How to try to trick the internet for the best deals on flights
Searching for online fares for flights can feel like a game with constantly changing rules. Don’t buy tickets on the weekend. Buy them on Tuesdays at this specific time. Wait until three days before you need to fly for a sudden price drop. Never search for the same flight more than three times. Log out of every browser and social network before even looking up flights.
Most of the questionable logic behind these pieces of advice don’t hold up. And even one that seems like a clear winner in the age of ubiquitous internet surveillance is less helpful than it seems: When tracking down cheap flights online, it’s best to turn off all tracking.
Go private, and quickly
Chris Rodgers, CEO of search-engine optimization agency Colorado SEO Pros, suggests using private browsing, but it might not actually do much more than give you peace of mind. On the Chrome browser that means opening an “incognito” window. Your smartphone browser, like Safari on iOS, has private browsing, as well.
“It is a good idea to use private browsing … when searching for flights to prevent as much tracking as possible,” Rodgers said in a recent email conversation. “This could help prevent specific rate hikes that could be tied to an individual user’s new and return sessions.” He advises on quick decision-making instead of repeatedly returning to check on pricing over a long stretch of time with more opportunity for tracking.
But Rodgers admitted that pricing is more likely set by factors beyond your personal browsing history and settings, so this doesn’t work every time.
He suggests researching flights as usual and then leaving the website and returning on a different device while in private browsing mode to actually buy t