Wyndham Close To Getting Airline Flight Monitors
Written by Eric Kalis on June 1, 2006
By Eric Kalis
Miami-Dade commissioners are to vote Tuesday on an agreement between the county and Wyndham Miami Airport Hotel to install flight information monitors and boarding pass kiosks in the hotel’s lobby.
The Regional Transportation Committee approved the measure May 18.
Maurice Jenkins, manager of Information Systems for Miami International Airport, said he came up with the idea to implement flight information displays and self-service boarding-pass machines in nearby hotels to bring in money from licensing fees and make traveling more convenient for guests. Management of the hotel at 3900 NW 21st St. immediately expressed interest, he said.
"This is an opportunity to utilize technology to generate revenue and simplify the process for travelers," he said. "New technology is becoming a staple for the industry going forward."
Trial runs confirmed that the machines would work in hotels as consistently as they do in the airport, Mr. Jenkins said.
"We did tests a year ago in remote locations and found that the equipment worked very well," he said. "The Wyndham Hotel is undergoing a massive renovation with an airport motif, and we feel it is a great place to start. If this goes well, there are several other hotels that have expressed interest."
With county commission approval, Mr. Jenkins said, the airport could activate the machines within a month.
Salim Solomon, general manager of Wyndham Miami, said he will approach a third party about providing the equipment if commissioners vote down the measure but he is confident it will pass. The project underscores the hotel’s commitment, he said, to maximize convenience for vacationers and corporate travelers.
"If you look at the money this will make for the airport and how much traffic flow will be reduced, it bodes well for the upcoming vote," Mr. Solomon said. "This is a clear win/win situation for the hotel and airport."
Wyndham officials are to pay $3,157 a month, not including state and federal taxes, in licensing and installation fees and make a $10,134 security deposit. The airport would only have to pay employees to install the machines, Mr. Jenkins said, while the hotel would cover the costs of operating and maintaining the equipment.
Besides the equipment in the lobby, Mr. Jenkins said, guests would be able to confirm flight times without leaving their rooms.
"People staying at the hotel will be able to check their flight information through the cable televisions in their rooms," Mr. Jenkins said. "There will also be 40-inch LCD monitors strategically placed throughout the lobby and boarding pass kiosks so guests can go straight to the gate once they arrive at the airport."