Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Do Airlines Cheat Us By Saving Our IP Address?  
User currently offlineEugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 97 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 28694 times:

Have you ever noticed when ascertaining quotes for a flight with one airline that their prices randomly rise after the 3rd / 4th time at looking at the same date and flight over a course of two days or so.

A friend works for a major airline and tells me that they save IP address and specific information to raise the price of flights that they think were going to book.

Is this true?

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEBGARN From Sweden, joined Jan 2008, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 28657 times:

Since IP addresses change every now & then in a PC/Mac, I think what they do is saving info in a cookie file on the (your) pc. That way, they can see if and when you visited the last time, and what you did.

Being an IT-specialist, I have thought of what kind of methods they use to track usage, and what to do with that information. Judging from what I've seen, I think they make quite a few mistakes when trying to use the info in the smartest possible way. That could explain some very odd inconsistencies when searching for flights on SIA's homepage.

So, how to stay 'private'? Either;

* Stop cookies from being saved.
* Delete the cookie placed by the airline between your visits.
* Use different pc's when doing consecutive searches for the same trip.



A306,A319/20/21,A332/3,A343/6,A380,B717,B727,B737,B744,B752/3,B763,B772/3/W,C-130,AN26,CRJ900,Il62,DC-8/9/10,MD80's,BaeR
User currently offlineOroka From Canada, joined Dec 2006, 913 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 28583 times:

I doubt they raise prices based on your IP. If you have PPPoE internet (not cable), just unplug your modem for 60 seconds, then plug it back in. That will give you a new IP, and you can check the prices with that. Most likely what is happening is that tickets for that flight have been selling while you are looking, and that is jacking your prices up.

If they are tracking your IP, it would be for security reasons.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 26150 posts, RR: 50
Reply 3, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 28517 times:

I'm aware of atleast one US airline res pricing systems can real time track the carriers website visitor request per city pair and dynamically adjust pricing or inventory.
This is a good means for airlines to quickly see the effect of specific fare sales and able adjust offerings in markets where for instance they are getting very low/high request volume.

I'm not aware however such actions in any way relate to IP addresses.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineETinCaribe From Ethiopia, joined Dec 2009, 740 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 28402 times:

They would certainly use cookies, not IP address as the latter can change frequently (as one moves laptop from work to home to internet cafe, as I do every day).

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
I'm aware of atleast one US airline res pricing systems can real time track the carriers website visitor request per city pair and dynamically adjust pricing or inventory.

Wow, they are more sophisticated than I thought they were. Good to know  Smile


User currently offlineAirNz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 28232 times:



Quoting Eugegall (Thread starter):
Is this true?

In a word NO, it is not as I have previously explained. Prices rise with demand......all airlines note which particular flight combinations/dates are being looked at and, if they see an upward 'trend' they know to increase the price accordingly. The worst thing any passenger can do, once a flight has been decided, is to keep repeatedly checking it.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 3):
I'm aware of atleast one US airline res pricing systems can real time track the carriers website visitor request per city pair and dynamically adjust pricing or inventory.
This is a good means for airlines to quickly see the effect of specific fare sales and able adjust offerings in markets where for instance they are getting very low/high request volume.

 checkmark  exactly....all airlines have the ability.


User currently offlineMrSkyGuy From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1214 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 28137 times:

I travel rather frequently as a bi-product of my job in an aviation sales career. I tracked 53 flights in 2009, for example. I have on numerous occasions seen unusual activity on routes that I fly frequently during off-times, but any number of possibilities exist for these situations.

[Edited 2010-01-10 07:04:32 by srbmod]


"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
User currently offlineRichM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 803 posts, RR: 7
Reply 7, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 26566 times:



Quote:
A friend works for a major airline and tells me that they save IP address and specific information to raise the price of flights that they think were going to book.

Is this true?

There's a few methods which can be done to allow airlines (and other businesses) to achieve this. However, whether or not they actually do is a different question altogether. (in this case) You can check their privacy policy to get an idea on how they use data belonging to you. However, privacy policies are often very loosely worded and may not go into specific detail.

Quoting EBGARN (Reply 1):
Since IP addresses change every now & then in a PC/Mac, I think what they do is saving info in a cookie file on the (your) pc. That way, they can see if and when you visited the last time, and what you did.

Not all IP addresses change though, many are static. For instance, those using a computer at work (larger businesses in particular) or at a College or University may well be using a static IP address.

Also, whether or not someone is using a PC or Mac has little to do with it. Most modern computers for general use, use the TCP/IP protocol.

Quoting EBGARN:
Use different pc's when doing consecutive searches for the same trip.

I'm not suggesting or implying that they definitely use IP addresses to help fix prices on an individual basis. However, if they are, the use of different PCs on the same network may not make any difference given that the same external IP address may well be shared by all nodes on a Local Area Network.

Rich


User currently offlineLJ From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4477 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 26494 times:



Quoting Eugegall (Thread starter):
A friend works for a major airline and tells me that they save IP address and specific information to raise the price of flights that they think were going to book.

Maybe the airlines don´t realize that the reason I look so often is that I want to know if the price has already dropped (and thus that I don´t want to pay the given price)....


User currently offlinePfletch1228 From South Africa, joined Aug 2006, 202 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 26421 times:

I can only speak for the websites I have worked on, but in a nutshell, yes, the chances are your IP is being used as part of an identification string that is normally combined with cookies and for some carriers, a dedicated logon ID. And yes, the software I worked with raised the price if you continually checked the same pairing. The algorithms used for yield management are highly confidential and proprietary, but I can give you this advice : use the bargain browser feature if its available, flush your cache and history, and if you are just bargain browsing, use a web anonymiser service until you have found the best deal. If you can work out the time of day patterns of the yield management software, you are also likely to get a better deal. Early evenings and early mornings are the worst time to shop online in general, as the vendors now that this is peak hour and prices will be, generally speaking, firmer.


War does not determine who is right. War determines who is left.
User currently offlineNibog From Ireland, joined Apr 2009, 329 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 26252 times:

This is something that i have often considered,and as a general rule of thumb,and good "house keeping",I generally delete all cookies on a regular basis.I have seen the price for flights rise and fall and when i see a pattern,i delete all cookies before a make a booking.

Now, forgive me Pfletch1228,not being that versed in these subjects,can you explain the following;

Quoting Pfletch1228 (Reply 11):
use a web anonymiser service



Quoting Pfletch1228 (Reply 11):
use the bargain browser feature if its available,

Thanks for your help,
Nibog


User currently offlineUN_B732 From United States of America, joined Jul 2001, 4289 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 26172 times:

People on other forums have mentioned this happening before, so I suppose it's possible..


What now?
User currently offlineBE77 From Canada, joined Nov 2007, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 26047 times:

So here is the plan to help ensure I get an empty middle seat beside me...
A) Book my flight
B) Delete cookies and change IP
C) Check the flight over and over until the fare rises
D) Repeat B
E) Repeat C
F) Continue until the price for the rest of the flight is at it's maximum, so no one else books it.
G) Enjoy the extra space on my flight - maybe I'll get the entire row!

I'm sure at an economic level the whole Yield Management process works (my work is in a different industry but it also involves predicting the future with limited information). And, I appreciate that when they are trying to predict demand (and therefor $) they need to use every possible tool. Still it annoys me when I run into a fare that has changed in the ten minutes I needed to confirm that the schedule would work.



Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
User currently offlineAirbazar From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 8659 posts, RR: 10
Reply 13, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 25988 times:



Quoting UN_B732 (Reply 13):
People on other forums have mentioned this happening before, so I suppose it's possible..

As mentioned above, I think people in other sites are confusing IP's with cookies. The use of cookies to track user activity is widespread and well known. The use of regional IP addresses is equaly widespread to track user patterns as well. However the use of individual IP's as a pricing strategy is totally counter productive and accomplishes nothing. Lets forget for a second that broadbad users have IP's assigned to them by their ISP's and that those IP's change constantly. There's still the fact that most of us use a router/firewall at home that masks your real IP in which case the external facing IP is your provider's IP and not your IP. Then there are the millions of Wi-Fi access points that, much like your ISP, also give up dynamic short term IP's. Given all of this, I'd be willing to guess that the majority of the customers using an airline's web site, or any web site for that matter, will have their IP's changed within 2 days.
So while it's technically possible and very easy to do, IP tracking is not really productive to do.


User currently offlineEugegall From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2009, 97 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 25939 times:

This really annoys me. Clever by the airlines. But not good practive in my opinion!

I looked for an easyjet flight about a year ago about 3 times in 24 hours. On the 24th hour i wanted to make the booking for 6 people. The overall difference between the first time i looked and when i wanted to book 24 hours later was about £300.

So i made a phone call and booked that way. Saved £300. Result!

[Edited 2010-01-10 05:10:21 by eugegall]

User currently offlinePHKLM From Northern Mariana Islands, joined Dec 2005, 1198 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25435 times:



Quoting Airbazar (Reply 15):
So while it's technically possible and very easy to do, IP tracking is not really productive to do.

Then there's a massive amount of fare-scraping going on by automated bots and airlines' competitors that make it really sketchy to adjust prices based on search commands or cookies.

As is said in this thread, it would be extremely easy to circumvent this by simply deleting cookies or book through a site like Orbitz or Expedia, etc.

Now I think there is much more to gain when you gain insight in the airlines' yield management logic or patterns, which is much more difficult to do, but for example once you understand an airlines' prices tend to start relatively high very far out, then drop to their lowest level between 3 to 1 month out and then start to raise again, you can get much bigger gains.
Let me point out this is purely a theoretical example though and an oversimplification.


User currently offlineAirNz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25370 times:



Quoting Nibog (Reply 12):
This is something that i have often considered,and as a general rule of thumb,and good "house keeping",I generally delete all cookies on a regular basis.I have seen the price for flights rise and fall and when i see a pattern,i delete all cookies before a make a booking.

Such would have no effect at all....airlines have already noted which flights/combinations are generating interest and have reacted as necessary. They don't need individuals cookies to do it.


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4062 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25331 times:



Quoting AirNz (Reply 5):
In a word NO, it is not as I have previously explained. Prices rise with demand......all airlines note which particular flight combinations/dates are being looked at and, if they see an upward 'trend' they know to increase the price accordingly. The worst thing any passenger can do, once a flight has been decided, is to keep repeatedly checking i

I can only tell you that I checked a specific bmibaby flight for September 2010 the other day a couple of times for some reason. All of a sudden the fare had increased considerably (by LCC standards). I checked again after a while after having gone off and hooked on to my home WLAN again without having emptied my cache (did not really think about what I was doing), and - bang - here it was again, the previous, lower fare. Wonder if it would have happened with a static IP.


User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2876 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25265 times:

All major browsers - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome - have a feature called "private browsing", or something to that effect. Turn it on, and you should be good to go.

User currently offlineRichM From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 803 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25046 times:

Quoting Elite (Reply 20):
All major browsers - Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Chrome - have a feature called "private browsing", or something to that effect. Turn it on, and you should be good to go.

Though it should be noted that the private browsing feature only stops the browser from saving data about the websites you visit. For example, when enabled, it stops the browser from storing cookies, cached files and it also stops the browser from saving URLs in your browser history etc. I'd imagine it's popular with those who visit adult websites on shared computers. However, It doesn't stop websites from obtaining certain data from you, such as your IP address etc.

Rich

[Edited 2010-01-10 07:15:23]

User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5158 posts, RR: 43
Reply 20, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25046 times:



Quoting Vfw614 (Reply 17):
I can only tell you that I checked a specific bmibaby flight for September 2010 the other day a couple of times for some reason. All of a sudden the fare had increased considerably (by LCC standards). I checked again after a while after having gone off and hooked on to my home WLAN again without having emptied my cache (did not really think about what I was doing), and - bang - here it was again, the previous, lower fare. Wonder if it would have happened with a static IP.

Remember, it is not your repeated request from one IP address or cookie ID that raises fares, it is the repeated interest on that one city pair/date combination that raises fares. If a lot of interest is "sensed" within a certain period of time, then the fare will rise. Then, after a "cooling off" period, it falls again.

The same affect would be noted if many fare requests were made by different people about the same city pair/date.

The moral ... grab the cheap fare on your first request.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlineElite From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2006, 2876 posts, RR: 10
Reply 21, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 25016 times:



Quoting RichM (Reply 19):
I'd imagine it's popular with those who visit adult websites on shared computers

I believe when Apple Safari was the lone browser to have this feature, it was very popular amongst teenage males!!

But on a serious note, if you really want to mask your IP, it is very easy to do... http://www.proxy.org

But it's quite a hassle and pages load much slower, if it even loads completely.


User currently offlineBoydatageek From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 24998 times:

The only time I suspected this of happening was with Hotwire.com booking a hotel room.

In general, I'm not sure WHY this would be done, If you are repeatedly looking for a flight, that would prove you are a Price Sensitive customer, lowering the price to grab you, would be more effecient that raising the price, making you shop further, No?


User currently offlineVfw614 From Germany, joined Dec 2001, 4062 posts, RR: 5
Reply 23, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 24949 times:



Quoting LongHauler (Reply 20):
one city pair/date combination that raises fares. If a lot of interest is "sensed" within a certain period of time, then the fare will rise. Then, after a "cooling off" period, it falls again.

It was within one or two hours and interestingly, involved midnight.


I agree, however, that it makes more sense if it is just based on registering demand regardless from whom. If pricing targets individuals, it would result in getting different fares quoted for the same flight, depending on whether you check fares through third party sites like expedia or through the airline's website (as the airline - hopefully... - is unable to identify you in person if you search for fares through a third party website).


User currently offlineLongHauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 5158 posts, RR: 43
Reply 24, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 24897 times:



Quoting Boydatageek (Reply 22):
In general, I'm not sure WHY this would be done, If you are repeatedly looking for a flight, that would prove you are a Price Sensitive customer, lowering the price to grab you, would be more effecient that raising the price, making you shop further, No?

If the res systems were that capable, yes. But I don't think they are. It notes interest, not interest by John Smith of Kingston Ontario. On the other hand, if interest of one person were capable, then fare may actually go UP. As now the computer knows you want the flight, and your interest show that .... "just how high is he willing to pay?'

It is like automobile shopping, if you keep dropping by the Ford dealership to see that red Mustang GT Convertible with the 427R engine ... they KNOW they have you hooked!

Yield management and marketing is a fascinating part of the business, and I like to watch it develop. This is one facet of it.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
25 Post contains links Pfletch1228 : If you google "anonymizer" and "free proxy", you should get a whole hit of companies that offer this service. Here is an example of a paid service, b
26 Nibog : Many thanks for that pfletch1228,i will give these sites a visit.
27 Aircanada014 : I've never seen prices of the same destination change in two days for same departure date and time. I've used to check prices for the flights within s
28 Ob1783P : I have been lurking at Continental.com on my usual browser, looking at a flight from Newark to Bogota, for weeks. I witnessed some ups and downs. This
29 Cubsrule : This is all good advice. One other easy thing is to search with a third party site (Expedia or Orbitz for those of us in the States) until ready to b
30 Pfletch1228 : Did you try the different browser on a different machine? OK here is a high level how the process works : 1. You determine who the site visitor is. 2
31 Post contains images StrandedInBGM : Not necessarily, many IP leases last 30 days or longer. The IP address which is assigned to your modem is the one that matters. That is the one the w
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
How Far Do Airlines Go Out Of Their Way To Help... posted Sat Jul 8 2006 00:30:56 by AirCanada014
Why Do Airlines Operate Out Of Both JFK And EWR posted Mon Dec 6 2004 22:36:45 by AirWales
US Airlines Taken Over By European Airlines..... posted Wed Apr 21 2004 01:40:33 by Kl911
What Major Orders Do Airlines In The US Have? posted Wed Dec 31 2003 06:42:08 by Flyf15
Do Airlines Recycle? posted Thu Oct 8 2009 16:41:41 by DL752
How Do Airlines Chill The Wine? posted Wed Sep 2 2009 02:34:54 by Avina10
How Do Airlines Make Money? posted Fri Aug 7 2009 14:41:53 by DocLightning
Do Airlines Hate Airports posted Sat Jul 25 2009 17:31:48 by CYXUK
How Do Airlines Cope With Late Night Diversions? posted Thu Jul 23 2009 22:30:43 by Tobias2702
How Do Airlines Divide RTW Ticket Revenue? posted Sat Jun 20 2009 04:24:54 by Gweilo88
Do Airlines "celebrate" Pax Birthdays? posted Thu Oct 20 2011 03:22:22 by robbie86
"if" The 747-8i Catches Us By Surprise... posted Sun Sep 19 2010 09:13:47 by VC10er
Universal Airlines - The US Charter Airline posted Mon Aug 30 2010 23:34:01 by Jackbr
How Do Airlines Join Alliances? posted Wed Aug 25 2010 22:35:37 by Fauzi
What Do "Airlines" Think Of Their E170/190's? posted Tue Aug 10 2010 10:01:47 by VC10er
How Far In Adv. Do Airlines Know The Ship Numbers? posted Sat May 25 2013 04:44:45 by RWA380
Why Do Airlines Have High Frequencies (short Hops) posted Tue Apr 2 2013 21:53:14 by mia305
Turkish Airlines Plane Struck By Lightning posted Fri Jan 25 2013 08:53:08 by virgin744
Why Do Airlines Offer Flights With 35 Min X-fers? posted Tue Nov 20 2012 17:54:00 by JAAlbert
Why Do (mostly) Only US Airlines Reserve Seats? posted Sun Oct 5 2008 04:44:15 by Ssides
US Airlines Taken Over By European Airlines..... posted Wed Apr 21 2004 01:40:33 by Kl911
What Major Orders Do Airlines In The US Have? posted Wed Dec 31 2003 06:42:08 by Flyf15
Do Airlines Have Spies? posted Mon Jul 21 2014 10:27:01 by 727LOVER
Why Do Airlines Change Their Names? posted Tue May 13 2014 17:35:14 by 727LOVER
How Often Do Airlines Serve The Same Menu? posted Sun May 4 2014 08:30:51 by thegivenone
How Easily Do Airlines Upgauge Equipment For Event posted Thu Apr 24 2014 11:20:21 by bingo1