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Where I live in the UK it is a common statement that looking around on comparison websites such as GoCompare or holiday websites such as BritishAirways will result in them using various methods to identify who is checking and raise the price when you next check.

So the question is, do Airlines (and similar price comparison websites) raise the prices on repeat visits, or is this a local myth?

Though not part of the question, any additional information on how they do this and how to prevent it would also be appreciated if it turns out to be true.


Note: I am not after the use of just cookies as such is provided in this question: Does RyanAir Use Cookies? Instead I am after if they use any variety of methods and is open to a wide market of not just airlines.

  • 1
    Searching for dynamic pricing and personalized pricing brings up a number of apparent confirmations of similar practices, eg https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304458604577488822667325882 – peterG Jan 22 '18 at 15:50
  • it's not just cookies. Browser fingerprints can be used to identify you even in incognito mode. If anecdotal negative experience is a good answer then I don't remember seeing price changes upon re-visiting the same site or sites about the same area of interest. – Rsf Feb 5 '18 at 13:57
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Huffington Post

But many travelers (us included!) say it’s likely bunk — that you will find similar flight prices whether your browser is cleared of cookies or not. George Hobica, who founded the flight deals site Airefarewatchdog, says he’s “never seen any solid evidence“ of a cookie-price scheme system.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2017/02/02/cookies-flight_n_6430592.html

Skyscanner

Skyscanner Australia has looked into this issue and, thankfully, it seems like nothing more than a travel myth.

https://www.skyscanner.com.au/news/tips/do-browser-cookies-increase-flight-prices/

News.com

While the rumours about this issue are rife, there is no strong evidence confirming the issue. While it’s true that prices may go up when you return to a site, this is more likely due to other issues. Flight prices naturally rise closer to travel day and also when more seats on the plane are sold.

http://www.news.com.au/travel/travel-advice/money/do-browser-cookies-really-drive-up-the-price-of-your-flights/news-story/b4a12151d07e678e96df38dd13574ead

There are numerous articles that support the myth and also such that deny it. All the denying articles rely on the absence of evidence, but those who confirm the myth aren't relying in any concrete study, but rather themselves testing if prices are going up when looking another time.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evidence_of_absence

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