Airport-info terminals take off with hotel guests
By April Havens
Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel officials say a flight-information display system installed nearly a year ago has been widely used by patrons, and other area hotels are considering installing similar systems.
Miami-Dade commissioners voted unanimously in June to install the six-panel flight-information system in the hotel, at 3900 NW 21st St.
Commissioners also approved installation of boarding-pass kiosks but airlines rejected permission for the kiosks, said hotel general manager Selim Soliman.
Instead, the hotel installed four computers with access to the Print My Boarding Pass Web site, www.printmybp.com, and a laser printer.
"Everything has gone very smoothly," Mr. Soliman said. "I would say at least 100 people per day come to view their flight information and see if they are on time or so forth. Another 40 or so use the printing station."
The Wyndham hotel made flight information available in each hotel room, Mr. Soliman said. "We took two channels in our programming and turned them into rolling flight-information channels.
"We have been 100% satisfied with the system and with the IT department at the airport," Mr. Soliman said. "If we ever had problems, they were quick to come out and fix it, and our customers have been very appreciative of the information because they are always pressed for time. Being near an international airport means a lot of traffic is coming in and out, with customers often staying only one night to catch a flight."
Mr. Soliman said numerous hotels in the area have contacted him to ask about implementing their own flight-information display.
Maurice Jenkins, airport manager of information systems, said his department is negotiating with airlines to see if kiosks are possible. While the possibility has not been ruled out, no timeline has been set, he said.
Mr. Jenkins also said he would look at expanding the amenity to other hotels and eventually to cruise ships.
Markos Rivas, general manager of Holiday Inn-Miami International Airport, said he is interested in installing airport-information panels within the next two or three months as the hotel undergoes scheduled upgrades.
"We are looking at that option because I view it as a very nice amenity for our customers," Mr. Rivas said. "We would like to have the flight information on one monitor in the lobby."
Mr. Rivas said he believes an information display would complement the boarding-pass kiosk the hotel received from mother company Intercontinental Hotels. The kiosk allows customers to enter their flight confirmation numbers, find their reservations and print their boarding passes in the hotel lobby, he said.
The kiosk, which Mr. Rivas said was part of a new brand incentive pushed by Intercontinental Hotels and technology company Kinetics, is not leased from the airport but purchased from Kinetics.
The six-panel information system at Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel is leased directly from the airport.