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For anyone who frequents airport hotels, one of your biggest frustrations may be locating (or waiting for) the complimentary shuttle to a given property. You may frantically rush outside only to stand outside for 20 minutes — sweating or shivering — when you could’ve casually grabbed a snack or cup of coffee en route to your designated pick-up location. In some cases, travelers may forgo the free ride entirely and order an Uber or Lyft instead of attempting to deal with the headache.
Sensing these woes, one major program is moving in a direction to remove this confusion. As first reported by the Wall Street Journal, Marriott is now offering shuttle tracking at 15 of its hotels, with plans to roll out the availability to 200 total by year end. The new feature — which can be accessed via the Marriott app — offers patrons the ability to see exactly where a shuttle is located as well as its estimated arrival time and distance.
Unfortunately, this offer only extends to direct bookings, which is yet another blow in the battle between hotels and third-party booking sites. And much like the free breakfast offering at Hyatt Place, you must be a Marriott Bonvoy member in order to take advantage.
TPG reached out to Marriott for more information, and here’s what a spokesperson said:
“Marriott International is rolling out the functionality to airport hotels after initially testing it last year at the Washington Dulles Marriott hotel near Washington DC’s Dulles airport and the Atlanta Airport Marriott hotel near Atlanta’s airport. The pilots generated positive feedback from hotel guests and staff.”
Washington-Dulles (IAD) and Atlanta (ATL) — along with Baltimore (BWI) and Salt Lake City (SLC) — are the first four airports to offer this feature, though it sounds like Marriott has big plans for expanding this tracking capability. In addition to its eventual rollout to all its airport shuttles, the company added that guests should “expect to see the feature in the future being used beyond airport hotel shuttles — such as on-demand luxury car service, resort golf carts and shuttles to/from train/metro stations.”
Those are some big plans but align with the trend we’ve seen of hotel programs leveraging technology to drive convenience for members and guests. If you’re staying at one of the test properties, be sure to try this feature out on your next stay, as it just may save you that mad dash from baggage claim to the curb.
Featured photo courtesy of AFP/Getty Images
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