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Do browser cookies increase flight prices?

Skyscanner is unbiased: clearing your cookies will not change the price you see on our site - Availability of seats and how far in advance you book all affect flight prices - Find out when the best time to book is and how to find the cheapest flights

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What are cookies?

Essentially, a cookie is a data file created by a website and stored by your web browser. It’s where your preferences are stored (like login details, usernames and passwords) so you don’t have to fill these details in every time you visit a specific site. It also means that when you search for something, like flights, your preferences are stored for the next time you visit (destination, dates, number of passengers). There are two main types: session cookies and persistent cookies. The former have a very short shelf life and are designed to store information for the duration of your time searching, but are deleted as soon as you shut down. The latter last a little longer but usually have an expiration date, which could be a few days to a few months in the future, after which they’re deleted.

Does Skyscanner use cookies to increase flight prices?

Skyscanner is only able to show prices passed on to us by the travel agent or airline whose prices we display. So, the flight price you see on Skyscanner is the one travel agents and airlines give us – we put obligations on our partners to ensure that flights are available at the prices they send us. Of course flight prices can go up or down very quickly. We keep a close eye on all prices shown by the travel providers and should we spot any behaviours that were in some way unfair, we would take immediate action.

Will clearing my cookies help me find a cheaper flight?

No. Skyscanner is unbiased and, as mentioned above, the flight prices we display are based on what travel providers (online travel agencies and airlines) tell us they are.

Then why do flight prices go up?

This can be complicated and depends on a number of different factors. But it’s always worth remembering that flight prices change in real time. Skyscanner makes every effort to ensure the price you see on our site is the price you pay with the airline or travel agent, inclusive of all fees and charges. As your departure date approaches prices might increase because there’s less availability on a particular flight. So less availability equals expensive flight prices? Yes…and no. If there are lots of available seats on a flight then partners might increase the cost of a ticket to recuperate some of the costs of having to fly the plane half full. So when should you book to find the cheapest flights? Well, funny you should ask…

When’s the best time to book the cheapest flight?

Our latest Twitter poll revealed that 86% of British travellers don’t know when they should be booking their flights to bag the best deals. We’ve searched our data and analysed millions of routes from the UK and can say that, in general, you should be looking to book your flight no later than seven weeks before you want to jet off. However, the exact time frame does differ according to your chosen destination. Check out our Best Time To Book tool for when to book the cheapest flights.

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How can I make sure I find the best deal on flights?

Skyscanner has lots of tools that will help you do just that:

Want more travel myths busted? Check this out:

Are flights on Christmas Day cheaper?

We’ve crunched the numbers and, contrary to popular belief, flying on Christmas Day isn’t likely to save you any cash, in fact it can cost considerably more!

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