Most Travelers Don't Understand Dynamic Pricing, and It's Costing Them Money

Airfare has changed over the course of the past few years. What was once a luxury for many is now something pretty affordable due to competition amongst airlines, as well as the different options for tickets and low-cost carriers. However, have you ever wondered what’s included in your fare? Alternatively, maybe you noticed your ticket cost more than your friend’s ticket for the same flight? We polled more than 1,500 travelers—and trust us, you’re not alone.

What Are Basic Economy Fares?

Purchasing an airline ticket isn’t as simple as it used to be. Tickets now go beyond the usual main cabin or first-class. We now have a new dog in the pack: basic economy. These fares are usually stripped-down fares that are sold at significantly lower price than their counterparts.

However, travelers are smart. Most (76%) say they know what is included in a basic economy fare, with only 24% saying they do not.  No matter where you fall, it’s always good to make sure you read the fine print on these fares. A general rule of thumb, most of these fares are non-refundable, come with no seat assignment, late boarding, and have extra restrictions on your items.

Can Airlines Use My Info to Set Prices?

A new tactic many airlines are starting to implement is dynamic pricing, and most travelers are clueless about what it is. In our survey, over 80% didn’t know what dynamic pricing was. Additionally, only 48% of the few that understand it actually took steps to steps prevent it.

If you’re part of the majority who don’t know what it is, it’s a pricing structure where airlines take information like your search history, browser history, or even device type and calculate how much you’re likely willing to pay. The fares you see when planning to book will reflect this.

There are a few ways to help prevent dynamic pricing. Make sure to clear your cookies and browser history before searching for a flight. If you want to go full James Bond, you can look for ways to hide your IP address or device type to further make sure you’re getting a fair deal.

More information can be found on dynamic pricing here.  More results from the 2018 Annual Survey can be found here.

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