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Do Airlines Hike Fares When a Route Is Searched Often?

SmarterTravel

Dear Jessica,

Do airlines raise prices if they notice a certain route is being searched more frequently online?

—S.M.

Dear S.M.,

I suspect many other readers have wondered the same thing you’re asking, particularly when a fare you were interested suddenly jumped up after you searched for it several times. But the truth is, airfares are dictated by the market and competition. If an airline can charge a premium and increase fares, it will, but with it being such a competitive industry that is rarely the case.

RELATED: Do Booking Sites Raise Prices Based on Your Search Habits?

On the other hand, our friends at Airfarewatchdog.com recommend clearing the cookies on your Internet browser if you’ve been searching a particular route often: “If a fare changes between two separate searches done over time on the same route, some fare search engines may return the results you viewed earlier rather than the new, lower results.”

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Last Updated: September 16, 2015

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