This image has been making the rounds lately. It’s a tweet from a guy who was trying to make an airline reservation. After doing some research and going back to the Ryanair site, he found that the prices had been jacked up. After clearing out his browser’s cookies, the price went down again.
I’d seen it floating around and put it in the back of my mind, but I’m glad I did: we just used it for the same sort of purpose. We’re planning a family trip in a couple months, and as part of that trip we were going to spend a night in Vegas. Wifeling was doing the research and found that the Luxor would be around $80 for a night. We didn’t book right away though: we waited until the other reservations were made first. When she checked again, she found the price to be $120. And with a memory of cookie-related travel issues in mind, I told her to clear her cookies and try again.
It said $67.
Not that $120 breaks the bank for us, but how dishonest is that crap? We’re paying nearly twice the price simply because we visit the reservations page more than once? Quite ridiculous.
We still booked (at the cheaper rate of course), though it’s probably otherwise a situation where taking business elsewhere is in order. But this is the kind of bullshit that unchecked web tracking enables.