Orbitz offers different hotel rooms to Mac, PC users

Stephen Elliott | Contributor

A Wall Street Journal report shows that the online travel site Orbitz presents different hotel booking options to Mac and PC users.

Orbitz research showed that Mac users spend up to 30 percent more on travel bookings than PC users, so the online travel agency began presenting different, typically costlier, options to Mac users.

The new sales technique does not mean that Orbitz is showing the same room to different users at different prices, but that Mac users are likely to see higher priced options when they search. Users can still sort results based on price.

According to Orbitz research, Mac users spend $20 to $30 more on average per night for a hotel room booked on the site, which is significant because the average nightly rate on the site is $100. Mac users also are 40 percent more likely to book rooms in four- and five-star hotels.

The average income for PC users is $74,452 while the average income for Mac owners is $98,560, according to the report.

The differences between hotel offerings are more likely to come up in smaller markets than in big cities such as New York and Las Vegas.

The effort by Orbitz is in line with new attempts by online advertisers and retailers to “data mine,” or use information about an Internet user and their computer to tailor the user’s experience and maximize profits.

Other online travel agencies like Expedia, Priceline and Travelocity do not currently use the Mac/PC distinction in hotel offerings.

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