Is there any value in hotel online check-in?

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 13 voices, and was last updated by  seasonedtraveller 20 Aug 2015
at 12:17

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  • Anonymous


    I have twice now checked in online with Hilton, one Double Tree and one standard Hilton. Other than selecting my room number I don’t really see the value.

    On both occasions I could not change the floor, but had a choice of about six or seven rooms. There was no information about what I might be viewing out of the window.

    I still had to go to reception and check in to receive my room key. Am I missing something or is it just a gimmick?


    A checkout app saving a trip to reception in the morning would be much more use. I know sometimes places do express check out, but that tends to make it harder to query a bill. Tend to agree NTarrant, a gimmick of abolutely no value.


    Not a service I would use as I like to interact with the reception staff, as if you’re lucky and they are friendly they may upgrade you to a nicer room.


    Where a check in app is useful is at some airport hotels during “rush hour”. I have been stuck in q’s to check late at night for up to 30 minutes, die to shortage of staff..

    Other than that, I see very little value – I too like to say hello and interact with the staff..


    I regularly use both Marriott and Hilton mobile check in. Both are a waste of time with absolutely no benefit to me personally.
    Still need to wait in a queue.
    Still need to show ID.
    MUCH less chance of room upgrade.


    I’ve used Marriott and Hilton in the US. Marriott app – only advantage they don’t ask to see my credit card (don’t ask why). Hilton – using laptop I can change and choose my room

    For both there is “theoretically” a different and quicker desk but that’s yet to happen in my experience..


    We should be grateful that hotel check-in desks are still manned by humans.

    Apparently the Marriott Ghent is now experimenting with a check-in robot.

    While over in the US, IHC hotels is trialling a “delivery robot” which can work within the lobby but can also use the elevators to perform room service duties.


    AMcWhirter – sounds totally depressing – don’t hotels see that a personal and human check in and out is a total differentiator between what hotels we choose. Some of these hotel group accountants striving for “cost savings” really need to get a life.


    sparkyflyer – as with all things in these types of service, I think in time we will have two choices – one that is wholly automated and eliminates labour costs to all intents and purposes (and is lower cost) and the other (for which we will pay much, much more) retaining the personalised touch which most of us ‘oldies’ prefer. Compare the demographics of automated check-outs with traditional service points in supermarkets to see the extent to which the under 25s prefer no-human contact service. Only a matter of time before supermarkets charge us extra to deal with a real person….,


    I received lots of marketing spam from JW Marriot encouraging me to use their mobile app and although I never usually bother with such things I gave it a try. When it did work properly (about 50% of the time) I still had to go to the desk to collect my room key so I saw no benefit whatsoever. More than that like LuganoPirate and MartynSinclair I enjoy the interaction with front desk staff in particular at hotels where I am known and treated as a regular guest with an extra word of welcome or comment.

    Most recently at the Intercontinental on Park Lane London where the manager took the time to come over and ask me about a business deal I had been working on the last time I stayed there, it is these little touches that make a difference and influence where I choose to stay.


    I completely agree that it is a complete waste of time and only benefits the hotel.

    I have used it with Hilton & Marriott with whom I am top tier and I found the following:

    1- Unless it is a familiar property, you don’t know the negatives of the room you have chosen
    2- Rooms available are limited and not premium
    3- You severely limit (down to zero%) your chances for an upgrade with the normal response being “you chose that room”
    4- Still have to queue, may work if linked with auto mobile phone key activation for the room bypassing reception

    Essentially bad news, will never use it again.


    I have used the online facility with Hilton (Diamond) and have found it to be useful in a few situations.

    One can at least have a look to see how busy the hotel is and you don’t have to actually complete the check in process.

    If you are familiar with the room structure (at a hotel you visit frequently) there is some value in knowing in advance what room you have (like knowing the seat you have on a plane).

    With hilton Conrad in London, I was able to select a room I had used before (also knowing its location relative to the Exec Lounge) and this meant I could relax a bit more on my journey to the hotel.

    I would be reluctant to use this though if I was expecting an upgrade (which I usually get at Hilton) but with other chains, I would use it.


    May I disagree with almost all posts above?

    If you are our age (making huge assumptions about those that post on BT!), you prefer human contact and are probably not down to your last few pennies. If you are under 25 you are much happier dealing with a machine, as this conceals your age, does not get you withering looks from some reception manager you may secretly be somewhat overawed by, tolerates your mistakes, does not result in people behind you tut-tutting and might even be a touch cheaper.

    I expect hotel online checking to increase, and I suspect check-in machines will soon be able to scan your ID and then issue you with a room key. And checking in (and out) at the front desk will still be there but will cost extra.

    It is called dumbing down and the absence of service for those “of a certain age”. But it is also called choice, efficiency and value for money by others.


    Staying at the Hilton Newcastle last night, I chose to use mobile check in and also chose a room with arrival time stated at 3pm.

    On arrival, a queue of 5 people waiting to check in & I had to join the line. Only 1 person manning the desk so;

    I waited 15-20 mins for my key
    Despite it being 3,15pm, my room was not ready
    I was allocated a different room
    My welcome letter & beakfast vouchers were not ready

    Therefore I must conclude that checking in via my mobile device was a tragic waste of time.

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