Hotels Encourage Guests to Throw Away Their Keys

Discussion in 'Blogstand' started by Horse, Jun 9, 2011.

  1. Horse
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    Horse Gold Member

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    Hotel companies are racing to create a better room key.

    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.

    New hotels are moving away from key cards, allowing guests to use their mobile phone near the doorknob to enter their room. But as Andrea Petersen reports, the move is also raising questions about privacy and security.

    The big selling point of the new keys, executives say, is that they let travelers skip the front desk and go straight to their rooms. That could be particularly welcome at big convention hotels and Las Vegas spots where check-in lines can be maddeningly long.

    "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. The company, which goes through five million key cards a year in its North American properties, has been testing an "Express Welcome" service at two of its Andaz hotels in California where guests can use their Gold Passport loyalty card as a key. Hyatt will be testing the service at two more hotels in San Francisco and Vancouver, British Columbia, in the next few months.

    Read more here
    Wall Street Journal by Andrea Petersen
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