You’ve probably realized searching for flights can be a pain. Have you ever wondered why the more you search, the more prices fluctuate? When it comes to purchasing anything online, including plane tickets, your location plays a huge role.
Believe it or not, prices change according to your IP address, browsing or purchase history, zip code, and even which Wi-Fi you’re connected to. This is also known as dynamic pricing. You may have heard that living in an economically thriving country may be the root of the problem, but not always.
It simply comes down to the basics of tracking and relevant marketing. However, you can bypass this by using a VPN to hide or change your location. This way, websites that sell flight tickets won’t be able to adjust prices according to your location, and you’ll be able to find the cheapest deals.
Continue reading to learn more about:
- The truth behind fluctuating ticket prices
- How to unlock ultimate deals with a VPN
- More ways to get ultimate deals
- What causes changes in ticket pricing?
- How do websites determine your location?
- Is it legal to use a VPN to buy cheaper flights?
The truth behind fluctuating ticket prices
Before I dive into all the details on how exactly to find cheaper plane tickets, let me clarify several commonly asked questions:
1. Are flights cheaper with a VPN?
Yes, oftentimes, airline prices are highly influenced by your location. Therefore, using a VPN connection and surfing the internet from a different country’s server may help get you the lowest priced airline ticket.
2. Do airline tickets go up if you keep searching?
It is likely that the more you search for a specific airline, the higher the price will go; even if you refresh the page, the price will continue to increase. This can be easily avoided by clearing your cookies and using a VPN with a server in another country.
3. What is the secret to getting cheap flights?
There is no secret when it comes to buying cheap flight tickets. All it takes is a VPN connection and some experimenting to get the best price for your budget. Follow the steps below and start saving money today!
How to unlock ultimate deals with a VPN
All it takes to get cheaper flights is changing your IP address. Just follow these steps and you’ll definitely enjoy your next vacation knowing you took the smart way around fluctuating ticket prices!
Step 1: Download and install a VPN if you haven’t already
Step 2: Open your VPN and select any server
Step 3: Search for your preferred flights on Surfshark Search (a tool that gives you organic results without ads or tracking)
Step 4: Write down the prices
Airline: Lufthansa (New York City to London)
VPN server: USA (Bend)
Dates: December 18-21, 2020
Step 5: Clear cookies (example from Safari)
Step 6: Repeat steps 2-5 with different server locations
Airline: Lufthansa (New York City to London)
VPN server: England (London)
Dates: December 18-21, 2020
Price: £1,064 ($1,430)
You can see here that using a USA VPN vs a London VPN gave me a $570 difference! Thanks to a VPN, I have enough to go to Thailand next summer! You can also use this method for other sorts of online shopping and get the best prices in town.
More ways to get ultimate deals
If you have time to experiment a bit more, try out these methods as well and see if you can get even cheaper airfares:
- Change IP address to developing country
- Change IP address to destination country
- Change IP address to airline home country
- Change IP address back to your country
**Don’t forget to clear your cookies every time you change your location!
What causes changes in ticket pricing?
While comparing offers on the internet, you can often see how the prices of flights increase at the same company in a matter of minutes. This is due to a variety of techniques, including tracking your location, to register your searches and inform the flight websites of the destinations in which you are interested. Based on this information, they can decide whether or not to raise prices.
How do websites determine your location?
As we’ve just established that your location has a big impact on the flight prices you see, you may be wondering how websites know where you’re located. Here are some ways they determine your location and therefore adjust ticket prices:
If you needed to send a package to your friend, a physical address would be necessary, right? The same goes for communication online – every device has its own IP address.
Since your IP address is set in a specific location, it is possible you may get location-accurate results, a.k.a. the reason why we see the prices continuously increase the more we search for the same flight.
Websites notice your interest in this particular flight and think that you will be willing to pay any price in order to get what you’re looking for. Playing around with the dates may give you a $20- $50 difference, but not as much as you’d get when using a VPN.
Have you used Google maps recently? Ever notice that it always knows your exact location? This little trick is often used by websites and apps to easily track your device. Overlooked by many smartphone users, this is a simple way to identify where you are browsing from. When you keep your GPS feature on, websites will show you prices according to your location.
Certain browsers allow HTML5 geolocation
Similar to what an IP address can tell about your location, the HTML5 geolocation lets a system know even more precise details – neighborhood, street, and even your latitude and longitude coordinates. For example, these browsers all currently use this set of functions:
- Google Chrome (version 5.0 onwards)
- Internet Explorer & Edge (version 9.0 onwards)
- Firefox (version 3.5 onwards)
- Safari (version 5.0 onwards)
- Opera (version 16.0 onwards)
You have the choice of either rejecting this function or bypassing it with the use of a VPN. When using a VPN, the system receives a geographical location that is not yours, allowing you to easily bypass this function.
Cookies store all kinds of information (ranging from your IP address to date and time of visits) for a short period of time on behalf of the website. Websites use this tracked data (buttons clicked, items in cart, user preferences, etc.) to later show you customized information that fits your needs. That may contribute to the change in pricing every time you refresh a webpage.
Like the previous points, it all comes down to determining your approximate area and then likely providing you with “relevant” prices. This includes precise geolocation data.
I say “relevant” because a website like AA.com will notice your initial interest in a specific flight from the very beginning of your search, which triggers a request for your location. Eventually, tactics like showing a flight has “2 seats left at this price” will persuade you to hurry up before it’s too late – resulting in your wallet being emptied out because AA.com decided to get the catch (you) before it’s gone.
Basically, it all approximates to your location and where you are browsing from. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix with a VPN.
Is it legal to use a VPN to buy cheaper flights?
Yes, it is legal to use a VPN to do any type of online shopping, including buying inexpensive flights. In order to make sure, I contacted support at both Kayak.com and AA.com to confirm this:
Both mention that as long as the connection allows you to buy the ticket, there are no concrete statements that go against the usage of a VPN. So, next time you’re planning a vacation, save big bucks using a VPN to get the lowest priced airline ticket.
Book your next flight with a VPN
Buying tickets for a vacation shouldn’t keep you money-less. The first step to saving is changing your location with a VPN to stop websites from collecting your information. It’s simple to get started and easy to navigate – bypass geo-blocking and stay safe while using public Wi-Fi. Ensure that your information will stay private and safe on your future trips with a secure connection.
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