It’s Time To Debunk A Common Myth About Finding The Best Airline Deals Online

This one has been circulating far and wide for many years. It’s Time To Debunk A Common Myth About Finding The Best Airline Deals Online Giphy

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While incognito mode has several uses (some of which we don’t need to get into here), there’s one alleged benefit of using the more private web browsing option that simply doesn’t hold water.

Despite what you might have heard, you won't find cheaper tickets for your next commercial flight just by switching into incognito mode.

Where did the myth come from?

The airline industry isn’t alone in fueling the misconception that keeping one’s identity a secret will somehow open up a lower price that otherwise wouldn’t be available.

Since we’ve all experienced the concept of searching for a product and then being inundated with ads for that very same product, we’ve become sort of accustomed to assuming that companies are trying to gouge us because they know we’re interested in what they’re selling.

But it’s not true for coats or shoes or ukuleles … and it’s also not the case when shopping around for an airline ticket.

There’s a major difference, though

Although the underlying facts might be the same regarding the irrelevance of incognito mode, there’s probably another reason that so many people wrongly assume that using this supposed hack will result in cheaper airfare.

It dates back to the 1970s, when the industry was deregulated and carriers began a battle to offer the lowest price that continues to rage to this day.

So whenever one seat is booked, the price of other seats on the same flight are adjusted accordingly. You might find a lower price in incognito mode, but it doesn’t mean that’s the reason.

Scott Keyes, the CEO of discount airfare site Going, explained: “I think this myth mostly stems from the fact that airfare is extraordinarily volatile. It’s so easy to confuse volatility with a sort of ‘Truman Show’ belief that it’s because of you.”

Chris Agee
Chris Agee March 26th, 2024
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