By Praveen Kannan and Anna Strokolyst The Hotspot Shield team believes the internet should be open and secure …
Let’s face it: traveling by air is becoming increasingly expensive. With baggage fees, priority boarding, a seat that isn’t in the middle, and a rubbery sandwich for lunch, every bit of money we save on the actual flight ticket itself goes a long way.
Here’s a little secret even your most tech-savvy friends won’t know. Booking your flights using Hotspot Shield can save you hundreds of dollars. Here’s how it works.
What is Hotspot Shield?
Hotspot Shield is a FREE app that secures your internet connection, meaning all your online activities are anonymous and hidden from prying eyes. When connected to the internet via Hotspot Shield, not only can a website not see who you are, neither can a hacker, government actor, or your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Hotspot Shield is trusted by over 600 million people in 200 countries to protect their online security, privacy, and their freedom of information.
How can Hotspot Shield get me cheap flights?
Hotspot Shield hides your IP address by routing your web traffic through its secure servers. There, it scrambles your data and provides you with a new IP address. When you’re in the Hotspot Shield app, you can easily pick the location of that server. For example, if you are using your computer within the United States, but you’re connected to a Hotspot Shield server that’s located in the United Kingdom, the website you’re visiting will think you’re in the U.K.
This means we can search for flights as if we’re in a different location, and airlines have different rates for different countries. A person booking a flight in Brazil, for example, may pay more for a ticket than a person booking that very same flight in Mexico. And the differences can be substantial—hundreds of dollars, even. The Hotspot Shield app has over 25 virtual locations around the globe to pick from.
See how much you could save with Hotspot Shield
Step 2: Install Hotspot Shield onto your computer.
Step 3: Open the Hotspot Shield app and click the “connect” button.
You’ll now see an option from within the Hotspot Shield app to change your server location to a different country. It’s as simple as clicking a button and you can instantly ‘spoof’ your virtual location.
An example of savings
Using the Hotspot Shield application, we looked at flights on Kayak from Indianapolis, Indiana, to Manchester, England.
Firstly, we found the price of a Virgin Atlantic flight from IND to MAN on Kayak during Spring Break. Our server location was set to the “United States,” and the cost of the ticket was $2,607.
Next, we switched our server location within the Hotspot Shield app to “United Kingdom.” We then opened up a new browser, cleared the history—including cookies and cache—and typed “Kayak” into the search engine. This time, rather than Kayak.com showing up, we were routed to the U.K. version (Kayak.co.uk)—because that’s where Hotspot Shield was telling the site we were located.
We then searched for the exact same flight on the exact same date and were given a total price of £1,751.
When we took that figure and converted it to U.S. dollars using the exchange rate that day (1.40). The price when booking through the U.K Kayak site was $2,442.87 — a total savings of $164.13.
Booking the flight through the U.K site, or any other site around the world, is no different than booking through your local site. Your email confirmation is the same, your flight details are the same—you just saved a boatload of cash.
Kayak has stated on record that it doesn’t care which location you book a flight through, and United Airlines acknowledged that it posts different prices in different countries and that various travel agents (like Kayak) post different rates. It reiterated that there’s nothing in their contract preventing people from booking a flight using a tool that can ‘spoof’ your location.
So make sure to scour through all 25+ server locations on Hotspot Shield to find a country with the lowest rates. A good rule of thumb is to look for servers located in low-income countries. Typically, that’s where you’ll find the best deals.
Imagine that dream trip to Sydney you’ve been saving up for. This hack could literally save you hundreds of dollars, making your trip a reality—or at the very least, pay for a few meals once you’re there. (There are plenty of examples where people have saved over $400 using this hack, so depending on where you’re traveling, the savings could be substantial.)
Everyone likes to save money. And with just a few clicks of a button, Hotspot Shield could be your ticket to considerably lower prices. Download for FREE today.