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Mac users may see pricier hotel rates on Orbitz

A Mac user is seen in this file photo.

June 26, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A popular travel website is apparently steering customers to pricier vacations based on whether they're using a Mac or PC.

Orbitz has been tracking how much money its site visitors spend when they book a room. The company says that people who use an Apple computer on average tend to spend $20 to $30 more per night than PC owners.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Orbitz only shows Mac users higher-end hotels because data shows those users are 40 percent more likely to book a four or five-star hotel. Also, when Mac users book at the same hotel as a PC user, they tend to stay in a more expensive room.

Tracking a shopper's online activity is becoming more common. Many online retailers are looking at how a person's spending and browsing may boost the site's sales.

"If you're the kind of person who likes to pay for premium things, certainly as a travel company I want to offer you those things first," said Rick Seaney of FareCompare.com.

The average Mac desktop costs nearly three times as much as a PC desktop. Mac owners also tend to make more money than PC owners. A Mac user's average household income is $98,000 a year, compared to $74,000 for PC owners.

A suggestion for Mac users who don't necessarily want to pay for a pricier hotel room: Use Orbitz's sort by price option.