Are there benefits to being incognito when searching for air tickets?
Have you ever searched for a flight on your computer only to come back a little later, re-search it and discover the price jumped up by leaps and bounds? This often happens, but there are a few things you can control that may help avoid it.
Whenever you search for a flight, internet cookies keep track of your browsing history so they know what you have been looking at. Airlines are said to use this information to hike up the price when they know what someone has been recently searching. The increase in price makes the buyer think that the seats are selling quickly and it is a matter of now or never if they want to get the flight.
One suggestion to help combat this is for consumers to switch into incognito mode on their browser. This makes it impossible for them to keep track of recent search history. Other tips would be to keep the browser clean or try different browsers, change the IP address, or check out the airline site directly rather than going through search engines.
But does this mode really work? The only true way to know for sure is to try it out yourself. Search for a flight and have a friend do the exact same search at the same time and see what the results are. Visit the site in a few hours and see if the price fluctuated at all.
Remember though that airlines are always changing their pricing technology, so while being incognito may make a difference now, there is a good chance this may not be the case later. Rather than depending on the cookie history, it may be about whether or not it is a “loyal” customer or a not-so-frequent flyer.