Do Browser Cookies Really Affect Online Airline Ticket Prices?

UNCA Author/Contributor (non-UNCA co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Zoe Hamel, Student (Creator)
University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA )
Web Site:
Christopher Bell

Abstract: Many travel websites recommend that consumers clear their cookies before buying an airline ticket in order to get better prices. Today the idea that browser cookies might influence the price of an airline ticket is widespread.Charging different prices to different consumers for the same product where those differences in price do not reflect differences in cost is called price discrimination. Internet technology has made it possible for airlines to pricediscriminate between their consumers using browser cookies. But do they really charge different prices to consumers with cookies on their computers showing that they have already visited the website? Or is it an urbanmyth? The aim of this study is to find evidence on the domestic U.S. airline market. Prices were collected on 41 routes flown by three of the leading U.S. airlines: American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Air Lines. Results suggest that browser cookies do not affect online airline ticket prices.

Additional Information

UNC Asheville - Journal of Undergraduate Research
Language: English
Date: 2014
browser cookies, airline tickets, internet sales

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