Travel Tips

Travel Tip: Skip Hotel Check-In With These Apps

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons user Victorgrigas

Locations in this article:  San Francisco, CA

Starwood Hotels PHonenow has a system that lets you skip the hotel check-in desk altogether. With a Bluetooth connection, you’ll be able to use your smartphone as a key to enter your room. Right now, the program is in two Aloft hotels in New York and California, but they’re hoping to roll it out nationwide.

Personality Hotels in San Francisco uses the technology at two of its properties, Hotel Diva and Hotel Union Square, but you still have to check in at the front desk for now.

Some Holiday Inn Express hotels have used it as well.

The cool thing is it eliminates a lot of waste, and it can potentially save time.

But is it safe? The idea is that it’s more secure than traditional keycards, which are easily stolen or lost. But Bluetooth is vulnerable to hacking. So, it’s now up to the hotels to find additional technology to combat potential attacks—not to mention a backup system, in case your cell phone is locked inside your hotel room.

Bottom line: Technology is great, but only when it solves problems, not causes them.

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