Beware. Which web browser should you use when booking your travels?

Different web browsers and different computers will yield very different results if you are booking accommodation online or even flights.

Scenario and why to Beware the Web Browser you use

We were looking for a hotel to book for a two-night stay in San Francisco. I found a hotel using my Mac air and using Safari as my web browser. Gordon sat by my side and looked at the same hotel through the same booking site. He was on an iPad and using the app. He then went in and used his PC and Internet Explorer. We received 3 different rates. Not a dollar here, or a dollar there, but a significant price difference. So we started experimenting. We saw huge differences.

So we started researching, and here is one little gem that we found. According to Orbitz, “Mac users make more money and are interested in fancier hotels” which, apparently accounts for why the price that I had found was significantly more expensive than what Gordon had found using a PC and Internet Explorer.

The funny thing is that his iPad and the booking sites app was cheaper still. An iPad is a Mac so it must be that Internet Explorer is the go-to site for poorer people. Perhaps.


The Disparity of the Web Browser You Use

Apparently if you use a Mac air you are richer and yuppier than a PC user, so can afford to pay more. If you use Safari, you are similarly seen as able to pay a higher price. If you use Internet Explorer, and a PC apparently you need all of the help that you can get.

So we started playing and mixing the web browsers up. Chrome and PC, Chrome and Mac, Mozilla Firefox and PC, Mozilla Firefox and Mac, Safari and PC and Safari and Mac. All different. But then something amazing started to happen. The prices were starting becoming more similar.


Why was this so?

Because the internet knew what we were up to. They knew that we kept searching the same hotel, the same date, the same ISP (they knew where we lived). So we emptied the cache on each computer and the disparity in the process started to appear again. Then we cleared to cookies, and again we saw differences again. The prices were getting cheaper.


So, which web browser should you use?

  1. Don’t use a Mac and Safari to book anything.
  2. Enable private browsing where possible. Stop travel booking sites from tracking your visits and raising the prices because you’ve visited before.
  3. Clear cookies so that they are unaware that you are trying to book anything.
  4. Your browser of choice can influence what you pay online so Internet Explorer seems to yield the lowest prices.


Now time for a game,

“Finally, Amazon customers can typically get a better deal if they put something in their cart and then abandon it before the final purchase, as I mentioned earlier for the travel sites. That usually signals to Amazon that you’re willing to walk away and triggers a lower price the next time you put it in your cart to checkout.” From Clarke Howard


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