Pack It Up

Just Checking In

There's good news for business travelers who dread hotel check-in lines. Hilton Hotels Corp. now offers guests a convenient alternative to the front-desk procedure.

Developed through a partnership with Montvale, New Jersey-based Geotek Communications Inc., a provider of wireless communication solutions, the new Mobile Zip-In program allows guests to check in while on board the hotel shuttle from the airport. Upon arrival, Hilton clerks hand guests their room key when they step off the van. "It really takes express check-in to a whole new level," says John Page of Geotek.

To date, two Hilton locations--Miami and Newark, New Jersey--have equipped their vans with the technology. By 2000, Hilton expects all 37 of its locations situated near airports to be up and running--assuming Geotek's network is fully operational in those areas by that time. Eventually, Hilton plans to bring its limousines into the loop, as well.

The technology behind Mobile Zip-In provides an added benefit: Hilton can monitor its shuttle fleet at all times through a satellite system. "We're now able to dispatch them more efficiently so the waiting time at the airport is [shortened]," explains Tom Daly, Hilton's vice president of loss prevention. Additionally, guests who present their Hilton HHonors card at check-in can earn points toward airline miles and other benefits.

Hilton's industry competitors won't be far behind. Says Page, "Our focus now is to provide Mobile Zip-In to Hilton, but ultimately we'd like to come out with a [similar] hospitality solution for other hotels."

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This article was originally published in the October 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Pack It Up.

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