Coming soon to a hotel near you: choose your room, check in and even open your door using just your mobile phone. NY1's Adam Balkin filed the following report.
Here's how you check into a hotel today: walk in through the front door, give the front desk your name and information, they assign you a room, give you a key card, and up you go into your room. In the not too distant future, though, all of that and more will be done entirely by you entirely via your mobile phone. At least, that’s the goal recently laid out by Hilton Hotels.
“You can log in the day before your stay starts you can check in, you can tell them what time you’re planning to arrive at the hotel and then you can scroll through the different floors in the hotel and you can pick which one you want to stay in. You know, I’m in NY. I want a high floor. I pick floor 34 and I can see what rooms are available. I was able to pick a corner room. If you want to you can bypass the front desk entirely so you can walk straight to your room, your phone will open the door, and walk straight in," says Dustin Bomar of Hilton Worldwide.
You read that correctly. Kind of like one of these Bluetooth door locks that have started to hit shelves—your phone will act as your key.
Hilton says that whole process will be available at hundreds of hotels by the end of next year. What you can do today though through the app: choose your room based on the floor, walk up to the front desk, just give them your name, they give you your keycard, and you go upstairs.
Hilton is not the first or only hotel to move so much to mobile though it will lead the way in doing this on such a massive scale.
"It’s a huge trend we’re seeing that hotel brands are really starting to capitalize on the fact that people are on their phones all the time. Mobile check in is going to be huge. We’re seeing it go the way that the airline’s went. Everyone is now used to checking in for their flight using their mobile device and hotel brands are now following suit," says Jacqui Gifford of Travel + Leisure Magazine.
As for whether the mobile strategy will put these folks' jobs in danger, Hilton says no, insisting the app will free employees at the front desk from doing so much administrative work so that they can instead focus more on assisting guests with concierge-type help and advice.