Orbitz shows more expensive hotel results to Mac users

By on June 26, 2012, 2:00 PM

If you are planning a vacation this year and will be using Orbitz to book accommodations, surfing from a PC instead of a Mac could save you some money. The travel site has discovered through extensive data mining that Mac users typically spend as much as 30 percent more per night on hotel stays, prompting them to display higher-priced travel options for Mac users than individuals using a Windows-based computer.

Executives have confirmed the tactic after first gathering hard data to confirm their intuition in October. Since then, they have been implementing changes in their search results to show higher-priced options to Mac users. Executives noted that they aren’t showing different prices for the same room to different users and furthermore, anyone can sort results by price to find the cheapest options available.

The Wall Street Journal conducted several tests and found that searches in Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia and Orlando turned up the same results regardless of platform. In New York, however, the Mac did show more expensive hotels but only after the first 20 listings. A search in Miami revealed larger differences as Mac users were shown more expensive boutique hotels on the first page. The average price of a first page hotel was about 11 percent higher on the Mac.

The publication reached out to rivals Expedia and Priceline.com and found that neither site uses operating system data to determine hotel recommendations.

It’s worth mentioning that a user’s operating system isn’t the only deciding factor when showing listings to a user. The site also factors in a user’s location, history on the site and a hotel’s popularity, just to name a few metrics. Furthermore, Orbitz only uses OS data to showcase hotels but they didn’t rule out the possibility of doing something similar with car rentals and flight bookings in the future.




User Comments: 11

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ikesmasher said:

they wanted to stay in line with apples pricing

Guest said:

It's not surprising. Mac users tend to pay more for the same components they could have gotten with a PC, but because the Mac label is slapped on there, they're willing to pay 5 times more for it.

Why not take advantage of Mac users and their lack of common sense and logic?

Alvaro Alvaro said:

You mean "lack of intelligence".

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Yeah right "same components", because a 2 star hotel has the same level of comfort and safety than a 5 star hotel.

Guest said:

safety? since when is any hotel un-safe just because it has fewer stars? do 1 star hotels have a 50% chance to catch on fire during the night? if it has a bed and bathroom, that's all you need (stay with the metaphor here people)

Lionvibez said:

safety? since when is any hotel un-safe just because it has fewer stars? do 1 star hotels have a 50% chance to catch on fire during the night? if it has a bed and bathroom, that's all you need (stay with the metaphor here people)

Ya except when you stay at a shit hole and bring bed bugs back to your house or even worse roaches etc. No thanks!

Timonius Timonius said:

sooo...we should all search via linux right?

Lionvibez said:

It clearly says on a MAC.

so aslong as you are on windows PC or linux you are fine!

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

safety? since when is any hotel un-safe just because it has fewer stars? do 1 star hotels have a 50% chance to catch on fire during the night? if it has a bed and bathroom, that's all you need (stay with the metaphor here people)

There are plenty of safety concerns with a hotel. Beyond the obvious health and sanitation issues that Lionvibez touched on, location is a factor. Certain areas simply have higher crime rates, and hotel guests are common targets because they travel with high-price electronics, credit cards and identifying info as well as other valuables. I would expect a pricier hotel to offer better security in terms of personnel, surveillance, locks and storage. I'd say safety is definitely a factor and in more ways than one.

Guest said:

^I'd take roaches over bed bugs any day.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Yeah right "same components", because a 2 star hotel has the same level of comfort and safety than a 5 star hotel.

The only one who said 'Same components' was a Guest. And he was talking about computers. How'd you guys get onto hotel safety? Or is taking something out of context and running in the wrong direction with it normal for TS?

Anyway... I've often wondered about sites and their prices and to hear they're rigged in some way would not surprise me. One night I spent an hour or so searching for a flight on expedia and I must have tripped the 'this-guy-is-desperate' trigger because the prices went up $20 all of a sudden. I opened a new session and they were back down.

Then again... this is simply supply and demand taken to a new degree...

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