Self Hotel Check-In: Future or Present?

Imagine the situation, you are preparing for a trip, you want to go through an independent online check-in for a flight, take care of a comfortable seat in the cabin in advance so as not to waste time at the airport, but you cannot do this, because the airline does not provide such a technological opportunity . It’s good that at least a plane ticket can be bought online, and not, as before, through the box office.

We agree that in 2022 it is almost impossible to imagine such situation. Airlines have realized the value and benefits of contactless solutions for many years, and their passengers have become accustomed to comfort and automation. Two years of the pandemic only reinforced the understanding that such technological solutions are at the peak of their relevance and are not going to lose ground.

And now the real situation: the guest registered for the flight in advance, without losing a single extra minute at the airport, flew in and checks into the hotel. And at this stage, most guests seem to fall from the future into the past: long waits at the reception, filling out a stack of documents, the eyes of the administrator lowered into the computer and other delights of the hotel “service”. As a result, the guest has not yet managed to check into his room, and his first impression is already spoiled.

To be fair, it's easier for airlines to create a digital travel experience for guests than it is for hotels. Airlines have millions of passengers and therefore more savings when creating technology solutions. Offers are more streamlined (1st class, business, economy) compared to many different hotel types. Most airlines use the same software all over the world, while hotels often face the challenge of local hotel systems that make it difficult to innovate. Even taking into account these facts, it should be understood that it is not enough for hotels to simply meet the expectations of guests. They need to be anticipated!

What can hotels learn from airlines in terms of the digital experience of guests prior to staying at a hotel? After the successful implementation of the dynamic pricing experience, objectively, the next stage is an independent online registration or online check-in.

Preliminary self-registration frees the guest from the routine filling of documents during check-in and payment. He can do it in advance, when it suits him. And upon arrival, just get a key card, without languishing in line at the reception.

The solution reduces the administrative burden on the front desk, allowing staff to focus on serving guests. This does not mean that you have to abandon the classic service. On the contrary, administrators will finally have the time and opportunity to chat with the guest, ask how the flight went, offer hotel services, and see them to the room. The implementation will reduce operational activities in favor of compliance with all hotel service standards, thereby raising the ratings on reviews.

Self-registration also provides a unique guest experience and boosts sales. Even before arrival, the hotel has a unique opportunity to learn more about guest preferences, offer additional services and collect data for the next visit.

Finally, it helps to comply with distancing requirements and reduce physical interactions with hotel staff and other people at the front desk. Keeping guests safe is still an important aspect of service, especially now in the context of COVID-19.

If the first check-in kiosks were more like a complex labyrinth, from which it was almost impossible to get out, today they are convenient solutions with an intuitive interface and navigation, often without downloading an application and the ability to integrate with almost all hotel systems.

Hoteza (a major developer of IT solutions for the hotel market around the world) successfully provides a product for self-service online check-in. Focusing on the company's vast experience in the digital world and working with major global hotel chains, we can safely say that self-registration is a must for a modern hotel.

“Until recently, many hoteliers feared that digital self-service would jeopardize the human aspect of the hospitality industry. But let's face it, guests have moved forward and now perceive everything digital as an integral part of their lives, and we cannot neglect the needs of modern guests,” says Nikolai Beloshitsky, CEO of the IT company Hoteza.

21 April 2022

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