Airlines’ Latest Sneaky Trick. Charging Passengers According to Who They Are, Not Where They’re Flying by Inc.com

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Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Have you ever been ignored in a restaurant?

Have you walked into a fancy store and the clerks took one look at you and decided that you’re not rich enough for them to make a good commission?

What is she wearing?

It seems that airlines might soon choose to treat you the same way.

Yes, even more than they do now, if you’re flying in Economy.

You see, the airlines have realized that technology can personalize so much. 

So, as Travel Weekly reports, they’re looking at so-called dynamic pricing and wondering whether to take it to personalized extremes.

The idea is to use tech that personally identifies everyone who comes to an airline’s site.

How much they make. Whether they’re a frequent flyer or not. Whether they’re traveling for business or pleasure.

In essence, the software searches for as much data as possible about the person.

After all, we’ve got a lot strewn all over the web. (Some of it strewn by companies we’ve done business with that didn’t enjoy the best security.)

Once the airline’s software has decided who you really are, it offers you a price for your trip.

Yes, a specific price just for you.

It might be tempting. It might be far less than the airline would offer your next-door neighbor, if they were flying the same route on the same day.

It might bring with it special offers, just to tip the balance.

Alternatively, the software might discover that you’re flying on business.

Not only that, it might decide that you work for a big, rich company that offers generous travel expenses. 

Low — very low — and behold, you might be charged a higher price, in the hope that you just won’t care.

Of course, the airlines will still have some regulatory obstacles. For example, the number of types of fare classes they’re currently able to offer are limited.

But these are the days of de-regulation. Who knows what the airlines might be able to negotiate?

Why, just recently they filed a large number of requests to the Department of Transportation, in the hope that some passenger-friendly regulations be, well, disappeared.

At heart, the airlines simply want to make more money. 

If it means duping you a touch, they’ll try it. They wouldn’t be alone in believing they can rely on people’s trust and laziness to increase their revenues.

Let’s face it, most of Silicon Valley made its money on just the same principles.

We gave them our data. They smiled and sold it all, without us knowing to whom or why. 

If the airlines’ digital utopia comes about, passengers will have to work even harder to make sure they couldn’t get a better deal elsewhere.

Or they’ll just give up and decide there’s no alternative.

February 25, 2018 at 06:52AM