Making Your Next Travel Booking Online? You Might Want to be Careful

Travel image on laptop
Photo by Artiom Vallat on Unsplash

It’s that time of the year when many of us start making plans for summer travel (Coronavirus scare notwithstanding). In India, children enjoy summer holidays between the months of April and June, coinciding with the hottest time of the year (before the onset of the monsoons in June lower the heat and humidity).

If you, like millions of other users, are actively researching your next holiday online, then you might want to read these articles:

How ‘dark patterns’ influence travel bookings – A long article highlighting some of the ways online travel plans play with human psychology to get users on their site to make their booking right then. Examples include the use of statements such as ‘xx number of users are looking at this property right now’, or ‘3 rooms booked at this property in the last 24 hours’, etc. Now, I have no problem if these are genuinely true, but the article highlights certain cases where it is blatantly obvious that some businesses are generating these numbers at random.

Dynamic flight pricing: Are airlines raising your ticket price based on your browser history? – In case you are wondering why the price for your flight keeps going up the more you search for it, you might want to read this article. While it mentions that it could not find any specific instance of prices being manipulated based on the frequency of searches, it does have some suggestions on how you might want to do your next flight search to minimise chances of being shown a higher rate.

Online hotel booking sites may be duping travelers, says consumer rights group – There is nothing sinister about this practice. In fact, I believe the headline is click-bait. All it says is that users might want to check for deals directly with hotels before deciding to book on an Online Travel Aggregator site.

In summary, it might be wise to take reasonable care while researching and booking your next holiday online. The use of ‘Incognito’ mode while browsing might be a good idea as also taking the time and effort to check directly with the hotel for the best rates.




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