A virtual private network, or VPN for short, is used by savvy internet users to mask their IP address, encrypt sensitive data, and render online activities invisible. In terms of cybersecurity, a VPN provides one of the best safety protocols on the scene.
But a VPN has another unsuspected purpose – to protect your rights as a consumer.
Take online shopping for airplane tickers, for instance.
The vast majority of airplane companies and price comparison sites useyour cookies, IP address, GPS location, as well as HTML5 code to form prices that are specific to your shopping history, traveling habits, and location. This is called dynamic pricing.
A VPN can help you go around this.
Why Are You Paying More for Your Flights?
Dynamic pricing – a strategy most airplane companies use for tailoring individual ticket prices – can be based on multiple factors. Cookies, for instance, reveal your browsing history and thus tell companies how often you travel and how much you usually pay for flights.
They can also indicate the amount of hurry you are in when booking.
Along with cookies, dynamic pricing also uses your location to calculate the demand rate for certain flights and destinations in the place you live in. The more people travel to, say, Indonesia from your country, the more expensive your ticket to Jakarta will be.
Flight route profiling, on the other hand, is a strategy that helps airplane companies analyze data and determine the unique characteristics of certain flights. For example, Singapore-Kuala Lumpur is traditionally known as the busiest leisure route in the world.
Thanks to all this, it’s nothing unusual for plane ticket prices to vary from individual to individual, even when all the flight parameters are exactly the same, including the route, airplane company, and date. And it’s all because the internet knows a lot about you.
Here’s how to use a VPN to prevent this.
Browse Tickets from the Destination Country
If you’re flying from Barcelona to Los Angeles, use your VPN to change the IP address of your device to a virtual server located in the US. Using this trick, you can browse tickets on both official airline companies’ websites and popular price comparison services.
In both cases, your flight ticket price can be significantly lower.
One VPN user has reported a difference of a whopping 67% for the same flight from the UK to the US after changing his IP address from the United Kingdom to the United States. The only thing you need for this trick to work is to get the best VPN you can find.
Book Tickets from a Lower Income Country
The idea is the same for this one, and so are the results.
Using a VPN allows you to change your IP address for any other address in the world. This means that you can experiment with different options for booking plane tickets. One of them is to browse from the destination country, another is to pretend to be poorer than you are.
Changing your IP address to a lower income country should trick airline companies and comparison sites that use dynamic pricing into offering you a price based on demand rate that is much lower than your country’s. Try India, Afghanistan, Central African Republic, or Nepal.
Change Your Address to the Airline’s Country
You can sometimes save money on your airplane ticket if you change your IP address to the server located in the country your airplane company is based in. That way, you can choose the cheapest airline and drop their prices additionally by browsing via a virtual private network.
Help Your VPN to Help You Find Cheaper Flights
Why not browse in incognito mode, you ask?
Private browsing mode can only hide your online activity to a certain extent. The so-called browser fingerprinting prevents this method from being as successful as having a VPN, and it all eventually falls down to cookies and your browsing history.
Do your best to keep them clean, with or without a VPN.
Auto-destructive cookies add-ons are pretty effective at wiping your cookies five seconds after a tab is closed, so consider using them as well. As for your browsing history, it may be a good idea to use incognito mode whenever you’re shopping online.
It’s certainly recommended to use the best VPN for protecting your devices and sensitive data from cyber attacks, but here’s another convincing reason to leverage this technology’s vast potential. With a VPN, you can get massive discounts on your airfare.