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What is the point of mobile check-in?

What is the point of mobile check-in?

Old Jul 29, 18, 5:06 pm
  #1  
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What is the point of mobile check-in?

I did a mobile check-in the morning of a reservation. I arrived at the hotel just after 6pm and waited in line for 25minutes while the one clerk available checked in two guests ahead of me. I interrupted her and asked if there was anyone there for mobile checkins, she told me no, just wait . When it was finally my turn I asked her (in a very polite way), what point, if any, there was in having mobile check in if I had to wait in line for 25 minutes anyway. Her response, with the accompanying sourpuss was I am an employee, talk to management .

i then said never mind the management /employee thing. Do you, as a person, think there is a point to having a mobile check in if you have to wait in line for almost half an hour?’. I was met again with ask the manager, who isn’t here . Not even a simple I’m sorry, i can see how that might be frustrating .

There was the platinum check in line, but as in most properties, it was simply symbolic and served no actual purpose.

Am I being ridiculous by being bothered by this?
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Old Jul 29, 18, 5:09 pm
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If you anticipate arriving very late at night, mobile check-in can signal to the hotel that you will actually show up.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 5:21 pm
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Sure but there are many other ways of doing that as well no? I see how That can be a side benefit, if you will, but the mobile check in system was surely created for a purpose?
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Old Jul 29, 18, 5:31 pm
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With SPG and Marriott, there's basically no benefit except you've told the hotel you're coming, so they shouldn't give your room away.

Hilton's app has better functionality and allows you to actually select your room, including an upgraded room type if you've been pre-upgraded.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 6:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Dubosc View Post
i then said never mind the management /employee thing. Do you, as a person, think there is a point to having a mobile check in if you have to wait in line for almost half an hour?. I was met again with ask the manager, who isnt here . Not even a simple Im sorry, i can see how that might be frustrating
If I were an employee, I would give you the exact same response. How could you possibly think it's appropriate to ask an on-duty agent for a personal opinion about his employer?
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Old Jul 29, 18, 7:23 pm
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If I picked up a rental at Europcar and it had a button for headlights but they didn’t turn on, I would ask the employee if he thought that was normal. I don’t see what’s so offsides about that.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 8:15 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
With SPG and Marriott, there's basically no benefit except you've told the hotel you're coming, so they shouldn't give your room away.

Hilton's app has better functionality and allows you to actually select your room, including an upgraded room type if you've been pre-upgraded.
​​​​​​Plus on the Hilton app, you get the digital key. You do not even need to go to the front desk.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 9:13 pm
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Originally Posted by dshafiee View Post
​​​​​​Plus on the Hilton app, you get the digital key. You do not even need to go to the front desk.
This varies by property. Some Hilton hotels do not have that functionality. I had a digital key with Conrad New York. But at Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, I waited on line just like OP for 15 minutes behind a large tour group, even though I already picked out the rooms. I still need to see the FDA.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 9:33 pm
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Nothing to do with the app functionality, the front desk was just understaffed. 25 mins wait at the front desk, regardless of pre-arrival communication and membership status is just ridiculous.

It also depends on the attitude, I'm more sympathetic if the employee was visibly trying his/her best to move people along. More agitated if the agent has the 'Im just an employee' attitude.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 10:09 pm
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Originally Posted by EdofFX View Post
This varies by property. Some Hilton hotels do not have that functionality. I had a digital key with Conrad New York. But at Hilton Garden Inn Frankfurt Airport, I waited on line just like OP for 15 minutes behind a large tour group, even though I already picked out the rooms. I still need to see the FDA.
Agreed. I also use the mobile check in app with Hilton - but am required to see the FDA which requires waiting in line, showing ID & cc and getting a key. Happened in both Hawaii and California. I do recall one Hilton where the FD agent didn't request anything from me (wouldn't even look at my ID, just said, you checked in on the app - that's the whole point of it, handed me a key and off I went). I was a little bothered - as anyone with my name could just ask for my key.

As for Starwood I only did the online check in once for the 250 pts. There was no point in it as OP said, since I still needed to go to the FD. Personally I don't like online/mobile check in. Oftentimes I only get the upgrade I want after an in-person conversation with an FD agent (even though these upgrades are supposed to be automatic).

So OP - I agree with you... no point, and actually some downsides imo.
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Old Jul 29, 18, 11:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Dubosc View Post
If I picked up a rental at Europcar and it had a button for headlights but they didnt turn on, I would ask the employee if he thought that was normal. I don't see what's so offsides about that.
Maybe it's because I used to work in hospitality, but this line of questioning comes across as blaming the employee for things they didn't do. The rental employee doesn't check out the mechanical functions of every car before giving it to the customer. And the hotel Front Desk agent didn't design how the mobile check-in function interfaces with Starwood systems.

As mahasamatman notes, you're putting the employee in a no-win situation. If she or he says, "Yes, it's pointless to have mobile check-in if you also have to wait in line," that's effectively disparaging Starwood. While you may appreciate the candor, other people would find it off-putting for an employee to say negative things about their employer in front of a guest.

You were upset. I get that and it seems appropriate. But, expecting an hourly employee to accept responsibility for poor implementation of a product by disparaging their employer is not appropriate.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 4:53 am
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The only point of using Mobile Check In is to receive 250 bonus points while it lasted.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 5:16 am
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When I used mobile check-in at some Marriott hotels (York for example) - the envelope with the key was waiting for me on the reception and there was no need for waiting in line. From the other side, with SPG properties it was useless (except for the points).
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Old Jul 30, 18, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Hilton's app has better functionality and allows you to actually select your room, including an upgraded room type if you've been pre-upgraded.
Hilton OLCI has been offline the last two or three times I've tried it (over the past two weeks, all US properties), the online choose-your-room maps are pretty useless unless you have prior experience with the hotel, and the Digital Key function is not exactly ubiquitous.
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Old Jul 30, 18, 6:41 am
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It's always felt like the need for a benefit to the customer was forgotten when online check-in was developed by Starwood. I can see only potential downsides for me, so I would never use it - It seems a bit of a missed opportunity considering the amount of time of SPG receptionists (and my own time) I use up doing stuff which could easily be done online in advance.
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