There's a way to trick an airline into charging you less for your flight -- but you may need a translator

Whether you are looking for a round-trip to ticket to Hawaii or a brief Iceland getaway, you should always understand what you should be paying to secure the best deal.

Alternate location ticketing allows you to do just that.

In his e-book, "How to Find Cheap Flights: Practical Tips the Airlines Don't Want You To Know," Scott Keyes, cofounder and CEO of Scott's Cheap Flights, explains that alternate location ticketing simply means instructing a website to search for flights as though you're flying from somewhere else, instead of defaulting to your geographic location. Because ticket prices are dynamic, and can change according to everything from airline to day of the week, searching for the same flight from an alternate location could show a different, lower price.

"The price might be — let's say it's like $200. That's the price that they're giving to Americans searching on Kayak.com who don't necessarily know what that flight should cost or aren't necessarily doing a lot of comparison shopping on that," Keyes told Emma Fierberg and Rachel Gillett of Business Insider, discussing a hypothetical flight from the US to South Africa.

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An attendee uses a mobile phone in front of the 'Petalclouds' kinetic installation during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The departure transit hall is seen during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An employee demonstrates the automated luggage check-in system during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An automated robotic cleaner travels along the departure hall during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The 'Petalclouds' kinetic installation hangs in the Central Galleria area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An attendee tests out the electronic tourist refund automated system during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The 'Immersive Wall' LED panel displays visuals at the security screening area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Traditional Singaporean Peranakan houses are mocked up as part of an interior display in the Heritage Zone during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal which will open later this year, will feature an array of fast and seamless travel (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A worker tends to wall-hanging plants on the facade of Changi Airport's newly-built Terminal 4 in Singapore on July 25, 2017. Singapore's Changi Airport on July 25 held a media preview of its fourth terminal, which will open at a yet to be announced date later this year. The terminal, which relies heavily on automation and self-service machines, will be able to handle some 16 million passengers a year. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
An airport employee demonstrates the use of an automated immigration gate during a media preview at the departure hall of Changi Airport's newly-built Terminal 4 in Singapore on July 25, 2017. Singapore's Changi Airport on July 25 held a media preview of its fourth terminal, which will open at a yet to be announced date later this year. The terminal, which relies heavily on automation and self-service machines, will be able to handle some 16 million passengers a year. / AFP PHOTO / ROSLAN RAHMAN (Photo credit should read ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A cleaner sweeps in the departure hall during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Traditional Singaporean Peranakan building facades adorn a wall in the Heritage Zone during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
A sculpture piece titled 'Travelling Family' by Kurt Metzier stands in the departure transit area during a media preview of the new Terminal 4 (T4) at Changi Airport in Singapore, on Tuesday, July 25, 2017. The terminal, which is scheduled to open later this year, will feature an array of 'fast and seamless travel' (FAST) technologies to speed people-processing without the need for human supervision, from face-recognition software to automated bag-tagging and checking. Photographer: Nicky Loh/Bloomberg via Getty Images
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He continued: "It oftentimes is actually a different price for the South African version of, let's say Kayak, or let's say Orbitz — wherever you buy flights, the actual in-country version of that might show that exact same flight, exact same times and dates and everything for $125."

Before using this tactic, be sure to check the fare rules for the country to which you plan to travel.

"This is not common but every once in awhile, a country will have a specific thing in there, it says, 'This fare is only available for South African Nationals.' And the price is legally has to be different for foreigners there," Keyes warned.

Some testing this method showed that it's more effective on flight aggregators such as Kayak and Orbitz rather than airline sites, like Delta or JetBlue.

Here's how it works:

Start by searching for your preferred flight. Here, we used flight aggregator Kayak to search for a flight from New York to Paris in March:  

Screen Shot 2018 01 25 at 3.45.07 PMkayak

Scroll down to the bottom of the page, where you'll find a site/currency field. Change it to your destination — in this case, France:

Screen Shot 2018 01 25 at 3.45.36 PMkayak

The currency will change to match that of the selected country. Change this option back to your country's currency:

Screen Shot 2018 01 25 at 3.46.18 PMkayak

You'll notice the top flight, a seven-hour nonstop trip on Norwegian at 10:30 p.m., is offered for $230 on the American site, and $199 on the French site. You'll also notice that the French site is in French — so you'll need some language skills, common sense, or Google translate to use this strategy effectively. 

Alternate location ticketing isn't guaranteed to save you money, but if you have the time, it's worth a shot.

 

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