Traveling a lot can be detrimental, especially when it comes to air trips.
Even with discounts, holiday and special deals, finding a price that doesn’t cut a big chunk of your travel budget is a hard task to do.
Things get even more complicated if you live in a high-income country.
In this case, you’re likely to encounter online price discrimination airlines use to make money on “wealthier” customers.
Luckily, there exists a quick and easy way to get cheap flight tickets in 2020 and beyond.
All you need to have for cheaper flights is a VPN.
How Airline Companies Websites Track Your Location
Before we define what a VPN is and how it can help you save on flight tickets, first, we need to discuss how websites of airline companies track your physical location and why they do this.
To begin with, you have to acknowledge that airline companies bump their prices based on the location of a prospective customer.
What this means is that the prices for the exact same flight can be different for a person living in England and a person living in India.
If you ask, why there exists such a discrepancy in airfare rates, the answer will be really simple: airline companies use dynamic pricing to make more profit off citizens of developed (richer) countries and also to make their service affordable for citizens of developing countries.
Now, in order for dynamic pricing to work, airlines track your location by using the following methods:
Given that, by their nature, browser cookies track and store your Internet activities, travel and flight companies analyze your cookies to see if you’ve recently searched for a particular flight several times.
Then, based on your online behavior, airline companies can increase the ticket price for a certain flight.
2. IP address tracking
You can think of your IP address as of a passport in the online world: your IP tells websites who you are and where you’re located.
When you’re surfing a website to book a flight, the website usually checks your IP address to determine how much a ticket will cost based on your physical location.
3. Mobile tracking
All modern mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have a GPS feature that indicates your geo-location.
If you’re browsing websites on your mobile device, airline and travel companies will likely see your location and adjust ticket prices based on it.
4. HTML5 geo-location coding
Websites coded with HTML5 can track your location even on a personal computer.
5. Wi-Fi tracking
Airline and travel websites can also track your location if you give them permission to read your Wi-Fi connection.
All of the above things are the reason why you may overpay for flight tickets.
For example, a person in a different part of the world using another currency will pay less, even if you both are going to use the same airline and book the same flight on the same date.
What Is A VPN
A VPN or a virtual private network is a technology that allows for secure and private data transmission between your device and the Internet.
People use VPNs to bypass Internet censorship, change their IP addresses, hide digital identity as well as protect delicate data from hackers and prying eyes.
Also, VPNs can be used for a variety of other purposes.
For example, you can use a VPN to get cheaper flight tickets.
How To Use A VPN To Save Money On Flights
By using a VPN, you can change your IP address and search for tickets anonymously as though you reside in a different country.
Here are the steps that you need to take to find cheaper flights:
- First, search websites for flight deals without using a VPN
- Bookmark the pages with the flights you would like to take and write down the prices
- Turn a VPN on and connect to a VPN server in a country different than yours
- Open an incognito window in a separate browser
- Copy the URLs of bookmarked pages or search for the flights as in the first steps
- Compare prices until you find the best price
8 Proven Ways To Get Cheaper Flights
Now you may wonder, what are the actual techniques you can use to get cheaper flights with a VPN (or even without it).
Well, here they are:
1. Change your IP to a low-income country
Use a VPN like, for example, SwitchVPN to change your IP address to an IP in a country with lower income.
Then, check how the prices change.
Usually, websites will display reduced prices if your IP address comes from a low-income country.
That's because airline companies know that people living in a low-income country may not be able to pay the same price for a ticket as, let’s say, people living in the UK.
2. Change your IP to your destination country
Another thing you can do to save on airfares is to connect to a VPN server in your destination country.
After doing so, typically you will see a noticeable drop in ticket prices.
3. Change your IP to the airline’s country
Changing your IP to the country from which the airline originates can also help you lower flight prices.
And even if prices don't drop considerably, even such little savings can help you save big in the long run.
4. Change your IP to avoid price surge
As we’ve already mentioned, websites often increase prices based on your online behavior.
For instance, when you search for the same flight several times without changing your IP address, you may notice that the ticket costs are gradually growing.
To prevent this from happening, you can connect to any SwitchVPN server you like — even if this server is in your home country.
Then, all you need to do is just go back to the website you browsed to see that the prices returned to normal.
5. Clear your cookies
As you already know, cookies contain information about your online activities, and websites use them to increase flight prices.
Therefore it is a good idea to clear your cookies and browsing history to force websites to show you regular prices.
However, there’s no guarantee this technique will work if a website reads your location information from a different source such as your WiFi.
That’s why you might also think of using a VPN if this trick doesn’t work.
6. Use Google Flights
With a tool like Google Flights, you can find good deals based on your travel dates.
Google Flights allows you to buy tickets on a budget if you choose the dates wisely.
To help you do that, the tool shows you a calendar with the cheapest flight price for each day of your chosen month.
7. Use international versions of websites
Prices may differ between the different versions of a website you use.
Therefore, you can try switching between different regional versions of one website.
To do this, you can change the ccTLD of your initial website to a country-code top-level domain of another country.
For example for France, it will be (.fr), for New Zealand (.nz), for Australia (.au), and so on.
However, in some cases, websites will force-redirect you only to that version of a website that corresponds with the country you're in.
That’s because they see your IP, and you need to turn a VPN on to hide it.
8. Plan your trips ahead
Planning your trips ahead is a good tactic to employ even though it has nothing to do with using a VPN.
If you’re an avid traveler, you probably know that you can save a good amount of money if you pick an optimal time to book your flight.
For instance, according to farecompare.com, the best time to purchase flight tickets is on Tuesday at 3 pm eastern time.
And for U.S. domestic travel, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are typically the cheapest days to fly.
What is more, you can also avoid overpaying if you fly during off-peak hours.
Is It Legal To Use A VPN To Get Cheaper Flights
Yes, what we know is that using a VPN to book cheaper flights is an absolutely legal practice.
First of all, there are no international or domestic laws that could prohibit you from doing so.
Finally, if you think of online price discrimination, it all itself looks illegal or at least very unfair that airlines charge their customers different prices just because they live in different countries.
Thus, you can use a VPN to your advantage anytime you want to save an extra penny.
Have a good flight!