If you’re searching online for a hotel room using a Mac, you might find more expensive choices offered to you. The lesson? Always rank hotel rooms by price before making a decision.
A report in the Wall Street Journal confirms that travel provider Orbitz is tracking which devices people are using when they search, and showing different (and more expensive) rooms as its top choices for Mac users. The theory is that Mac users generally spend more money on hotels (based on Orbitz’s own analysis) and so are more likely to choose those rooms. It’s worth emphasising that this doesn’t mean people are being quoted a higher price for the same room purely because they’re Mac users: it simply means that the top choices will often be more expensive options.
Orbitz isn’t a dominant travel provider in Australia, so you’re less likely to run into this exact problem. However, the story serves as a reminder that when using any hotel booking site, you should always sort the results you’re given by price rather than going with the ‘top’, ‘best value’ or ‘recommended’ choice. Any number of factors could determine what appears in that list, some of which are helpful (user ratings) and some of which aren’t (different commission structures). Sorting by price makes it clear what the cheapest and most expensive options are, and even though you might often end up choosing something midway, it pays to spend time doing research rather than just jumping on the first choice.