The launch of a Saskatoon company’s flight information system for hotels has had a successful takeoff, resulting in less airport time for guests with delayed travel plans.
Promoware Corp.’s Hotel Flight Information System — technology that displays local airport flight information in hotel lobbies — was released in November and is currently used in about a dozen hotels in North and South America. The system, which is currently installed in Saskatoon’s Hotel Senator and Heritage Inn, creates convenience for travellers and airport staff, said Promoware CEO David Reid.
“If you take an airport and you get two flights cancelled you get all of those people at the airport asking what’s happening with their flight. So the airport can reduce the number of people that are going to be asking questions or coming to the airport and getting ticked off because (passengers) can get the information at the hotel and stay in their room or maybe go get some lunch because their flight is delayed,” Reid said.
Thereal-timesystemwasdevelopedby Promoware’s sister company, Terminal Systems International (TSI), about five years ago at the request of the Edmonton Airport Authority, he explained. TSI, also run by Reid, develops and installs flight, gate and baggage information systems in airports. The companies’ prod- ucts differ when it comes to the technology they need to operate.
“TSI’s product works inside the airports where they have servers, whereas this product can be installed anywhere. You just hook it up to the Internet and it works; there is no server a customer has to worry about,” he said, adding the hotel system is also connected to a screen to display the flights.
Promoware’s system is designed to facilitate real-time advertising, though the function is not yet in use, Reid said. Once advertisers are in place, advertising revenue will cut costs to hotels who currently pay $100 a month to rent the product.
“Profitability is not a question. Once I install it in a hotel they pay me monthly,” he said. “The technology is paid for already, so we have no debt so we don’t have to finance debt to keep going. The revenue that will come in is extra revenue. It’s a little cash cow.”
The company’s marketing agent, Suzy Huber, is planning to further introduce the Hotel Flight Information System to Edmonton and possibly bring it to Yellowknife. The product would do well in a northern city, she said, as weather often interferes with flights.
“We think it would be a great valueadded feature for customers; it’s convenience. If a customer’s flight is cancelled, which especially can be the case in Yellowknife, they can just extend their booking and not have to go all the way down to the airport,” she said. “Nobody likes to wait at the airport. If you can wait in the comfort of your hotel room versus having to go down and wait, it’s really a huge convenience.”
The product is getting good reviews from staff who work at the Saskatoon hotels using the system. Promoware is set to install the technology in the Holiday Inn Express in the near future.