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TMCNET eNEWSLETTER SIGNUP Simply Changing Settings on Booking Sites Might Get You Home Far Quicker and Cheaper in Times of Crisis
[March 26, 2020] Simply Changing Settings on Booking Sites Might Get You Home Far Quicker and Cheaper in Times of Crisis

NIJMEGEN, Netherlands, March 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Air traffic is coming to a standstill due to the advance of the corona virus. As a result, countless people from all over the world are stuck in a foreign country, looking for a way home.


Man in airport © Rido/


VPNoverview's research team examined several flight options that are still available via large booking sites. For anyone who is looking for a way to get home by themselves as safely, quickly, and cheaply as possible, there might be some remarkable steps one should take in order to find the best flight.

Research Design

On 22 and 23 March 2020, the research team analyzed multiple international flights using major booking sites Skyscanner, Agoda, and Expedia:

The team took the Dutch, American, Romanian, Portuguese and British versions of the relevant booking sites into consideration, if applicable.The aim of this was to check whether the offer and pricing of flights changed depending on the regional version of the booking site. The team checked the different regional versions of booking platforms by changing the settings on Skyscanner and Agoda. Expedia did not offer this possibility. They also checked whether changing the IP address by using a VPN had an impact on the price and availability of flights.

Fastest Flights Not Available for Everyone

One of the most important findings is that, depending on which local version of a booking site you are on, a specific flight might not always show. For example, on the Dutch version of Skyscanner, people who wanted to depart from Cairo to Düsseldorf on 28 March 2020 and chose the "fastest" flight, would be shown a flight of €1779 that takes 17 hours and 25 minutes. Switching from the Dutch to the American version of Skyscanner by simply changing the settings in the website menu, resulted in the fastest flight becoming an 8 hours and 35 minutes trip with a price tag of just €492. Clearly, this is a big difference in both pricing and flight time, and quite substantial when wanting to escape a crisis situation. Multiple similar examples were observed for various flights.

The findings from the VPNoverview team clearly show that not everyone gets to see the most efficient and fastest flight options. The research team also found examples where the British or American version of the booking website didn't show the fastest or most competitively priced flights. Furthermore, large price differences for the same flight could sometimes be observed depending on the geographic version of a booking site. People who are seeking to book a flight online are therefore advised to review multiple versions of the booking site they are using to ensure they are shown the most suitable flight options. This might be pivotal in times of crisis. The complete article on this topic can be found here.

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Note for editors

For more information contact:
Name: David Janssen
Phone number: +31647625072

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