Starting this month, Marriott is trialing facial scans for check-in duties at two hotels in China. It is said they want to roll it out globally after this trial runs. This could mean shorter check-in lines – but what else might it mean for the customer as well?
Marriott Is Going To Use Your Face to Check You In
Link: Press Release
There is no question that hotels are trying to get more digital with their customer while they are in the hotel. Hilton has done a very good job with their app in letting you select your room ahead of time and then to use your phone as your key to your room and the lounge while at the hotel (SPG has a good digital offering as well).
But, there can still be that bottleneck when you are actually checking in to the hotel. Marriott is teaming up with Alibab to use your face to help streamline that process.
According to the report, this will cut the check-in process down to just under a minute. The process for using it at the two Marriotts in China (Hangzhou Marriott Hotel Qianjiangand Sanya Marriott Hotel Dadonghai Bay) for Chinese visitors will be to “scan their IDs, take a photo and input contact details on an automated machine, the firms said. The device will then dispense room key cards after verifying identities and booking information”, according to Marriott.
Good or Bad?
How quick this process will be with certainly rely on the number of machines available. There will always be that person fumbling to figure out the process and that will just delay the whole line anyway.
Of course, there will also be those that will worry about the privacy aspect of allowing the face to be scanned and what happens with that scan. I am sure Marriott will address this when it rolls out to the US and Europe to assure customers that this data will not be kept but rather used to compare to the ID.
This could present a nice upsell opportunity for Marriott as well. People just act differently at kiosks when it comes to ordering and paying for something. I am sure there is some study to confirm this! 🙂
I mean, picture having a nice photo of a breakfast plate and asking the guest if they would like to add breakfast for $XX amount. Or, getting a later checkout for an extra $40 or offering a larger room or suite and showing photos of the room that would be available. I would imagine there would be many people taking up Marriott on offers like this.
But, then it would take longer than a minute! At the end of the day, I am in favor of systems that can cut lines! Even hotel elite lines can be pretty long at some hotels.
I will be anxious to see how this program works. In the meantime, I hope that Hyatt’s new hire can help them play catch up in this digital area as they really lag behind the other hotel chains right now!