ITA Matrix, Orbitz, etc. price discrepancies
June 11, 2014 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Why are there such large price discrepancies between the initial displayed prices, and the final displayed prices, with all of these airfare searches?

For example, I am trying to look at airfare between MVD and MIA. Orbitz price matrix shows me ticket prices as low as $747 (seriously) roundtrip, but once I click on them, suddenly the price is $1,042. Same thing with ITA Matrix, which I know doesn't do booking, but they display prices at around $800, but once I follow through per their instructions yields an actual price of $1,542.

What gives? I've used these sites plenty, and I've never seen them be so blatantly incorrect in their displayed prices vs actual prices.

I should mention, I've been doing these searches every day for over a week, always with the same results.

Thanks for any help!
posted by special agent conrad uno to Travel & Transportation around Montevideo, Uruguay (6 answers total)
I've seen this a lot: I get an estimated price which assumes a fare is available, and then when I try to book it confirms availability. Or your searches might be affecting the prices - try clearing your cookie.
posted by devnull at 11:27 PM on June 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

My previous question on this same subject might interest you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 PM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've done the cookies trick, I've even executed this search on different computers. Blazecock Pileon, your thread is super interesting (and I'd already read it), but it doesn't match my bizarre experience whereby the initial displayed price is vastly different from the final displayed price. Within one session.
posted by special agent conrad uno at 12:04 AM on June 12, 2014

I checked that search on Orbitz but did not have the lower prices displaying for me.
I don't know the answer to your problem, but it is not happening to everyone. Long shot-Are you using the .com orbitz or possibly a different version? Is there a .ur? Longer shot- is it displaying the front page cost in Uruguayan currency and US dollars inside?
posted by SLC Mom at 6:28 AM on June 12, 2014

Are you booking multiple seats? I've seen some fare engines quote the first ticket at a lower price than the second, third, etc..
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:41 AM on June 12, 2014

What airline are you trying to book? I had this problem a couple years ago with a couple non-American airlines (in SE Asia), and when I went through the booking process it turned out to be because for whatever reason ita was not correctly assessing taxes and fees on those tickets - the numbers it was giving were identical to the base price.
posted by solotoro at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2014

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