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Aloft pilot tests smart card check in

19 Feb 2010

Aloft Hotels, whose brand promise is that guests are always “plugged in”, is pioneering a new technology allowing them to bypass the front desk at check in and proceed to their rooms. Their partner on the programme, which runs on radio frequency identification (RFID), is VingCard Elsafe, a well-known name in guestroom security.

The Aloft hotel in Lexington, Massachusetts is the pilot hotel, and Starwood Preferred Guest members, who wish to participate in the experiment, will be receiving an enhanced SPG/Aloft-branded RFID keycard. On the day of their planned stay, the hotel will send a text message to their mobile device with their room number. Upon arriving, guests can go straight to their room and find the keycard will automatically unlock the door.

“Removing the mundane task of issuing keys allows our talent to focus on the guest, rather than the transaction,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice-president, Specialty Select Brands for Starwood.

This early, Starwood is already looking ahead to convert the SPG/Aloft-branded RFID keycard into an all-access pass that will permit among others the purchase  of cocktails and snacks at Aloft’s bar, retail kiosk and deli.

For more about Aloft Hotels, visit www.starwood.com

Margie T Logarta

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