The Wall Street Journal seems to think so, reporting that Orbitz points users of its online web travel booking service to different, sometimes more expensive, options when those users use a Mac.
What the heck, Orbitz?
According to the report, Orbitz Worldwide Inc. has found in its data that users of Mac computers can spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels. They unashamedly expressed this as a natural way to use their data.
According to chief scientist Wai Gen Yee, those who use a Mac are more likely to book a higher rated hotel than PC users are, around 40% more likely. He also said that when booking in the same hotel, Mac users are more likely to purchase the higher priced room.
Why is this? Is it because Mac users have much better taste than those who use PCs? Probably not, though – as a Mac user – it’s a nice bit of hubris to engage in. Quoting Forrester Research, The Wall Street Journal notes that the average income for adult Mac users is about $25,000 more than that of PC owners. Maybe it’s just that folks with higher incomes tend to book more expensive hotels than those without, and many of them also own Macs.
Correlation doesn’t always show causation; in fact, it’s a common to mistake one for the other. Only time will tell if Orbitz sees an increase in higher priced bookings, or an increase in user-agent spoofing.