Orbitz Offers Pricier Hotels to Mac Users: Report

Dennis Faas's picture

Online travel agency Orbitz is reportedly offering more expensive hotels to Mac users than to people using a PC. The agency has made this adjustment intentionally, based on research showing that Mac users regularly pay more for Internet hotels bookings.

According to reports, Orbitz examined data from past bookings and found that the average price PC users pay through the site for a night in a hotel is about $100. However, Mac users pay an average of $20 to $30 extra for the same bookings.

Mac Users More Likely to Spend Big

The data showed a consistent pattern: Mac users are 40 per cent more likely to book a room in a four- or five-star hotel, compared with PC users. What's more, Mac users are more likely than PC users to opt for a premium-priced room. (Source: macrumors.com)

Based on these findings, Orbitz has reportedly decided to tweak the way results appear when a user carries out a hotel search. The site's default option is to display a list of recommended hotels. That will continue.

Visitor using a Mac, however, will now see a set of recommendations that carry a higher price than the recommendations shown to PC users.

Orbitz Insists "No Mac Premium"

When confronted about this, Orbitz points out the price a user pays for a specific hotel room will be the same for both Mac and PC users. The difference is only in which hotels are shown to which users first.

Orbitz users will continue to be able to see all available hotels, and to sort them by various factors, including price.

Orbitz isn't publicizing the precise details of how the new recommendation scheme works.

However, The New York Times has carried out a study of Orbitz' new recommendations practices, and has found that in most major cities there aren't any differences in the results displayed.

Not so in less obvious tourist destinations. There, Mac users see hotel recommendations costing between 10 and 15 per cent more, overall. (Source: wsj.com)

It's not yet clear if this pattern reflects Orbitz's experimentation with different recommendation protocols for PC and Mac users looking for hotels in less popular destinations.

It's also possible that the sheer number of hotel rooms available in places like New York and Chicago may mean Mac users are less likely to pay a premium there.

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