Tuesday, July 06, 2010

iPad takes the travel industry by storm

The versatile iPad. Courtesy of apple.com

Let your fingers do the flying with MHkiosks

Malaysia Airlines and the air transport IT specialist, SITA, have launched the world’s first self-service kiosks to sell airline tickets using the Apple iPad.

The iPads come pre-installed with the Mhmobile app, which customers can se to book and pay for tickets, as well as to check in three simple steps – select the flights, make payment with a credit card and receive confirmation via SMS and email.

Customers can also use the MHkiosk to look up flight schedules, check on their flight status, choose their seats and search for deals and offers.

Malaysia Airlines Managing Director and CEO, Tengku Dato’ Azmil Zahruddin said the kiosks would help manage queues. “It will mean better queue management at our ticket offices during peak hours when customers can be re-directed to ‘stand-alone’ iPad MHkiosks.”

The new iPhone augmented reality application, MHdeals, will also be available online soon in the Apple AppStore and demonstrates, for the first time, how airlines can exploit the technology commercially as a new channel to customers for ticket sales.

Jim Peters, SITA Chief Technology Officer, explained that MHdeals is an iPhone augmented reality application that uses the GPS to determine your location and display the nearest airports from which you can access great deals.

“You simply hold the phone in front of you to view the surrounding airports and select one to view flight offers. Passengers can then book their flights through the MHmobile application which SITA Lab developed and launched for Malaysia Airlines last year,” he added.

• Note: MHkiosk is currently available at the Malaysia Airlines ticket office, Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal and Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station.

Free iPad service at Langham Place Hotel

Langham Place Hotel in Mongkok, Hong Kong is now offering a free roaming iPad service for guests.

The iPads are loaded with Langham Place’s own Hong Kong city guide, a Cantonese-English translator of must-know phrases, to-the-minute maps of Hong Kong, an intimate guide to using the Mass Transit Railway, as well as a restaurant locator and information on how to match Hong Kong delicacies with wine.

Tech-savvy guests are able to “check-out” the iPads for 24-hours at a time.

Langham Place Hotel’s general manager, Shaun Campbell, said, “The hotel is surrounded by a Wi-Fi bubble so guests can take the iPads anywhere in the hotel – by the pool, at the bar, or in their room.”

Guests can also browse the web, check emails, flick through the latest magazines or sit poolside skimming through one of the pre-loaded e-books – all free of charge.

The hotel’s x team (concierge) is also equipped with iPads to provide interactive information on the city’s must-see and must-do attractions.

The iPads for guest use are accessible free of charge, regardless of room type for a 24-hour time period.

An iPad for a menu

The Global Mundo Tapas eatery at Rydges Hotel in North Sydney, Australia, has replaced its printed menus with the iPad for its customers to order their meals.

Rydges Hotel’s general manager Craig Simpson, said having such a unique menu is “One of the points of difference for our restaurant”.

He bought 15 iPads, getting 10 from Adelaide on launch day (May 28) when the highly sought-after gizmo went on sale outside United States. Each cost A$629 (US$531).

“It’s the cost of doing business,” said Simpson.

An iPad app enables diners to flick on the screen to browse the menu, which comes with photographs and tasting notes. Press a button and the order is placed.

The hotel plans to add new features to the iPad, which include pop-up boxes recommending wines to go with the meals and stock-control mechanisms to delete sold-out items from the menu.

According to the hotel’s f
ood and beverage manager, Fareid Taheri, the menu had been well received. 

“It’s something to play with while you order,” he said.

Source : Transit Cafe
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