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Birdwatching
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Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:50 pm

Before bashing me for the thread title and complaining how I'm just writing what's general knowledge, wait for a second and read on. I think everybody knows that LCC fares go up and down dynamically, but I still want to share my experience because I have never found a first hand example with real numbers in this forum.

About a week ago I started looking into some flights in March from STN to FMM on Ryanair, and on the date I was looking for, there is a morning and mid day flight.

When I first started looking, both flights came up as £14,99 on the Ryanair site. I selected the mid day flight, went until the seat selection, and at the same time pulled up the flight on several OTAs to check out the different fees depending on payment method. Then I kind of dropped it all because I had something else to do and checked again a couple of hours latter.

Now the morning flight was £14,99 and the flight I had selected was £28,55. Roughly the same prices came up on the OTAs (some still had the old price but when I selected it, it came up as price increased).

Anyway I was kind of pissed off, still very cheap but now double of what it was earlier. I figured somebody else must have just booked the last cheap ticket, and left it at that.

2 days later I came back and checked again. Both flights were £14,99 again. By this time, I had already opted for a different routing with a different airline so I wasn't interested in the Ryanair flight any more, but this made me curious and I selected the mid day flight again, went ahead and added all kinds of extras, seats, baggage, insurance, rental car, hotel... stopping at the last (payment) page. At the same time, I did a search on a bunch of OTAs which all showed around £14,99 again. Then I waited for a couple of hours. As expected, later that day the morning flight cost £14,99 and the mid day flight was back up at £28,55. This made me realize how closely showing interest in a flight is linked to the fare going up almost instantly.

Anyway, today both flights are back at £14,99 again. I could go ahead and troll Ryanair and fake interest in some flights and watch the fare go up, but honestly I can't be bothered. This just taught me that if I see the price go up after looking for flights, not to book it in panic, but wait a couple of days.
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
 
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Vasu
Posts: 3165
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2005 5:34 am

Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:39 pm

Is it linked to cookies on your computer? I know some airlines do/did that...

I’ve had it happen too - if I looked at the same flights a few times and didn’t book the price seemed to go up, but then after a few days went down again.

Moral of the story? Book flights on the whim!
 
ThalesCoelho
Posts: 48
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Mon Jan 22, 2018 11:57 pm

Some years ago I noticed the same with Air France, looking for a GRU-CDG flight, the most I returned to their website, more expensive the fare was. Then I cleaned the cookies of my navigator and wow! I got the old fares!
 
NichCage
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:19 am

Airlines change prices of there flights from time to time. Even if you are on Google Flights, you may get a warning on a certain flight that prices may increase. So it's not a secret or anything like that, it's what airlines just do.
 
Zachbt
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Joined: Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:11 pm

Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:21 am

LCCs booking systems, as said above, use cookies and I don't think, as far as I know, it's meant to be underhandedly, when you do your first search your technically taking a seat from the allocated pricing bucket and it's being held for you for a certain amount of time. Means that if someone 30 seconds behind you looks at the same flight then if there's no more of the lower cost seats available then they'll get the next tier. If you leave your booking and go back to it there is still the imprint of your original search held between the booking system and your browser so the booking system will go to the next available price as it still thinks your computer is holding the original price waiting to be booked. Technology is pretty advanced but software still has limitations, always delete your history, cache and cookies if you've been pricing things online and never completed paying.
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:46 am

If you've looked into a certain flight a couple of times they know you're looking at it and they rise the price so they can sell it for a higher fare. Then if you don't book they lower it again. Best trick is to not look into the flight too often, just look into it once and then book immediately.
 
FrancisBegbie
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:16 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
If you've looked into a certain flight a couple of times they know you're looking at it and they rise the price so they can sell it for a higher fare. Then if you don't book they lower it again. Best trick is to not look into the flight too often, just look into it once and then book immediately.


Just two weeks ago, looking to book 2 flights for a relative. Got booted twice when entering personal details at purchase. Logging in the third time, total fare had gone up by 20% (EUR 400)! Switched on a different laptop and got the old price back immediately. When finishing the booking I even got a notification that 'since I started booking, the price has dropped, so your total is now EUR 40,- less'. Thanks. All on klm.com
 
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Dahlgardo
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:36 am

It's a reprehensible practice, but it's certainly in the spirit of the nickel and dime mindset that has become so widespread in the airline industry.

I always use the TOR-browser and block cookies when I search for tickets to aviod this crap.
Using searh engines like Momondo can also be helpfull.
leave your nines at home and bring your skills to the battle
 
WIederling
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:44 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
If you've looked into a certain flight a couple of times they know you're looking at it and they rise the price so they can sell it for a higher fare. Then if you don't book they lower it again. Best trick is to not look into the flight too often, just look into it once and then book immediately.


Interesting if it is only raised for "you" or for "everybody". ( try from a different device and IP ?)
Murphy is an optimist
 
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JannEejit
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:56 am

I was advised years ago by a travel agent to clear cookies when booking flights. It's ok as long as you can remember all your log ins and passwords for sites you use, like this one.
 
Kikko19
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:57 am

JannEejit wrote:
I was advised years ago by a travel agent to clear cookies when booking flights. It's ok as long as you can remember all your log ins and passwords for sites you use, like this one.


same here, search always "incognito"...
 
al2637
Posts: 245
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:11 am

Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 12:22 pm

I've worked in airline IT for 15 years, and honestly have never seen or heard the requirement to alter the price depending on how much the passenger looks. It actually makes no sense either. The passenger could be checking for the price to go down, or comparing you with a rival, in which case you loose the sale if you increase the price.

What actually happens is what when you click through to the final few stages of the booking, the seat is actually temporarily reserved for you (for a couple of minutes). This can cause the price to go up for the next person to do the same search. Is, as the OP says, they also did some searching on OTAs, these are also temporarily holding the seat, which will cause the price to increase (until the systems believes you have abandoned the flow)

There are other factors of course, dynamic pricing algorithms kick in if there is a rush on a flight etc, but I've never seen anything try and change the price based on specifically who the user was (or how many times they have searched)
 
Cunard
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:55 pm

Really?

Regarding your last paragraph,

It's happened to myself on many occasions and I'm aware of how it works and it seems as if others are too!
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
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SomebodyInTLS
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 2:39 pm

It was certainly the case back in the day. I recall some news article discussing IIRC EasyJet doing it back when online booking was just becoming a reality.

I've also experienced first-hand odd shenanigans when booking National Express bus to Heathrow... it didn't matter what time slot at what one-way price I selected - once I added the return the total price always "just happened" to be the same! The price to go out to Heathrow was going up and down like a yo-yo as I tried to decide what time to book, which had me really annoyed - until I noticed that selecting the return balanced it out again.
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andymartin
Posts: 162
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:35 pm

Flybe were/maybe still are, notorious for that.
Just use a VPN on your pc and that puts a stop to their little price manipulation .
 
Arion640
Posts: 3076
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:15 pm

Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 5:47 pm

andymartin wrote:
Flybe were/maybe still are, notorious for that.
Just use a VPN on your pc and that puts a stop to their little price manipulation .


I remember looking at the exact same flights at the same time (this was Jetstar NZ) one from my ipad, one from my phone. The phone price was about 20 dollars more than the ipad price!
 
Strato2
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Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:05 pm

ThalesCoelho wrote:
Some years ago I noticed the same with Air France, looking for a GRU-CDG flight, the most I returned to their website, more expensive the fare was. Then I cleaned the cookies of my navigator and wow! I got the old fares!


Hear hear. Exactly the same experience with AF. Looked at flight and then went back to book and the price had increased by 20 euros. Did not even know the trick with cookies back then.
 
teachpdx
Posts: 151
Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:51 am

Re: Ryanair fares going up while searching, then down again

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:03 pm

This happens so often, and not just with the airline industry. I just booked a train ticket from Paris to Frankfurt. On the SNCF website it showed 29 Euro, I let it sit for a few hours and it had bumped up to 39 Euro. So I went to the DB website and purchased the same train for 29 Euro, as the same bump in price hadn’t happened there.
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