Twitter is buzzing this morning about a Wall Street Journal report that online travel agency Orbitz is intentionally steering Mac users toward pricier hotel options.
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.
Is it a savvy business practice or a move that will drive customers away?
— Rich Orman (@RichOrman) June 26, 2012
— Fingers Malloy (@FingersMalloy) June 26, 2012
Orbitz thinks since I have a Mac I don't want to stay at the "pay by hour" type of hotels.
— Travis Alan Autery (@TravisAutery) June 26, 2012
TMI, buddy. TMI.
The shade in this CNN headline and Orbitz response is unreal. http://t.co/oHuEKgsA
— F-Dot (@fsa2105) June 26, 2012
CNET News points out Orbitz’s biggest mistake.
From an analytics perspective, targeting by operating system and pricing accordingly may not be such a bad idea. The bonehead move of the century is Orbitz yapping about it. Orbitz did note that pricing by OS is just an experiment.
Rest assured that Mac users will refrain from using Orbitz en masse now.
Will Mac users look elsewhere for their travel needs? Yep, looks that way.
@nprnews ridiculous! Spread the news to apple users to boycott Orbitz.
— T Botten (@3rdPlaceMom) June 26, 2012
Boycott #Orbitz ! Let others see that this not a great strategy.
— Mark C. Simpson (@MSimpson63) June 26, 2012
#Orbitz is engaging in classism. If you use a Mac,iPad or iPhone & like saving cash it would be prudent to boycott this sketchy travel site.
— Milmore (@Milmore) June 26, 2012
Sure, Mac users could sort by price to see the best deals, but forcing them to take that extra step may be one step too far.
Some non-Mac users are amused.
Having a good LOL at the news that Orbitz sometimes steers Mac users to more expensive hotel rooms.
— Seoul Train (@BlasianSays) June 26, 2012
— Kevan MacGee (@kevanmacgee) June 26, 2012
And what about Linux users?
Turns out Orbitz steers linux users to flophouses.
— Colin O'Brien (@onepointzero) June 26, 2012
Heh. But they’re probably managing just fine without Orbitz.
— Justin T. Esgar (@justinesgar) June 26, 2012
For what it’s worth:
I searched Orbitz using a Mac Mini and it booked me into one of those Japanese hotels where you sleep in a big drawer.
— Lain Hughes (@pumpkinshirt) June 26, 2012
If you visit Orbitz from a Windows 95 machine, it limits your search to spider holes and dirigibles.
— David McCreath (@mccreath) June 26, 2012