Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Phone Keys

Hate waiting in-line to check-in to your hotel room after a long journey? Maybe you don’t have to anymore. Hotels are implementing a new room key that could save travelers some time!
“Some chains are adopting permanent keys that repeat guests can carry in their wallets and use for multiple trips at a variety of properties. Other establishments are doing away with physical keys altogether; instead, guests can open their room doors by holding their cellphone next to the lock” says Andrea Petersen, Wall Street Journal writer.
The hassle of demagnetized room keys will no longer be an issue. Hotels are trying to find the most convenient way to accommodate their customers. In addition to the permanent and cell phone keys, some hotels, like the Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels Group, are using something called OpenWays. This new technology sends a phone number to the guest’s cell phone. Upon arrival, the guest calls the phone number which will play an audible tone that unlocks their door. This tone changes every few minutes for security purpose. Thus, no one can record and replay any of the tones to reopen a room.
"Think of the business traveler who goes to the same hotel every week. He can go straight to his room, drop off his bag and get right to his meeting," says Pete Sears, senior vice president of operations at Hyatt Hotels Corp.
Although hotels do not believe these changes will be very cost-saving, they do trust it will boost their customer service and satisfaction rating. Those chains that decide to adopt the new keys hope to stand out amongst the other hotels.
For more information see http://tinyurl.com/31c9rm3

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Mobile Check-In Revolution

The airline industry is starting to use mobile check-in more frequently. Not only can you check-in to your flight using your phone but you can also get a barcode to board your flight with. Printing your boarding pass is no longer needed! Passengers can register their cell phone number with the airline when they purchase their ticket and the airline will send them a text message with a barcode or instructions on how to download the barcode when it is time for their flight. There are special scanners that airports use to detect these barcodes so you have to make sure that the airport you are flying out of supports this system. There are also always some issues with cell phones and scanners not being reliable. For the most part this eco-friendly, easy to use, industry cost saving, and convenient method has been working well.
The hotel industry is beginning to make the check-in process easy as well. For the Hyatt Hotels & Resorts as well as Omni Hotels & Resorts you may check-in with your iPhone or BlackBerry. This allows you to pick up a key at the registration desk without any wait! The hotel industry is working towards something similar to the airlines where you would be able to unlock your door with your cell phone. This would eliminate all check-in and out processes that are sometimes timely.