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Possible airline scam

smitcompton

Ideal_Rock
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Hi,

Yesterday I filed a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General about what I call a fraud, and a bait and switch operation that American Airlines(from my experience) is perpetrating on un-suspecting customers.

Last Nov. I looked to make airline reservations for Dec sometime. I found what I thought would be good, at the cheapest price available, but needed to check with my son to make sure all was good with him. I returned to the website within a few hours and all the flights I looked at previously has gone up in price. I was dumbfounded, even called AA to see if I missed something. So, I just made the reservation and paid more.

Recently on CNBC, the business channel, a computer guru, who is a regular, announced that the airlines were following your computer and if you did not make a reservation immediately, needing to either think about it, or check with someone, when you came back to make the reservation , the airline increased the fare on the flights you looked at. He went on at 1am and came bac 1 hour later. He said you can circumvent this by using a different computer. They are tracking your computer.

Last week I had to make more reservations. I needed to give my son a choice of flights. When I went back within 24 hrs the flight was up $30. I booked another flight on another day, but needed to go back in after making the reservation and the new flight also went up $5.00. Only an hour later.

Yes, I know airlines change their fees, but this different. They track your computer and if you come back your fare is raised.
Just a heads up. Use a different computer if you leave the site to think it over.

Annette
 

redwood66

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I have seen this with Priceline, Hotels.com, and the like also. They definitely are tracking what you do. I wonder if clearing your browser will work?
 

CJ2008

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You know, I've often had this "feeling" when shopping for airline tickets.

I hate to think they actually are tracking activity to be able to charge more. :???:

Thanks for the warning - at least now we can figure out some workarounds.
 

Bayek

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redwood66|1473526630|4074891 said:
I have seen this with Priceline, Hotels.com, and the like also. They definitely are tracking what you do. I wonder if clearing your browser will work?
I've slowed down in travel but have a few flights coming up in the next year and have price hicks after viewing and returning to priceline... I think clearing my browser will be what I do every time now! great idea thanks.
 

Karl_K

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redwood66|1473526630|4074891 said:
I have seen this with Priceline, Hotels.com, and the like also. They definitely are tracking what you do. I wonder if clearing your browser will work?
It used to when they just tracked cookies but many sites now track ip addresses with the destination and not just cookies to get around it.
In that case another computer will not help unless its on a different internet connection.
 

luv2sparkle

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I always clear out my browser every time I do research on airlines and it always works. Just did it today for a flight tomorrow. Easy peasy.
 

LadyMCh

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I've never really thought of this as a scam. Online prices fluctuate based on days and time of days due to algorithms and website traffic. Basically, they charge more at more in demand times to buy flights. If you do a quick online search, you can find a lot of "hacks" that give you the *statistically* best time to buys flights.
Yes, your IP address gets tracked by tons of websites all the time, including airlines, which leads to price adjustments on their side. They can see that you were interested in the flight but didn't buy it. Like it or not, I don't think there's anything illegal about it, so I don't think your complaint will get any traction. Sorry.
It's not just AA; it's EVERYONE. Have you ever noticed if you search for something you want to buy online, all the sudden you start seeing advertisements for that item online? Or you start getting emails from the website you were looking at? Yeah...
 

arkieb1

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What you are explaining doesn't happening in Australia, it could in theory, and major airlines have the ability to do so, having said that you do realise that large airlines all over the world employ people live to raise and lower fares according to real time competition and demand, what this means is there are real people sitting behind desks raising and lowering fare structures, if all cheap seats sell out within an hour or half hour timeframe the price will also automatically click up to the next price category, these things could also explain what you have experienced.
 

redwood66

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Karl_K|1473556478|4075006 said:
redwood66|1473526630|4074891 said:
I have seen this with Priceline, Hotels.com, and the like also. They definitely are tracking what you do. I wonder if clearing your browser will work?
It used to when they just tracked cookies but many sites now track ip addresses with the destination and not just cookies to get around it.
In that case another computer will not help unless its on a different internet connection.
So because I use my smartphone as my internet as a wifi hotspot it does not have a static ip. Clearing cookies should work for me yes? Thanks Karl.
 

lambskin

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Airlines have been doing this for years. I caught on and used a different computer when I made my final decision. Clearing cookies helped too. If you have to check with someone and can do it quickly, don't log out and just minimze your screen. When you find out what you need to know, just go back to book .
 

lambskin

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Airlines have been doing this for years. I caught on and used a different computer when I made my final decision. Clearing cookies helped too. If you have to check with someone and can do it quickly, don't log out and just minimze your screen. When you find out what you need to know, just go back to book .
 

Karl_K

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redwood66|1473603505|4075134 said:
Karl_K|1473556478|4075006 said:
redwood66|1473526630|4074891 said:
I have seen this with Priceline, Hotels.com, and the like also. They definitely are tracking what you do. I wonder if clearing your browser will work?
It used to when they just tracked cookies but many sites now track ip addresses with the destination and not just cookies to get around it.
In that case another computer will not help unless its on a different internet connection.
So because I use my smartphone as my internet as a wifi hotspot it does not have a static ip. Clearing cookies should work for me yes? Thanks Karl.
yes if the ip address actually changes.
Check it by doing a google search for "what is my ip address" cell networks are ip6 and often will get the
same address every time if they are connecting to the same tower or zone.
 

diamondseeker2006

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I have definitely seen this happen on Amazon. Makes me crazy, but I am not sure that is illegal. They probably can make the price whatever they want until you click "buy".
 

smitcompton

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Hi,

Well, you all have opened my eyes to what is happening. Flight fares used to change On Tues or Wed at midnite where you could find the cheapest fares. It is true that cheaper fares are done in blocks and when those sell out it moves to the higher fare blocks. Seems reasonable. But this happens when someone shows an interest in a particular fare. I can see this happening for hotel rooms as well because we do know room rates also change, just like flight fares, so we are less likely to think they are using our interest in flight as an excuse to raise your individual rate. You may be right and it may not be illegal, but I do think there is a bait and switch about it.

When I have filed a complaint with the AGs office other times they have responded and resolved my complaints. I'll let you know what they say. It will probably take a few weeks. I learned more from you guys.

Annette
 

redwood66

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diamondseeker2006|1473693076|4075517 said:
I have definitely seen this happen on Amazon. Makes me crazy, but I am not sure that is illegal. They probably can make the price whatever they want until you click "buy".
Oh yes! I completely forgot about Amazon doing this. It makes me so mad! I can buy one thing and two days (or two minutes) later it is either more $ or less $. The less $ really pisses me off.
 

lambskin

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Now that you mention Amazon doing it I noticed this in my Amazon Prime video favorites account. Movies I have saved or watched a while back are no no longer free and there is a charge. :angryfire:
 
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