Hope you weren’t planning on booking a trip through Orbitz on your Mac any time soon, because Orbitz executives have admitted that they show more expensive hotels first to you. As the Wall Street Journal so diplomatically puts it…
The Orbitz effort, which is in its early stages, demonstrates how tracking people’s online activities can use even seemingly innocuous information—in this case, the fact that customers are visiting Orbitz.com from a Mac—to start predicting their tastes and spending habits.
Essentially, Orbitz noticed Mac users tend to spend 30% more on hotel rooms, so, wanting to encourage this trend, they’re putting the actual cheap rooms most people are looking for way down in the results.
Windows proles see different, cheaper rooms, likely with windows facing away from the ocean or no windows at all, the better to avoid the taint of their commoner presence.
Leaving aside Orbitz’s assumption that all Mac users are richer and apparently too stupid to use a search engine, you’ve got to wonder what they were thinking. Most Mac users are capable of using more than one travel search engine, and somebody was going to notice the price disparity eventually. Maybe they think Safari is incapable of going to Kayak or Travelocity?
(Image courtesy codersquid on Flickr)