It’s not always obvious, but Orbitz search results are skewed depending on the type of computer used to access the site.
Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (OWW) has found that people who use Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) Mac computers spend as much as 30% more a night on hotels, so the online travel agency is starting to show them different, and sometimes costlier, travel options than Windows visitors see.
Orbitz found Mac users on average spend $20 to $30 more a night on hotels than their PC counterparts, a significant margin given the site’s average nightly hotel booking is around $100, chief scientist Wai Gen Yee said. Mac users are 40% more likely to book a four- or five-star hotel than PC users, Mr. Yee said, and when Mac and PC users book the same hotel, Mac users tend to stay in more expensive rooms.
And of course…
A computer’s operating system is one of several factors Orbitz considers when serving up search results. [highlight]The top results, for instance, are reserved for hotels that pay Orbitz for high-profile placement[/highlight].
What about people who access the site with a mobile device? Do Droid users see better prices than someone using an iPhone?