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Airlines Playing Games With Website Pricing – Don’t Be a Victim of Price Gouging

Big corporations have one thing on their priority list, profit. Profit is not a bad word to me, I made over $1,000 reselling and earning points in May. Profits with integrity is what makes our country great, however some airlines have price gouging practices that border on “dirty”.

 

Delta is the airline I will pick-on this time. I really like Delta, so much so I recently wrote about them. That being said, while shopping for a Delta award flight to my old neck-of-the-woods I stumbled upon a nasty example of price gouging.

 

We all know that price gouging exists, but having it happen to you when your guard down is NOT cool, Delta. I am far from a novice airfare shopper and I will admit it took me a few minutes to realize that my eyes were not screwing with me, it was Delta trying to SCREW me.

 

 

I was looking for flights from Phoenix to Seattle which normally cost somewhere in the 7,000-12,500 point range. I found a bunch of flights for 12,500 points, good but not great.  After just a few minutes of shopping all the flights showed a minimum of 25,000 points, one-way! I am the person that browses in multiple tabs because I jump back-and-forth while other pages are loading. Fortunately for me I had a separate Delta tab open showing the 12.5k point flights. I matched up the flight number and dates and sure enough Delta had DOUBLED the price after just a few minutes of browsing.

 

 

Side-by-side difference. Don't be fooled!
Side-by-side difference. Don’t be fooled!

 

 

Again, this tactic is not uncommon it just sucks when it happens to you. So if it does happen to you, open an incognito window ensuring you are seeing the most current pricing without being gouged. If you want to be ultra-sure you can check on a different device on a different network. Some sites will see your public gateway address so it won’t matter if you browse incognito (which means you don’t store cookies during that session), you will actually need to get on a different IP. An easy way to shop flights from a different IP would be to use your phone on your 4G connection.

 

 

gouging
Don’t forget to try on your phone over 4G to avoid possible price gouging

 

Moral of the story, airlines do not have your best interest in mind. When I opened an incognito window the prices immediately showed 12.5k points again. Dirty, Delta, dirty!