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Old 08 February 2008, 03:31 AM
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snopes snopes is offline
Join Date: 18 February 2000
Location: California
Posts: 109,451
Computer Travel sites use cookies to raise prices

Comment: I heard that travel sites save your cookies and raise prices of
fares each time you return to the site, unless you delete your cookies
before each visit. true or false?
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Old 08 February 2008, 03:09 PM
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Skeptic Skeptic is offline
Join Date: 16 July 2005
Location: Logan, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 1,606

That makes no sense at all. Travel sites are often just agents linking a set amount of airlines seats, at the prices set by the airline. As you get closer to the travel date the cheap seats are sold off, or booking deadlines are passed, leaving only the higher fares.
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Old 08 February 2008, 04:36 PM
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WildaBeast WildaBeast is offline
Join Date: 18 July 2002
Location: Folsom, CA
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I have heard of merchant websites in general using cookies to give loyal customers a different price than people who shop around for the best deal, but I don't think a travel site could do that. Those sites just charge whatever fare the airline is charging plus a flat booking fee. You can usually get the exact same fair by going directly to the airline's website.
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Old 08 February 2008, 06:17 PM
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Hans Off Hans Off is offline
Join Date: 14 May 2004
Location: West Sussex, UK
Posts: 4,328


Maybe so but it is a tremendously good idea! (for evil people)

I like it
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Old 08 February 2008, 06:28 PM
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This issue was addressed by Consumer Reports. The bottom line: the travel sites deny it and offer other explanations for price discrepancies, but they do recommend clearing your cookies before going back to a site.
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Old 09 February 2008, 04:28 AM
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Not_Done_Living Not_Done_Living is offline
Join Date: 02 September 2006
Location: Markham, ON
Posts: 3,526

If it's cookies.. then it's easy to verify..

run up the price then clear your cookies and see what happens.

But.. it's not cookies.

Its a bid/demand algorthym.

This is used by many of the sell off places...

the more hits to a certain destination in the course of 24 hours the higher the price will be the next 24 hours.

Its called "Demand Sensing" and utilizes a BPO database and tools created by Micro Strategy.

don't ask how i know cause i may or may not be violating a NDA.
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