Flight info sys­tem for ho­tels lifts off

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Business - By Cas­san­dra Kyle

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.

ck­yle@sp.canwest.com

—SP Photo by Gord Wald­ner.

Suzy Huber of Pro­mowave Corp. with the flight in­for­ma­tion sys­tem at the Sen­a­tor Ho­tel in Saskatoon

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