Stop Clearing Cookies When Searching for Flights
clearing cookies when searching for flights

Stop Clearing Your Cookies When Searching for Flights (It Doesn’t Matter)

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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.


Bottom Line 

Stop wasting your time clearing cookies. It’s not getting you a better deal on your flight.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

10 Responses

  • Agree to disagree about Google Flights being totally comprehensive…I recently spent about a week tracking prices on an international route using Google, Kayak, and Expedia. Several of those days there were ideal flights (including the one I ended up booking) on the latter two that weren’t showing up on the former. It’s a very useful tool, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Also, I think ITA Matrix (owned by Google) is infinitely more useful and powerful than Google Flights–not sure why they keep them separate.

    • I mean it is comprehensive compared to other OTAs. Google Flights typically pulls from the airlines, Priceline, and Expedia, which should generally find the cheapest fare (9 times out of 10). Yes, ITA is more powerful, as it’s the backend for Google Flights, but it’s:
      A. Slow as hell.
      B. You can’t book with it.
      C. The average joe sure won’t be able to figure it out.

  • NOOOO! The Tuesday thing can’t be true. I typically find the best deals on Monday and Tuesday. I have NEVER searched the same flight after a Tuesday and found a lower price. It’s typically around $100 more for the same exact flight every other day I look. When using the app Hopper to monitor flights it also typically shows the lowest prices on Tuesday. Coincidence or conspiracy who really knows?

  • The issue for me is not that the fare increases, it is that I Don’t always see the lower price. If I change computers(up address) I find lower fare. And what about point of sale

    • This will not happen if you use Google Flights. If it does it is only due to the variability of fare pricing.

  • My husband and I were sat on the sofa on separate devices. I was showing him a low cost flight ai had found earlier. However on his phone all the flights shown were £5 cheaper than mine. That’s £20 difference on a low cost return flight.

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