Mac User? Orbitz Makes You Pay Up

Travel website sends Mac users to nicer hotels
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2012 10:19 AM CDT
Updated Jun 30, 2012 12:15 PM CDT
Mac User? Orbitz Makes You Pay Up
A clip from Apple's old "I'm a Mac" ad campaign. Orbitz has confirmed it sends Mac users to more expensive hotels, as part of a stepped-up data mining program.   (sparmtacus)

Orbitz has found that Mac users drop about 30% more per night on hotels than PC users, so now the travel website is ever-so-helpfully directing Mac users to nicer hotels, reports the Wall Street Journal. Even when Orbitz sends Mac users to the same hotel, it often suggests fancier options. Orbitz noticed Mac users' pricier preferences last October and soon began working that into its mix of data, which also includes referring sites and user location. "It's clever," says one Mac user. But "as long as there's an option to sort by price, I'm fine with it."

It's the kind of data mining that's growing ever more common, and Orbitz has been particularly aggressive about it, even creating a new statistical analysis team with former eBay and Google employees. "That's incredible, but I wouldn't want to miss out on PC users," says the president of a boutique hotel on Miami Beach that has been featured on Macs. Spokesmen for Expedia, Priceline, and Travelocity say they don't use operating systems to make hotel suggestions, but with Mac households earning $24,000 more a year, other retailers are paying attention. (More Orbitz stories.)

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