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Hurray for innovation! A recent Hilton survey has shown that 93 percent of Americans think technology has made travel easier now than it was a decade ago, and the company has responded accordingly.
Hilton has introduced a new feature on its app called the Digital Key, which is exclusively for HHonors members. Digital Key gives members the option to bypass the hotel check-in counter and access their rooms, as well as any other area of the hotel that requires a key. Hilton says that by early 2016, HHonors members will be able to use their smartphones as their room key at 250 US properties.
It should be noted that you don’t have to use the Digital Key feature even if it’s available. You will be asked if you want a Digital Key, and if you accept it, you’ll have access as soon as your room is ready.
Earlier this month, the brand began testing the app, with the Hilton Alexandria Old Town in Alexandria, VA as its beta property, and it will expand testing to additional hotels across four Hilton brands by the end of 2015. Those who make the trip to test the Digital Key feature out during the beta period — or who just happen to be traveling to a participating hotel — will receive 2,500 Hilton HHonors bonus points.
Tech advances like this can be a godsend for some, and downright terrifying for others – whether it’s the perceived invasion of privacy or simply a fear of losing one’s phone (though a physical key could be issued in the latter situation). Still, Hilton isn’t the first brand to offer guests the option to skip the check-in desk; Starwood has a Keyless feature for unlocking your room via the SPG app, and this functionality even works on the Apple Watch.
What do you say? Would you use this feature? Let us know in the comments. Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.