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Mac Users May Get Charged More Money to Travel

apple money logoIf you’re willing to pay more money for a high end, trendy brand computer, what else are you willing to pay more for?

Orbitz says hotel rooms.

According to a WSJ article, Orbitz says that Mac users pay roughly 30% more for hotel bookings than PC users, which averages out to be $20 to $30 more per night. They also say that Mac users are 40% more likely to book four or five star hotels. Making use of this data, Orbitz has begun showing Mac users more expensive accommodation options than they do PC users.

As claimed by Orbitz CEO Barney Harford:

However, just as Mac users are willing to pay more for higher end computers, at Orbitz we’ve seen that Mac users are 40% more likely to book 4 or 5 star hotels as compared to PC users, and that just one of many factors that determine which hotels to recommend a given customer as part of our efforts to show customers the most relevant hotels possible.

So far, it’s been cited that Orbitz’s biggest competitors have not yet started using their user’s computer type as a metric in their pricing algorithms, but I would not doubt that they may start doing so in the future given the stats:

“Apple users already stand out as big spenders,” the WSJ article continued. People shopping on iPads have a tendency to place larger orders than those using laptops or desktops, Shop.org admitted. Apple brand smartphone users also tend to outspend shoppers on Androids or BlackBerrys, “accounting for half of all mobile purchases.”

In the virtual world everyone is a demographic, everyone is ranked and filed, everyone is marketed to in accordance to where they’ve shown themselves to stand socially, politically, and economically. If you match the demographic that you’re thrust into, great; if not, you’re going to find yourself in a compromising position when it comes to browsing the internet. Apple product users tend to be bigger online spenders than users on other brand devices, so if don’t want to be put into this category and get shown higher priced options, don’t shop or book hotels, flights etc . . .on a Mac or any other Apple product.

In this age of predictive analytics it is my impression that many other large online retailers and travel industry brokers are going to get into the act and try to suck as much money out of the “deeper pockets” that Apple users have statistically been shown to have. Why wouldn’t they? This is the cost of status in the digital era: if you show that you can spend money luxuriously (such as buying a higher priced brand computer or booking higher priced hotel rooms) you may soon be baited with more expensive options on every corner of the internet.

For extreme budget travelers, this is yet another reason to not travel with a Mac.

Filed under: Economics, Internet, Travel Tech

About the Author:

Vagabond Journey has been featured on MSNBC.com, The Daily Mail Online, Business Insider, Gizmodo, the Des Moines Register, CBS Phoenix, NBC LA, and numerous other international and local publications. has written 2687 posts on Vagabond Journey.

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  • Alex

    Wade, you’re on a roll against MAC theses days! Did you had a particularly annoyingly-long-and-pointless argument with a Macintoy user recently or what?


    • Wade Shepard

      Haha :-) Can’t say I’ve had. I call these “continuation blog posts.” They happen when you start researching for one article and end up having it fork off into two or three different articles. I just think it’s nuts that the big travel websites are taking computer brand into account when ordering search results, and it’s something I imagine will continue. Also, the stats really blew me away on Apple user spending habits in relation to PC users.

      I don’t have anything against Mac or Apple product users, I just think it’s incredibly interesting how the company’s business practices have worked out so well for them. It seems as if they really dug deem into sociological and psychological research when coming up with their protectionism business models. The initially seem counter-intuitive, but when you look at it deeper they give most of their customers something that they truly crave that runs far deeper than electronic devices.

  • http://www.freelancetefl.com Jack

    I was reading your article about Should I Publish Prices of Hotels at http://www.vagabondjourney.com/should-i-publish-prices-of-hotels/ and I wonder if smart hoteliers haven’t already been incorporating this into their pricing strategies?

    • Wade Shepard

      I seriously wouldn’t doubt it from looking at the numbers. It’s my impression that this is just the start of predictive analytics. Soon enough I believe that every time you go to buy something on online you’re going to be automatically placed into a sales bracket based on every action and social signal you send via the internet. It may not be too bad for us cheap travelers :-)