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Interesting flight shopping discovery?

Sometimes I figure something out (or think I do) and wonder why it wasn't something I knew long ago?

In this case I was shopping for a quick weekend hop from Dublin to Leeds, and back, to visit friends I met last March on a Caribbean cruise.

I searched a few days ago using a computer that doesn't have a VPN installed and received a number of options that routed through London and cost roughly $230-260 for the round trip. These were longer flights, and more expensive, than I expected. My friend had said Ryanair flies direct between Dublin and Leeds but none of those flights showed up on my search.

Today I searched on my home computer with VPN installed. Ryanair flights came right up and the cost for direct both ways was between $42 and $46 (more if you need to check a bag, I carry only a small shoulder bag that weighs ten to 12 pounds).

Did everyone know that finding flights in Europe works so much better with a VPN? Is it just me who never realized it? I don't remember ever reading it but my friend seemed to know the key is to hide your location. I wouldn't have thought of that but it seems to make a big difference.

Posted by
1946 posts

Did you use the vendor or search engine for both times you got such different results, with and without VPN? What was the source of your 2 searches?

Posted by
2145 posts

Yes, when you book flights "locally" you often can find prices that are lower cost and/or more convenient than booking from other places. Using the VPN can make you appear to be local.

But be very careful when booking these types of flights. Many booking sites foreign to the US have restrictions on who is supposed to be able to purchase the tickets. There was a large amount of frustration a few years ago where people began buying tickets on one airline's Denmark site for round trips to the US that were not intended for US residents to buy. The airline cancelled those tickets.

Posted by
979 posts

And two tier airlines like Latam in South America won't honor local pricing purchased by toirists.

Posted by
10584 posts

Mona,

Yes, I always try a range of search engines. That's why I was surprised to not find the direct flights I had been told existed. I thought one might not show Ryanair (or other European carriers) but expected some of them to show more airline choices.

I hope they don't have an issue with my flight. I'm paying the same as other Ryanair customers.

Posted by
10584 posts

I usually try a combination of Kayak, Expedia, direct with the carrier, Cheap Tickets, Just Fly and a couple others off the top of my head. I never keep track of which ones have become the same company (but I figure there is a lot of consolidation). In this case I didn't go direct to Ryanair until I saw the flight and wanted to check their rules.

Posted by
5105 posts

When looking for intra-Europe flights I always check skyscanner.com because they show all (or most) of those budget airlines' flights.

Posted by
10584 posts

I've used them before but I don't think they were one of the ones I checked this time.

Posted by
10584 posts

Two tier pricing reminds me of Costa Maya a few years ago. I was drinking a 12 oz. bottle of Miller Lite at an outdoor cafe that cost $2. A Mexican guy at the next table was drinking a 40 oz. bottle of Miller Lite that cost $1.

Posted by
10584 posts

I added a VPN to my devices fairly recently. Because of all the violations of privacy, I find myself phasing out of much social media and anything Google. I'm not up to no good but I think the big tech companies are.

I think there's a future for a tech company that's committed to maintaining their customers' privacy but I know a lot of profits come from selling their customers' data.