The Standard hotel chain is scrapping the traditional rules around when guests can check in and out, allowing them to get into their rooms or leave the hotel at whatever time they like.
Hotels, airlines and car rental companies are scuttling old rules and rolling out new technology to make the customer experience more efficient and appealing to the tech-savvy traveler.
Those are a few of the latest offerings available in an increasingly “on demand’’ travel environment that includes mobile check-in for hotels and flights, and the growing ability to use a smartphone to enter a hotel room instead of an old-fashioned card or key.
Avis loyalty program members are now able to pick the car they want, and change the time they pick it up with the swipe of an app. And JetBlue passengers flying out of JFK can now tag and check their bags themselves, without ever having to stand in a line.
Guests at The Standard’s five hotels in New York, Miami and Los Angeles will no longer be bound by the typical out by noon, in by 3 p.m. routine. With the new “Standard Time,” guests can speak to a reservations agent or go online to dictate the check-in and check-out times that best suit them.
“There’s nothing more frustrating than arriving on a red eye, wanting to take a shower, and your room not being ready, and we wanted to eliminate that pain point,’’ says Amar Lalvani, managing partner at Standard International. It can be similarly aggravating when “you have a meeting, but you’re forced to pack up your bags to comply with check out time.”
It’s not a small change, Lalvani acknowledges. One of the reasons hotels require guests to clear out of their rooms or check in at set times is so housekeeping staff can clean the rooms and perform other tasks.
“There’s an enormous amount of logistics that goes into this,’’ he says, from retraining housekeepers and staff at the front desk, to being able to restock a room’s mini bar before the next guest arrives.
But Lalvani says Standard Time can also set it apart from competitors. “People choose us for a lot of reasons,” he says, but for “someone taking the red eye from L.A. to New York who has a meeting in the morning, this is a pretty meaningful step to improve that travel experience.’’