Ticket prices for flights: Nasty surprise with Smartphone booking

Book flights via your PC for cheaper ticket prices.

If you want to book your next holiday online, you should read on. Because the ticket prices for air travel flights vary enormously depending on the device with which the trip is booked. This is what a European publication “Clever Reisen!” has now found in a test.

It makes travel booking using your smartphone up to £140 more expensive. We will explain to you which devices are more favourable to book with and which ones not book with.

If you have several internet-enabled devices, you should always ask the prices in parallel on all devices. This means that you can determine which device promises the most attractive price. In addition, you should delete the browser history and cookies before price queries – regardless of the device.

Ticket prices depend on the device

For the test, the ticket prices of airline, travel and flight portals were sampled at the same time from a desktop computer, iPhone and Android smartphone at the same time with different IP addresses. The results leads you to believe that the prices vary according to the device. The school of thought is “if you have an expensive iPhone, you can spend more on product X than someone who calls from an Android smartphone or even if a PC was used“. It looks like air travel now is following suit.

Prices vary on the same flights

The testers have determined that a flight ticket from Munich to Miami in Business Class on the smartphone with the Bravofly App is 160 Euros more expensive than the same flight booked with the computer. For bookings in economy class, the price per smartphone and app is also higher. In the test, the route from Berlin to New York with British Airways by app was 19.50 euros more expensive. We have checked if this is the same in the UK and there is the same discrepancy using Bravofly.

If you use your smartphone to book, it is not only for Bravofly.co.uk that your flights are more expensive. Expect pricier offerings through other portals such as ebookers.com and opodo.co.uk. if you don’t book using your PC.

In the test there were nine queries for economy class tickets. The price was 5 times higher when a smartphone was used. For bookings by smartphone app, you will have to pay up to £65 per flight ticket more. The differences for Business Class are even greater. With two queries, there were much higher prices on the smartphone than on the home computer: £87 surcharge at Opodo, and £140 more at Bravofly.

Dynamic Pricing

This form of rip-off already has a name. It is called Dynamic Pricing also known as surge pricing, demand pricing or time-based pricing. This is a price strategy in which companies adjust prices for products or services according to market conditions. For airlines, Dynamic Pricing is used to tailor flights to specific times, weekdays, and days before departure. Consumers know this and it is recommend to make price comparisons and bookings from the home computer, and remember to clear your cookies and browser history before each new session.