Of the many myths that surround travel and airfare, one stands out. I hear it again and again and again, from beginners to even so-called travel experts.
“You should clear the cookies on your internet browser when searching for flights because the website will track what you’re looking for and jack up the price.”
Let me say it unequivocally: Clearing your cookies does nothing. Absolutely nothing.
We here at Thrifty Traveler find flight deals for a living. And like us, you should be using Google Flights as the starting point for every trip you’re planning. It’s far and away the most powerful and versatile tool to book the cheapest flight possible.
Google Flights does not track cookies to raise prices. And when booking directly with airlines or through online travel agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and Priceline, your flight searches also won’t be affected by your previous searches tracked by cookies.
So what’s the answer behind the constantly changing flight prices, then? Why did that ticket you were looking at suddenly jump in price?
The reality is that airfare pricing is fickle, and it’s always changing. Airlines are constantly altering their prices as tickets sell and demand changes.
One simple explanation behind a sudden change in price is something called the airfare’s fare class. While you just see economy and first-class on the plane, airlines sell tickets by separate classifications called fare classes. Every fare class has its own price, and when the cheapest fare class sells out, the price will jump up to the next, higher-priced class.
This is why we always recommend setting up Google Flights price alerts to monitor for cheap fares. Of course, you could get signed up for Thrifty Traveler Premium, where we do all the hard work of finding the best international flight deals for you.
Thrifty Tip: Learn more about how Thrifty Traveler Premium works.
Stop wasting your time clearing cookies. It’s not getting you a better deal on your flight.