Marriott is ramping up their checkin kiosks from 32 properties now to 150 within two weeks. All Marriott and Renaissance properties are targeted to have the machines by the end of September. The kiosks will have the functionality to print airline boarding passes, a nice feature indeed.
Marriott is actually a bit behind the curve on this one, Hilton announced the capability of their kiosks to print boarding passes back in April, but Marriott looks like it will jump ahead of its competitors with the ubiquity of the feature across two of its brands within a few months.
This is one of the easy no-brainers of the hotel industry. If done right the cost to set up the machines with internet connectivity and a printer should be low, and it’s a major convenience. But in the interim — if I haven’t had my own printer or access to a complimentary one in the lounge — I’ve always had good luck just asking the concierge to print boarding passes (I don’t recall anyone I know ever being charged for such a request).
Furthermore, as a workaround, Northwest and Continental both allow you to fax your boarding passes — though many hotels will charge you to receive the fax.
Still, it’s all better than waiting on line at the airport. A couple days ago in Miami there was even an hour-long line to checkin at a kiosk which permitted baggage check!
Now if only Marriott could figure out how to check bags at the hotel and pre-clear you through security they’d have my loyalty!
(Full disclosure, I won a not-insubstantial number of Starwood points for naming the “Sheraton SpeedCheck” back in early 2004.)
Update: I was mistaken in my original understanding of the Marriott devices. I had assumed they would be hotel checkin/checkout terminals with the added functionality of interfacing with airline checkin websites which would then spit out boarding passes. I’m told that the Marriott kiosks are actually computer stations with an attached printer whose sole purpose is to facilitate airline checkin, these are separate from Marriott’s hotel check-in kiosk project.
Update 2: I’ve edited the post title for clarity based on the above.
Update 3: Hotel Chatter has more.