Home » ‘Drip pricing’: The sneaky strategy airlines use to charge you more, plus how to avoid it

‘Drip pricing’: The sneaky strategy airlines use to charge you more, plus how to avoid it

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Buying flights on your phone is easy and convenient, but it secretly requires extra cash.

Most consumers rely on mobile devices.according to Investigation Of more than 3,000 US consumers, more than half (51.4%) of travel service purchases in February 2022 were made on mobile devices.

However, the convenience of smartphones requires attention.Sneaky ‘drip pricing’ strategy means you could end up pay more If you rely on the phone

What is drip price?

Drip pricing is a popular online sales strategy. The company cheaper price You pay upfront and then add costs slowly throughout the buying process.

this is especially common travel, additional fees such as baggage and seat selection are equivalent to the course. US airlines have collected his $5.3 billion. load By fares alone in 2021, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

But according to a 2021 study published in Marketing Science, shoppers are more likely to make suboptimal decisions in these drip pricing situations — when hidden fees are added throughout the checkout process. It turns out there is.

Shoppers tend to compare initial prices to competitors, who are lower, not higher. Final price.

“When a company adopts a drip pricing strategy, the first Prices are almost always low Shelle Santana, assistant professor of marketing at Bentley University and one of the authors of the study, said:

“But when they start adding amenities like check bag, Price differences between companies, such as seat options, have narrowed, and sometimes even reversed. ”

Customers are exhausted by the long process and reluctantly accept the added charges. They assume that starting over and finding another option is a hassle. Save them money.

“Consumers perceive the high search costs associated with starting over the decision-making process and believe they are saving less than they actually are,” says Santana.

Why is it a bad idea to buy travel deals on your mobile phone?

Travel shopping isn’t easy, and you usually have to switch between multiple tabs and apps to find the best deals. This is difficult to do over the phone.

Consider the common decision of whether to buy flights with cash or with award miles. This involves several steps.

First, you should search for reward availability on the airline’s app or website while switching to your personal calendar to check the dates. Then search for third-party flight tools such as: google flights, for the estimated cash fare before determining redemption value in miles versus dollars. After determining best optionyou must navigate through the entire checkout process from both cash and award ticket options to determine the actual final price.

This time-consuming process is nearly impossible on mobile phones.

“I almost always shopping for travel on your desktop,” advises Santana.

“I like having multiple tabs open at once and switching between them to make sure I understand the price differences and drivers between companies.”

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