Orbitz displaying higher-priced hotels to Macs versus PCs

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options than it does to PC users because those using Apple's desktop operating system tend to spend more.

Executives for the online travel agency told The Wall Street Journal that their company is testing a system that displays different deals depending on the user's operating system. Orbitz did clarify, though, that it is not offering the same room at different prices and users can always sort options by price.

"Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts," the publication noted Wai Gen Yee, Orbitz's chief scientist, as saying.

Compared to PC users, Mac users are "40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel" and generally prefer higher-priced rooms when they book the same hotel as their PC counterparts, according to the report.

Chief Technology Officer Roger Lieu said the company had an "intuition" about the discrepancy and used data to confirm it last October. Demographics could provide an explanation for the difference in spending habits. For instance, market research firm Forrester has found the average household income for adult Mac owners to be $24,000 higher than PC owners.

Tests conducted by the Journal did show differences in which hotel options were suggested to Macs and PCs, but results were the same in some cities, such as Las Vegas, Orlando, Philadelphia and Boston. Listings for a Miami Beach search performed on a Mac, however, did contain boutique hotels that didn't appear on the first page of results on a PC. Orbitz says it has yet to implement the system across the whole site, and operating system is not the only factor that could result in different results.

Orbitz search


Meanwhile, spokesmen for competing sites Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity said they don't have a similar feature that differentiates between users' operating systems.

Orbitz's initiative comes as it battles its way toward profitability. The Journal pointed out that the company lost $37 million last year and its stock has dropped 74 percent since its initial public offering in 2007.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 79
    echosonicechosonic Posts: 446member


    Thats exactly why I stopped using Orbitz two years ago.  Figured it out one day by accident while shopping from work.  F--k Orbitz.

  • Reply 2 of 79


    Well, that explains a lot about my girlfriend. :D

  • Reply 3 of 79
    danyakdanyak Posts: 28member


    Never liked Orbitz - now I'll make sure I never, ever use it.

  • Reply 4 of 79


    Josh,


     


    You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."


     


    Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?


     


    -Mike Herrinton

  • Reply 5 of 79
    hellacoolhellacool Posts: 759member
    Hahaha.
  • Reply 6 of 79
    hittrj01hittrj01 Posts: 753member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by echosonic View Post


    Thats exactly why I stopped using Orbitz two years ago.  Figured it out one day by accident while shopping from work.  F--k Orbitz.



    Yeah, Orbitz went downhill fast. I've always had great luck with Priceline, whether naming my own price or not. Have never had an issue with them.

  • Reply 7 of 79
    hellacoolhellacool Posts: 759member
    Josh,

    You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

    Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

    -Mike Herrinton

    Read the article, sheesh.
  • Reply 8 of 79
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    Josh,

    You wrote "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users more-expensive hotel options."

    Did you mean to write "Travel booking website Orbitz has revealed that it shows Mac users choose more-expensive hotel options"?

    -Mike Herrinton

    It's both.
  • Reply 9 of 79
    boeyc15boeyc15 Posts: 986member
    So... If I log on via android do I get only super8 hotels. Just joking. :)
  • Reply 10 of 79
    chris_cachris_ca Posts: 2,543member
    Class action lawsuit filed within 7 days?
  • Reply 11 of 79


    I will make sure I'm using a netbook next time I book hotels online.

  • Reply 12 of 79
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    dupe
  • Reply 13 of 79
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,597member
    Class action discrimination case ...? They even write lowest price guaranteed!
  • Reply 14 of 79
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    I realize everyone on Orbitz still gets the same price for the same thing, and a simple manual sort works to show the same thing on Mac and PC alike. Not a huge deal, then. But it does make my mind wander with thoughts of how user-tracking in general could be abused! What if ad cookies (like the kind Google has gotten in trouble over) are flagging me to get higher prices somewhere, or show me that low-cost items are out of stock? (Doesn’t Amazon engage in something a little like that?) I doubt that’s actually happening to me... but it could.


     


    The REAL scandal, of course, is how Orbitz displays cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to Android users. A slap in the face, plain and simple.

  • Reply 15 of 79


    Obi-Wan Kenobi is their chief scientist? What?


    I never use Orbitz. And I never will.

  • Reply 16 of 79
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,558member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by nagromme View Post


     


    The REAL scandal, of course, is how Orbitz displays cardboard boxes and sleeping bags to Android users. A slap in the face, plain and simple.



     


    Cardboard boxes are open, which is much better than a hotel where they have locks on the room doors.

  • Reply 17 of 79
    malaxmalax Posts: 1,598member


    Chillax people.  Their history show that Mac users don't elect to stay at the flea-bag motels, so by default they show the nicer properties.  If you want to see the cheaper ones, you can find them.  No price discrimination, just giving people what they want.  

  • Reply 18 of 79
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


     


    Cardboard boxes are open, which is much better than a hotel where they have locks on the room doors.



     


    Ah, the old “cardboard boxes are open” talking point again. But who really benefits? I’ll tell you: the carriers. Have you ever tried to carry a hotel? Not happening. Carriers love that you can pick up a box and just carry it with you anywhere.


     


    P.S. I am a Mac user and I like Super 8 just fine! :)

  • Reply 20 of 79
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,360member


    Makes perfect sense to me. Generally speaking, Mac users are wealthier, brighter, more successful, better educated, more informed and get hotter women than say Android users, just as an example. People who want the best and those who truly appreciate tech buys Apple.


     


    If I ran a e-commerce website, I wouldn't even allow Android users to access it, as it would be a waste of time and resources to let all sorts of riff raff and street bums with no money from accessing my site and using up precious data. I would have to assume that they were not truly looking to rent a hotel room, and that they were actually looking to purchase a roach motel, and I would redirect them to the appropriate site.

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