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Real-time Flight Info Provides Travel Services, adds Revenue at Westin Atlanta Airport

When the Westin Atlanta Airport completed a $22 million upgrade in 2008, its management team could not know they were preparing for one of the most severe winter travel seasons on record. Between late 2009 and March 2010, thousands of flights were delayed and cancelled across North America due to weather. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the busiest airport in the world and hub for many airlines, felt the effects daily.

"We upgraded our Westin to make it the perfect Four-Diamond airport hotel designed specifically for travelers, and our property and staff performed perfectly this past winter," says Bill Henderson, general manager of the Westin Atlanta Airport. "One travel service we implemented for our guests was real-time airline flight information to help them have more confidence in their travel plans. We added an area in our lobby where we positioned a large high-definition airline flight information display so guests could check their flight times before leaving for the airport, and it proved very valuable this winter."

Flight information adds revenue
"Our goal in adding flight information screens was to deliver a valuable service and generate revenue," says Henderson. "When flights are delayed or cancelled, guests stay on property to wait out a new flight time. If they are going to sit in a restaurant and work during the delay, we want it to be in our restaurant." The Westin Atlanta Airport selected flight information displays by Flyte Systems, a provider of airport travel information displays and digital signage content for the hospitality industry, digital signage, convention centers and related businesses.

Guests extend stay if flights are cancelled
The property's staff also relies on the FlyteBoard airport flight information. "Our managers watch the lobby FlyteBoard to track the number of cancellations and prepare for distressed passengers," says Henderson. "Some nights we picked up 175 distressed rooms due to cancelled flights. Our stay-over business also benefits from the flight information. When guests see their flight is cancelled while they are still at the hotel, they usually extend their stay." The Westin also installed the FlyteChannel airport information service on guest room TVs. "We upgraded to HDTV in 2009 and had our entertainment provider, LodgeNet, add FlyteChannel, which looks great on the flat panel televisions."

"It is important to give guests accurate information that helps them travel more comfortably," says Henderson. "It was especially valuable this year when entire regions of the county were closed to air travel. We selected Flyte Systems for our airport information provider because they are widely installed and perform very well. Flyte understands the needs of both travelers and hotels that serve them."

Real-time flight information
What sets Flyte Systems apart from PC-based applications is the ability to post accurate, real-time airline flight arrival and departure information, not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that do not list delays caused by air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, crew availability and weather.

Flyte Systems offers a suite of products that serve the traveling public: FlyteBoard, FlytePass, FlyteChannel and FlyteTouch.ガ‚¬

  • FlyteBoard is a wall, floor or ceiling mounted high-definition, flat panel screen for lobbies, restaurants, bars and other public areas, displaying flight information for one or more airports.
  • FlytePass combines FlyteTouch with free, secure boarding pass printing and can be provided stand alone or neatly packaged in an optional all wood kiosk or integrated metal kiosk, to match your décor.
  • FlyteChannel permits guests to view live airport flight information conveniently and comfortably from their in-room television.
  • FlyteTouch enables individual guests to search flight information using an interactive touch screen that displays real-time flight arrivals and departures for one or more airports.
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