Sneaky Orbitz

The online travel site Orbitz has found that people who use Macs spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the site shows more expensive travel options to those using Macs vs. those using Windows machines. The Wall Street Journal reports:

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. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.

A Mac search for a hotel in Miami Beach for two nights in July displayed costlier boutique hotels on the first page of results, such as Sagamore, the Art Hotel and the Boulan South Beach, that weren’t displayed on the PC’s first page. Among hotels appearing in both searches, some pricier options (such as the $212 Eden Roc Renaissance and the $397 Fontainebleau) were listed higher on the Mac. Overall, hotels on the first page of the Mac search were about 11% more expensive than they were on the PC…

Two questions: 1) Is this legal? 2) How does it make you feel to pay more with the site tracking you in such an intrusive fashion?

I feel that this kind of targeting, however, is going to become more and more common.

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