Q: “Are airlines tracking my IP address with cookies? Every time I check in, they hike up the price of the flights. I am traveling from Chicago O’Hare to Heathrow, departing on September 19 and returning on September 29. The rent goes up every time I search!!! How do I stop them from identifying these flight searches?” -Pat M., New Windsor, Illinois – 1400 AM Listens to WGIL.
A: If you book your vacation online, you know it can be fun and it can save you money. With a little time and effort, you can find great deals on low airfares and hotels and car rentals.
However, if you are a seasoned traveler, or if you do a lot of research before booking your vacation, you know that booking your trips online is becoming more and more expensive. At least, it certainly seems so.
When it comes to booking flights, specifically, you can see the price increase in real time as you search for airfares online. This price hike is so common that it has become travel lore.
Many people assume that airlines track you online. If they see that you are searching for a particular destination, such as from Los Angeles to Paris, they will start increasing your price for that flight. You may be sitting next to someone who paid very little for the same trip.
The logic is, if you’re really interested in taking a vacation to a specific destination, you’ll pay a lot to do it. Therefore, airlines inflate your price and you pay for it.
This is a win-win situation, but only for the airline. They get your money and at the same time they get a price higher than what you pay. You are the loser in this deal.
That’s why you need to know this simple trick to get airlines out of your way. Keep reading and I’ll show you how.
Hide Your Travel from Airlines
Most airlines are not going to come right out and accept that they are tracking you online. Still, airline executives over the years have strongly indicated that they do.
In fact, some airlines have said that they increase your price depending on the brand of computer you are using. If you’re using an expensive laptop, they estimate that you may be paying more for your ticket.
They also track the websites you are visiting because they can see the IP address of your computer. An IP address is a series of letters and numbers, such as a serial number, that identifies your digital device.
The bad news is that it’s easy for companies to track down those IP addresses. The good news is that it’s really easy to trick airlines into not telling you that you’re looking forward to booking a flight to the destination.
You just need to go incognito. This is easy to do.
When you open your browser and you revisit a travel site, or a site, your browser remembers that you have been there before. This is usually helpful, but not when you want to spoof an airline-booking site.
To use Private Mode or Incognito Mode, you’ll want to go to your browser’s menu and select it. Keep reading for guidelines for Chrome and Firefox. If you use a different web browser, these instructions will give you a pretty good idea of how to get into incognito mode.
More ways to save on airfares
If you find that airfares are still too high, even after going undercover, try these tricks. If you ask people who travel a lot like every weekday for work, they’ll tell you a trick or two for saving money on airfare.