Marriott’s mobile check-in comes to Europe

13 Oct 2013 by Tom Otley
Marriott Hotels & Resorts is about to begin a Euopean trial of its mobile check-in. The mobile check-in which was introduced in 325 hotels this summer in the U.S. and Canada will debut at five hotels in November with a view to gradually rolling out across Marriott Hotels & Resorts properties in Europe in 2014. At the time of introducing the mobile check-in in the United States, Marriott cited research from consulting firm Hudson Crossing that emerging Gen Y travellers (ages 24–36) in the U.S. had an 80 per cent smartphone ownership profile, but the move is also as a response to Marriott's own research showing that travellers want to quicken the check-in process. Marriott Grosvenor Square, London The trial of mobile check-in will commence in mid-November 2013 in five Marriott hotels in Europe:
  • Grosvenor Square, London
  • Bristol Marriott Royal Hotel
  • Zurich Marriott Hotel
  • Brussels Marriott Hotel
  • Prague Marriott Hotel
Using the Marriot Mobile app, the trial will allow users who have the mobile app to check-in to their rooms using their smartphones after 4pm the day before arrival and receive an automatic notification when their room is ready. There is also the opportunity, according to Marriott, of users securing early check-in. Marriott Mobile AppUlrike Hallegger: Director of Rooms, Marriott Europe: “This is way, we have the information to see if we can accommodate people’s needs [to check-in early]. We have early check-outs, so it's possible to match it with the requests for early check-in and so increase the possibility of guests being able to check-in early to their rooms.” There are some catches – at the moment to use the service even after using the mobile check-in the guest still has to go to reception to pick up the key card, although there will be what Marriot calls “an expedited check-in process”. Halleger says this is a reflection of the different regulatory regimes in European countries. "In some countries you have to show ID, or the bank requires that you must show your credit card even though we know what credit card you have because it is in the Marriott Rewards profile. So we need to work with the local requirements that the guest gets a smooth check-in. “ As this suggests, users also have to be Marriott Rewards member to use the online check-in. “We want to test this with our most loyal customers," says Halleger "We have a lot of the information on those customers, they know how Marriott works, the trust level is high and so it makes sense to trial it first with Marriott Rewards members. In time then we can evolve and expand.” Hallegger says that using the app does not alter the possibility of a Marriott Rewards member receiving upgrades (or not). Members can also expect for messages to offder “upselling” – ie: a paid upgrade when checking in through the phone app. Another catch is that some users may object to the amount of information the app offers to Marriott International. For instance when downloading the app, users grant it the ability to “...add or modify calendar events and send emails to guests without owners’ knowledge”. The app is also allowed “to call phone numbers without your intervention… send messages that appear to come from calendar owners, or modify events without the owners’ knowledge”. It also tracks your position via GPS, though Hallegger says this is so it knows what time zone you are in and can remind you to change your time zone if it is incorrectly set. Marriot says that its Marriott Mobile app has been downloaded 2.3 million times, with Marriott’s mobile revenue growing more than 80 percent during the past year. The European trial accompanies trials in China, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and India. Tom Otley
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