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Discussion: Dynamic Pricing – Flight Pricing’s Biggest Scam?

Indiana Jo Blog

ph.logo.sublogos.news.white-DISCUSSIONWant to know what dynamic pricing is? Want to find out how this discriminatory pricing practice used by airlines, is pushing up the cost of your flights? And, most importantly, want to understand how to beat the system to get cheaper prices? Read on…

Once upon a time I was a consumer protection lawyer and although I traded my Blackberry for a backpack nearly four years ago, my interest in consumer protection issues holds strong.

So, when I recently tried to book a flight from the USA to Colombia and saw my flight price had increased due to a little known practice called dynamic pricing (more on this in a sec), I saw red.

Underhand, undisclosed and about as consumer protection un-friendly as you can get – despite being perfectly legal – I’m writing this article to spread the word, to explain about the practice of dynamic pricing and to equip you with some tips and tools to beat the big boys at their own game.

Top Comments


I am so glad to read a post calling out airlines on this BS. But it’s not just airlines that practice this! I searched for a bus ticket from Brussels to Paris and found a really good €9 deal which jumped inconspicuously to €23 when I looked it up again to buy it. Fortunately because I’d already found out about dynamic pricing (although I didn’t know that was its name), I was immediately suspicious and so I used Chrome incognito to see if I was being played, and sure enough I got the price of €9 again. Seriously, €9 to €23 is an increase of like 150% – it’s more than ridiculous!!

Enjoy Cartagena (and the rest of Colombia) – it’s glorious!

Jonny, that’s outrageous! Yes, often it’s an affordable jump in price terms but that % increase is disgusting. If travel companies are going to be so fast and loose with their pricing, it’s should at least be a legal requirement that they enter into bartering – that would settle the playing field a bit. I haven’t seen this happen with bus prices myself but I suspected the topic was broader. Thanks for sharing the example! And, I’m definitely looking forward to enjoying Colombia!

Jo, I had the same cookie shock when I played around with deleting mine and I also found a whole bunch of cookies from sites I’d never visited. I like not having to complete info over and over on websites but I’m starting to reconsider my relationship with cookies. Yep, it certainly does allow shadier companies to rip us off, but what staggers me the most is that the companies involved in dynamic pricing are not what we would classically consider shady – apart from this, I’m a huge fan of Virgin Atlantic, for example. Glad to share the tips about Incognito Mode – kind of ironic that Google is the saviour when it is more commonly criticised for invasion of privacy.

Wow, I just went into my cookies to try and selectively delete them so I didn’t lose my password. Hundreds and hundreds of cookies for sites I’ve never been on (I assume they were picked up through adverts and such?). And I’ve only had this laptop a month! No wonder companies have so much information on what we’re doing!

Dynamic pricing is a disgrace! The internet is wonderful for bargains in most cases, but there’s no denying it also helps shadier companies rip people off! Thanks for the tips about incognito mode, it hadn’t occurred to me to use it!

Enjoy Colombia- it’s my favourite country so far, and Cartagena is perhaps the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen!

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