Ever seen those "xx people are looking at this flight" on OTA websites? | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Ever seen those "xx people are looking at this flight" on OTA websites?

albatross710

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Personally I've been ignoring those prompts, similar ones are seen on hotel booking websites. The number is effectively meaningless as the Tweeter points out.

Would it mean, looking at this flight on this day in this travel class on this city pair?

for hotels

Would it mean looking at this hotel with this hotel room category, on these set of dates, for this prepaid deal.


Good on the guy for exposing them. Just means they will have to make that a server side script instead.


All of these are intended to create the impression of scarcity. Which there is not. :)
 

Pushka

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Personally I've been ignoring those prompts, similar ones are seen on hotel booking websites. The number is effectively meaningless as the Tweeter points out.

Would it mean, looking at this flight on this day in this travel class on this city pair?

for hotels

Would it mean looking at this hotel with this hotel room category, on these set of dates, for this prepaid deal.


Good on the guy for exposing them. Just means they will have to make that a server side script instead.


All of these are intended to create the impression of scarcity. Which there is not. :)
It always amazes me when doing a rather weird booking just how many people from Adelaide want to travel to Timbuktu on exactly the same flights and days as I want to.
 

AisleSeat

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Can't find the script anymore. This tweet blew up so I imagine management panicked and had it pulled.
 

jamescara

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Classic sales ploys trying to play on peoples emotional fear of missing out.

On a different tangent somewhat, but experiencing the same thing at present via real estate agents... "Oh we have others interested, you should increase your offer..." For some reason they don't tend to like it when I disagree with their thoughts 😄
 

AisleSeat

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They've been popping up on Qantas' website a lot lately. Always one of three numbers LOL.
Just now it was "30 people have looked at flights to this destination in the last 12hrs."

I can't find where the "30" comes from, but if anyone wants to take a look it's in the 11.chunk.js file. Search for "urgencytobook"
 

moa999

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Oh we have others interested, you should increase your offer..." For some reason they don't tend to like it when I disagree with their thoughts
Simple response.
Oh that's a shame. I'll withdraw my offer then, there's another house that I'm also interested in...

Agree that I don't believe any of these "xx" people are looking messages
 

albatross710

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This reminds me of a set of tools that webbuyers need to develop:

Recognise those prompts being sales ploys
Recognise false reviews
Recognise reviews written by the seller.
Recognise fake scarcity

What we know about airlines is that as flights get booked the price increases. We need better tools to map the price history and price expectation for routes and dates.

Alby
 

theblank

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but do any people actually beleive these ruses?
IMO, most people need to be somewhat savvy to use OTA's in the first place.
 

dajop

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On the flip side of this it’s also not uncommon to see “last xxx seats available” or “only xxx seats at this price”, which I usually cross check with ExpertFlyer and is usually quite accurate. Have more faith in those figures. However even then, especially with LCCs, they will drip feed so that as soon as a fare bucket/level is exhausted , you won’t see it again straight away, but 12-24 hrs later it will be back.
 

AisleSeat

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A good article. Dark patterns and persuasive technology are a design choice.
I recommend checking out Tristan Harris and his work around this. He has a podcast as well.

Also this video by Privolta, showing how Google makes it difficult to opt out of GDPR consent.
 

harvyk

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In their defense, most people would have no idea how to do what the twitter poster is talking about.

A few weeks ago I hooked a debugger into a website (forget which one, but it was a techie website) and the first debug messages which came up was "We're right now hiring developer and security people, send your resumes to ....". I thought that was a rather interesting way of doing the first cull :cool:
 

doctau

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On the flip side of this it’s also not uncommon to see “last xxx seats available” or “only xxx seats at this price”, which I usually cross check with ExpertFlyer and is usually quite accurate. Have more faith in those figures. However even then, especially with LCCs, they will drip feed so that as soon as a fare bucket/level is exhausted , you won’t see it again straight away, but 12-24 hrs later it will be back.
OTAs get the same data from the airlines as ExpertFlier for this, so it should be the same value, subject to caching and differences between whether the GDS/OTA/ExpertFlyer actually talking to the airline to confirm inventory. Obviously airlines are free to change the number available in the booking class at whim.

Aside from airlines releasing more, there will also be some inventory held by TAs (people or OTA) which is released before the ticketing time limit expires.


Even if it's not completely made up, the "N people looking at this" thing is hard to define - how specific is "this" and over what period did they look at it? :)
 

albatross710

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This is an interesting article in how it describes the consumers loss of trust in brands and the subtle messaging. Hotel booking sites constantly have the "this is our last room" which is so vague as the same room could be listed in a few different descriptions or bundled with breakfast ie last room with breakfast deal but available as room only.

The hotel classic is Hotels up to 40% off...upto usually implies it's closer to 5% and off what price anyway?

Blue skies.
 

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