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Robotperators Are Standing By

By Chuckmonster on Friday, 7th September 2012 1:43pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 14

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Check In Desk

This is interesting. During our recent stay, the check in line at the Flamingo was interminably long. Meanwhile, 20 yards away are five check in kiosks, 80% of which were in working condition.

Check In Desk

Nobody. NOBODY. Used the check in kiosks, not even us - which, after dealing with a bunch of international paperwork snafutti, we realized we should have. Not only did none of the guests mosey on over to use the kiosks. Nobody working for the front desk had the brains to go over to the front of the interminably long line and expedite guests to the kiosks.

Bad management? Bad design/placement of kiosks? Bad way finding or notification? Ensuring job security? All it would take is sending an agent out to go through the line once to decipher who can use the kiosk and who can't and route the winners to the easy line.

Is a hotel check in kiosk something we're just not ready to accept as travelers? What if you could check in to your hotel via a mobile phone app, head to a kiosk, scan a barcode and out pops your keys? Is there an inherent need for tourists to have some face time with the hotel before sharing a bed with them? If we're gonna check ourselves in, should we clean the bathrooms and cook our own room service too?

Are there any other hotels that have check in kiosks in Las Vegas? Do you use them?



Tagged: flamingo   hotel operations   robots   



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Comments & Discussion:

Everybody hoping for an upgrade?

They need a slot for the vaunted $20 bill.

I would gladly use the kiosks if they were available. My very first trip to Vegas, the Riv had them and I used them to check in there.

My last several trips to Vegas, I've checked in for my flight using the Fly Delta app which when you check in for your flight, it generates a QR coode that is scanned at security as well as when boarding and acts as your boarding pass.

Perhaps the future hotel tech will feature doors that either open by a scanner on the door that reads the QR code or even by use of near field communication.

My thoughts exactly Dave ^^

Seems to me a ton of people book the cheapest room they can get at the Flamingo and figure they can tip their way up to a GO room. If I were a regular visitor to a hotel and they had a good track record on honoring my preferences, I would use a kiosk to avoid a hot mess line. They need to take a page from Alamo, though, and have people on hand to help guide people to the terminals.

I was actually at the Flamingo a couple weeks ago for just a single night. As I entered the long Total Rewards line (which was still only a fraction of the ridiculously massive regular line) I noticed the empty self check-in kiosks. I went over to take a peak as there was a gentleman there overseeing the area. I asked him if they were operational and he pretty much guided me through the process with ease.

A full 2 minutes later, I had my room key and was on my way. Before I left I asked him why nobody else was using this system. He shrugged and said "Their loss". While I question why Flamingo doesn't advertise heavily to their arriving guests of this feature, I'm glad it was my own little "secret".

I would use a kiosk if you could choose your room (location, floor, view, type, nonsmoking, etc...), and check for upgrades. What happens if your room is not available yet? I wouldn't want to get the keys to a bad room and then have to go to the other line to change it.

I used the Flamingo kiosk to check-in during a stay in October 2011. The regular line was long, slow, and since I have no clout at Flamingo I thought "why not?" Got my room in no time. Then hiked, hiked, hiked to my room. The room was in the farthest tower (north), almost at the end of the tower. If you know Flamingo, it's a loooong hike from front desk to the far end of that north tower. I knew that other (more centrally located) rooms had to be available so upon entering my room, I immediatly called front desk and got my room changed. I had to hike all the way back to the front desk but at least I got a centrally located room. That is why I won't use the kiosk - they stick you in some far-away corner.

I remember The Cosmopolitan had 4 or 5 of these self check-in machines right by their bell desk on opening day. Can anyone confirm if they are still around???

In general, I am a fan of any technology that makes life easier. Of course the value of the kiosk lies within the software: does it just verify credit and dispense your pre-assigned room key, or can it accommodate requests for itinerary changes, upgrades, etc.? Waiting in a long check-in queue is one of my top Vegas pet peeves, so if given the opportunity, I definitely would choose the no-line option of the kiosk.

Last time I was at the Flamingo friends were confronted by a ridiculously long line in check-in; I picked on 'em that losing enough money got me cookies, lemon water, and the Diamond/Platinum check-in.
They were ushered over to the kiosks out of the stupid long line by a friendly concierge; they also inquired to him about an upgrade, and he magically typed a few buttons, and they went from a Fab room to a Go...

The $20 just went to him, instead of a desk clerk.

They beat me and the girlfrined out of line; but I still had the cookies, damnit.

It may just be time of day, and if deferred maintenence hit that portion of the Dirty Bird's budget....

do any of the Hotels have a check-in kiosk at the McCarran?

As noted on my last trip report, checking in with the front desk clerk they said the self-checkin computers automatically assign you to the farthest room (i.e. long hike from the elevators, in line with another comment here), and on a poor floor usually too.

However, given the clerk didn’t notice that my friend had been offered a comped upgrade to a mini-suite (voicemail left on home phone while we were in Vegas) nor did he bother offering any other kind of upgrade even though we hinted (though didn’t do $20 trick – not for a $40 room!) I wonder now if we’d used the kiosk instead if the computer would have known about the upgrade tied to his TR number and upgraded him? (maybe to the farthest mini-suite from the elevator, haha)

I know they had them when I stayed there in March of '11. I personally didn't use it because I didn't want to put down the incidentals deposit (one of the workers said you didn't have a choice if you wanted to check-in with the kiosk).

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