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Say Good-bye to the Front Desk

This afternoon, Starwood Hotels introduced the “Smart Check-in” pilot program at its Aloft Hotels brand. Selected Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) who choose to participate in this program will receive an “enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded RFID (radio frequency identification) keycard.” Here is how it works:

On the day of arrival, SPG guests will receive a text message with their room numbers. Then, they can skip the Front Desk and go straight to their rooms. They can open the door with the enhanced SPG keycards. Starwood is testing this program in its Aloft Lexington location. In the future, guests will be able to use the enhanced SPG keycards for other purchases during their hotel stays, such as cocktails and food.

Many frequent travelers have already used express check out and skip the Front Desk. We are also aware that people can check-in in a hotel with an iPhone app (http://linchikwok.blogspot.com/2010/01/how-will-iphone-travel-apps-change-our.html). Now that guests do not even need to stop by the Front Desk to pick up their keys, is it time for us to say good-bye to the Front Desk? In addition to saving labor costs, I believe “smart cards” can help the industry become “greener” by combining repeat guests’ reward cards and hotel room keys into one device. What do you think?

References:
Yahoo!Finance: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Skip-a-Trip-to-the-Checkin-bw-2221867726.html?x=0 Pictures were copied from http://passionsofazealot.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/2719763825-3a3cfffa98-b.jpg; http://www.hotels.com/13/hotels/1000000/10000/9100/9099/hcom_9099_31_b.jpg

Comments

  1. A follow-up news article by U.S.A. Today (05/24/2010)

    Holiday Inn to test smartphone as hotel-room key; some guests prefer to skip front desk

    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/hotelcheckin/post/2010/05/holiday-inn-and-intercontinental-test-technology-use-smart-phone-to-open-hotel-door-open-ways/1

    ReplyDelete

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