weeks old.
- IP Address – Usually this has the largest impact on the price. The IP address represents the location you are in. This could be anywhere in the whole world. Generally, an airline company can identify exactly where you are located by this string of numbers.
- Cookies – As mentioned before, many people believe that your demographics can be identified simply by the cookies within your browser. If they know where you work, how old you are, your ethnicity, marital status, Etc – they may charge you more. So don’t give them the chance. Delete your cookies.
- Device GPS – Certain devices will give away your specific GPS location. Using a good VPN will help to mask this.
- Site Permissions – Have you ever visited a website and immediately a pop-up asked you about permissions? If you accept, sometimes the website will then know your GPS location.
- HTML5 – Certain forms of HTML5 can leak formation about your current GPS location.
Using a VPN Changes The Airline Website Algorithm
If you haven’t watched the video above, I recommend that you do. I go into a little bit more detail about how the VPN affects the algorithm and the specific flights that you actually get to see.
Not only does the website potentially change the price of each individual flight, but in addition, they change the flights (and combination of flights) that are shown on your screen. There were multiple occasions where the flight that I wanted (or combination) completely disappeared when I used a different IP address.
No matter how far down the screen that I scrolled, the flight (or combination) was nowhere to be found. The algorithm for the search results is different based on which country that you are searching from. Creepy.
With a VPN, The Savings Add Up
It’s not too often that you will find an insane deal while searching for a cheap plane ticket. If you do, it is usually due to a mistake fare, rather than a geographical discount. Saving $10-100 is quite common while using a VPN, however.
Family & VPN’s
The savings can definitely add up especially if you have a family. Imagine five people purchasing a plane ticket at $1,000 each. Total cost is $5,000. Now imagine saving $100 on each ticket. Total cost is now $4,500. You just saved $500 by simply clicking a button. Cheers to that! Even if you do not have a family and you are a frequent flyer, a VPN will save you money, cumulatively!
VNP’s Are Not Only For Flights
Dynamic Pricing is not only found on flight websites. Dynamic Pricing is used on all major product / service shopping websites, as well. You should always be using your VPN before purchasing a product or service! Be sure to try a few different VPN servers!
In addition to using a VPN, another way to find cheap flights (usually insane deals), is by using SCF or DFC. Basically, they search the internet for mistakes by the airlines (how to find mistake fares), which is the holy grail of cheap flights. Be sure to read more about this if you want to gain access to deals that will make your head spin!
How Much Time Will It Take To Find a Cheap Flight Using A VPN
To be honest, this depends on how much work you want to put into it. It takes more time to clear your cache and go back to the flight website than anything else. Clicking a button and changing VPN servers takes about five seconds each time. It’s really simple.
Personally, I usually spend about 1 hour searching for a cheap flight. After I receive a price on a flight, I always think “If I stop now, I am going to miss out on a potentially cheap flight!” If I try 10 different servers and then stop, maybe I would have saved more money if I tried an 11th server. So then I will convince myself to try an 11th time. After I try the 11th server, maybe the cheap ticket is on the 12th. The cycle continues.
This is how my mind works. This keeps going until my search lasts for about an hour. Then I usually stop. I go back to find the cheapest ticket by searching again with the server that yielded the best result, and then I purchase the ticket.