I often hear that you should delete your search history, cookies and if possible change your IP when looking for flights online. The reason is that otherwise airline websites know that you're really interested and will increase prices. From personal experience, I had once the same impression when I first looked for a flights a couple of days in a row and got only high prices. Then I did the same at work with a different computer and got way lower prices. However, this could be a coincidence.

So my question is: Is this just an urban legend or is there really evidence?

  • 2
    Possibly helpful question – blackbird Dec 17 '15 at 15:09
  • +1 nice question. I will make screenshots to prove it once I have time and if no one else answers it. – Nean Der Thal Dec 17 '15 at 15:48
  • By all means, make the screenshots, they might be of great informative value – Egil Dec 17 '15 at 17:56
  • How would one differentiate between the search engine boosting the price based on your visit vs the ticket legitimately just went up in price on the airline's side ? – blackbird Dec 17 '15 at 18:41
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    This may also be location-dependent (e.g., some places may have more stringent consumer protection laws prohibiting this, etc.). – fkraiem Dec 18 '15 at 1:04

While there doesn't seem to be hard evidence of airlines offering different prices bases on cookie/IP identification of site visitor, the possibility of this shouldn't be dismissed either, especially considering visitor tracking methods employed by advertisers on the internet, for example.

Using Incognito mode on your browser, preferably coupled with an ad-blocking add-on, would be useful . VPN service might be of help too. (Yes, I'm a bit on the paranoid side, but that never hurted anyone)

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