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Airlines could set airfare based on your income | Yahoo Finance

Nailing down the cheapest airfare can be tough. Prices are based on a handful of factors, including route, date and demand, so they are always in flux. Now airlines might start looking at new ways to determine airfare, like your income.

This month Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-N.Y.) warned that some major airlines want to collect personal data from passengers and use it to influence fares. His suspicions could have stemmed from a Travel Weekly article that quoted an executive management software provider PROS, who said a few airlines had already implemented dynamic pricing on some routes on their own websites.

This practice, also known as micro-target pricing, uses customer data like online purchasing habits, browsing history and income information to set airfares.

Bottom line: it would raise fares for some, and offer discounts to others. That’s why Schumer asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate.

In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get a fair price.

Clear your cookies
Always clear the cookies in your browser each time you search for a flight. If you don’t, the browser will remember you were looking at prices and possibly show you higher fares the second time around. If you’re using Chrome or Safari  simply click on your browser dropdown menu and select “clear browsing history.” On Firefox, click the “history” dropdown menu and select “clear history.”,

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Airlines could set airfare based on your income.