Posted by: pizzainmotion | June 25, 2012

Orbitz Using Computer Preference To Profile Customers, Show Them More Expensive Hotels

This WSJ piece shares the somewhat startling news that Orbitz users that access their site using a Mac tend to spend 20 to 30% more per night on hotel rooms.

Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said.

I’ve always heard anecdotal evidence that Mac users are a pricier demo, but this is the first I’ve heard of a company as large as Orbitz in the travel industry using it to suggestively sell higher priced properties.  We see this type of profiling in lots of areas, but this is the first I can recall of someone in the travel industry doing this type of targeting.

That being said, knowing that Mac users tend to buy more expensive hotel rooms is one thing.  Whether showing them properties at the higher end of the spectrum further increases their spend is an entirely different thing.


  1. Hotwire used to charge different prices (a few dollars) based on web browser

    • Gary,

      Wasn’t aware of that. I have a larger fundamental issue with that than what Orbitz is doing. But, it is a free country.

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