If you are dreaming of a vacation getaway post-COVID, but are strapped for cash, don’t worry. We got you covered. And no, you don’t have to use a new website to save money. That’s the beauty of the browser extension BuyLo: it works with your favorite airline/booking site (see full list of supported sites here).
Here’s the basic premise: You go to your favorite airline/booking site (Southwest, Kayak, etc), search for a flight that works for your time and budget, proceed to checkout, and then BuyLo pops up, automatically detects the ticket you selected, and scans hundreds of booking sites for a lower price on the exact same flight. It only takes about a minute and BuyLo promises to find prices as much as 54% cheaper.
When taking it for a spin on Southwest, they show $21 off a flight that Southwest quoted at $115.
Quick note: the cheaper flight needs to be booked through Kiwi.com. In the case of this ticket, the BOS -> BWI flight is actually the first leg of a connecting flight. These are “hidden city” flights and can only be found on websites such as Kiwi.com/Skiplagged, whose algorithms are uniquely equipped to find them.
Let’s try a different flight. This time from London to Boston:
This one is significant. It’s almost £1,000 off a £1,600 flight!
How is this possible? Well, the underlying concept is pretty much an open secret now. Flight ticket prices don’t just vary based on when you book and what you book. They also vary based on:
- Browsing history – if you are someone who has repeatedly searched for the same flight, algorithms might jack up the prices to create a sense of urgency to buy
- Device – algorithms love jacking up prices for Mac users
- Flight booking site – different flight booking sites utilize different algorithms for searching for flights
Take a look at this:
If you book a Finnair flight through Skyscanner, it would cost $833. BuyLo found it on SmartFares for $796.
But if you used the Skyscanner link to go to SmartFares, it would be $808, which is $12 more than what BuyLo found.
So let’s quickly summarize, the pros and cons of BuyLo:
- Automatically get a lower price – who doesn’t love that?
- Supports all currencies and booking classes (Economy, Business, First)
- Supports one way and round trip flights.
- It takes about a minute.
- Multi city flights aren’t supported for now.
- You have to leave your current booking site. If you like booking direct with airlines, you’re out of luck. If you entered a bunch of information at checkout, you’ll have to re-enter them.
Things to note:
- Lower prices aren’t guaranteed. Flight price algorithms are a black box so your mileage might vary.
- For flight search websites such as Skyscanner, BuyLo only pops out if you are booking the flight on Skyscanner’s platform or you are clicking out to a supported booking site.
If you’re interested in having BuyLo get you lower prices, here’s how to set it up:
- Open Chrome or Firefox. (Or any browser that can install Chrome/Firefox extensions)
- If you are on Chrome, go to the BuyLo chrome webstore page. Click on “Add to Chrome” and confirm.
- If you are on Firefox, go to the BuyLo Firefox add-on page. Click on “Add to Firefox” and confirm.