How I “hacked” Kayak and booked a cheaper flight

Let me start this out by saying I didn’t “hack” something in the black hat Hackers way, but by finding a non-technical inefficiency and leveraging it to my advantage. No harm was done to any computers or systems in the making of this post.

TL;DR: I booked a flight through a Kayak affiliate and saved ~$100.

Long version: I was looking for flights to New Orleans when I realized that the flight price I checked yesterday was over $100 cheaper. I started to think why the price went up so much in one day and maybe my VPN had something to do with it. The night before I was using a VPN (I use BTGuard btw) and Kayak thought I was from Toronto, Canada. I guess if you are not from the departure city then flights are cheaper?

So what did I do?

So I had originally went to Kayak today and checked flights from Miami to New Orleans (Mardi Gras, w00t!). This was done without a VPN nor using Google’s Incognito feature. Take a look at how much the flights were:

kayak_us

Flights to New Orleans from Miami (Non-VPN)

Also, check out where my IP was saying that I was from:

us_ip

This is my “real” IP, no VPN

I thought this was strange since the night before I had checked flights and they were ~$100 cheaper. I realized I was logged into my VPN and that it might have to do with that (BTW, I use the VPN to mask my internet traffic… sorry NSA). So what did I do? Tried checking again while being logged into my VPN!

This is me being logged into my VPN:

VPN FTW!

VPN FTW!

And here is where my IP is saying that I am from:

Canada, eh?

Canada, eh?

So I tried Kayak again, while being “shown” as being from Canada and this is what I got:

Check out the Canadian flag at the top right

Check out the Canadian flag at the top right

That is about a ~$70+ price difference (I don’t think that included taxes)! Also, when I had checked earlier, that $345 flight wasn’t there… so it was a +$100 difference. So I went to book my flight, and my checkout total was in EUROS! The thing is, it wasn’t 380 euros, but 207 euros!  That converts to about $280 USD. (Confirmed on my bank statement too)

Euros wuddup

Euros wuddup

So what is the point of all of this? Try booking your flights through a VPN, maybe you’ll save a few bucks….. even if you pay in euros.

Sign up for my newsletter for the latest posts: