InterContinental Chicago Launches Guest-centric Flight Information Service

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Guests queuing up to use boarding pass kiosks from Flyte Systems

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So many of our guests are here on business, which means flying in and out of Chicago O'Hare

Known the world over for its exclusive boutiques, spectacular shopping and trendy restaurants, Chicago's "Magnificent Mile" is a popular destination that attracts thousands of business travelers, conference goers and tourists no matter what time of year. Located in the heart of this exclusive boulevard is the InterContinental Chicago, a soaring two-tower, four diamond property whose faithfully restored historic 1920s architecture is often included in city tours.

The InterContinental is also the only downtown Chicago hotel that can lay claim to having an entrance directly onto the Magnificent Mile, a prime location that puts it in the center of the city's most sought-after attractions. The hotel recently underwent a quarter-billion dollar refurbishing of its 792 rooms and suites, along with more than 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space, reinforcing its status as a premier property for conference planners and business travelers. Which is just one of the reasons why Director of Information Technology John Barbier decided several years ago to offer his airline travel guests an alternative to waiting for delayed and cancelled flights at the airport.

Worth Waiting For
"So many of our guests are here on business, which means flying in and out of Chicago O'Hare," Barbier said. "In the wintertime especially there can be long delays and cancellations. Since we are a very service-oriented property, I had previously placed a specially configured PC in the lobby whose sole function was supposed to be to access airline flight schedules." Barbier noted that while his idea was on target, the usage was not. "Most of the time children were trying to access the Internet or play games on it, and eventually the concierge staff became overwhelmed with guest requests to check flights or print boarding passes. Flyte Systems fixed that."

With guest convenience on his mind, Barbier was pleased to discover FlytePass from Flyte Systems, the only company that provides cost-effective, subscription-based feeds of real-time flight information - not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times. He recently installed flight information kiosks with both O'Hare and Midway airport airline activity in his lobby and in the concierge center and says the response from both staff and guests has been overwhelmingly positive. "It is very clear they provide flight information and boarding pass printing, and I can tell you that people are lining up to use them all the time. The other day a staff member overheard a guest say he didn't care about waiting in line because the service itself was such an extraordinary and valuable convenience."

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.

  •     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.

The Shopping Alternative
According to Barbier the number of people using the kiosks to check flight schedules and print boarding passes has grown exponentially over time. "Flyte Systems' travel solutions are especially useful now with the weather causing increasing delays and cancellations. Let's face it, if you have to wait, wouldn't you much rather do it here at the InterContinental, with the Magnificent Mile right outside your door?"

About the InterContinental Chicago:
Frequently referenced in architectural tours of the city, the original 1920's design of this world-class downtown Chicago Illinois hotel has been faithfully preserved through a series of renovations, which represent nearly a quarter-billion dollars of thoughtful investment. The end result is a charming destination, affording everything necessary for a relaxing visit. Enjoy an unrivaled array of recreational features-from our Junior-Olympic indoor pool and state-of-the-art fitness center, to three distinct food and beverage venues. Corporate travelers will appreciate high-speed Internet access, conscientious event support, and a full-service business center. Rediscover this beloved hotel in downtown Chicago, Illinois

About Flyte Systems:
The Flyte Systems Division of Industrial Television Services (ITS), based in Chicago, Illinois, is the leading provider of subscription-based environmentally responsible airport flight information displays for the hospitality, convention center and digital signage industries and related businesses. It delivers accurate, instant, airport-centric updates of flight information - not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that may omit last minute changes. Properties are able to differentiate their products and boost customer loyalty and repeat business with 'glance-and-go' content critical to a traveler's day. Flyte Systems' product suite builds upon ITS' 48-year history as the leading provider of live flight information to airports, airlines, government agencies, port authorities and other travel-based businesses. Flyte Systems was formed in 2007 to offer new Web-based travel technology and product lines. In addition to using Energy Star-compliant digital displays, Flyte products help significantly reduce energy consumption by eliminating unnecessary trips to the airport. Customers include Marriott, Hyatt, Westin, Embassy Suites, Holiday Inn, Days Inn, Hilton, Doubletree, Hotel Sofitel, Adam's Mark, Renaissance and Crowne Plaza hotels, independent properties, convention centers and transportation centers.

Contact:
InterContinental Chicago
John Barbier, Director of Information Technology
505 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago IL 60611
Phone: 312.321.8757
Fax: 312.321.8793
Email: john.barbier at ihg.com

Flyte Systems
Debbie Kalish, Account Executive
3515 Martens Street
Franklin Park, IL 60131
Phone: (877) 463-5983
Email: Debbie.Kalish at flytesystems.com
http://www.flytesystems.com/?Campaign=PRWebIHGChicagoJanuary132009

Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
julie at softscribeinc.com
(404)256-5512
http://www.softscribeinc.com

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Debbie Kalish
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