SIOUX FALLS, S.D., April 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- LodgeNet Interactive Corporation (NASDAQ: LNET), the leading provider of interactive media and connectivity services to hospitality and healthcare businesses and the consumers they serve, has announced the introduction of a new mobile checkout feature (mCheckout), added to the recently launched LodgeNet Mobile app. The new feature is available in more than 500,000 of LodgeNet's mobile-enabled rooms across 2,600 hotels in North America.
"Mobile checkout represents the ultimate in ease-of-use and efficiency for travelers. Guests now have a convenient option to check out of their hotel room from any location via their mobile device, eliminating the need for queuing at the front desk, particularly during peak hours," said Derek S. White, President of Interactive & Media Networks for LodgeNet. The new mCheckout feature also removes the need for printed receipts as these can be automatically sent to guests, by e-mail, upon completing the mobile checkout process. "Mobile checkout is the next frontier that today's increasingly tech-savvy guests are eager to embrace – and a technology that hoteliers will be excited to adopt," said White.
Mobile devices have already had a profound impact on how travelers interact and engage with hotel, airline and retail brands. At a time when 75% of travelers are now carrying smartphones, the inclusion of mCheckout is a timely addition to the recently launched LodgeNet App. Recent Nielsen research has found that 71% of app downloaders expressed an interest in using apps for mobile checkout in retail situations, and White says that interest will continue expanding from the store to the hotel lobby. "Hoteliers must go where their guests are already going – and fast," added White.Delivering an All-in-One Digital Tool for Travelers LodgeNet's mCheckout service is part of the company's industry-first mobile application, LodgeNet Mobile. Developed to enhance the travel and in-room experience, the "super-suite" of mobile features launched earlier this year offers unmatched control of in-room entertainment, turning a guest's mobile device into a TV remote. The app also provides access to hotel amenities like dining and spa reservations, as well as local area information and services. A Look Under the Digital Hood The mCheckout feature allows business or leisure travelers to effortlessly –and wirelessly – link to a hotel's checkout system from any location: getting ready to leave their hotel room, waiting for the valet or multitasking while waiting for transportation. "Given this integration, we can complete a room checkout through the app just like the traditional front desk clerk would do in person," said Todd Kelly, Vice President of Interactive & Mobile Applications for LodgeNet. "This is an exciting time for the travel industry as mobile usage continues to rise, benefiting hotel brands and guests alike. It's also very exciting to be at the forefront of mobile innovation with our new service, providing our hotel clients with a tool to connect with their mobile-equipped guests," Kelly continued. "We're off to an impressive start, and we look forward to announcing even more enhancements in the months ahead."