Nice win for HRSÂ as it announces it will be the first – and initially exclusive – provider of technology to allow iPhone users to manage their hotel reservations on the new Passbook service.
A few weeks on from when AppleÂ started giving out details about its Passbook systemÂ and users could take the new operating system, with a string of retailers and a few airlines such as United include in the first wave of partners, HRS looks to have secured a major deal with the tech giant.
The “joint venture”, as HRS calls it, allows users to handle their hotel bookings within the native app on their iPhones and iPads including adding and monitoring reservations with any of the hotel portal’s properties.
This currently comes in at around 250,000 hotels in 180 countries around the world, so a substantial array of properties including large chains and independents.
HRS won’t have it all its own way for long, of course, with it only being the “exclusive launch partner” for Passbook’s hotel functionality this week.
Others are expected to come on-board and be added as partners in the coming weeks and months, but HRS is the first global hotel partner for Apple and will have the tool available in all regions immediately.
Travellers, according to HRS, will be able to find their reservations, associated documents and other details on the app and will be able to show the confirmation on the handset’s display when checking in to a property.
HRS managing director in the UK & Ireland, Jon West, reckons:
“We see a huge potential for this application â€“ Passbook could become the core application for the future management of all digital reservations and tickets.”
Garry Kelly, a lead engineer at SITA Lab, wrote in June this year when the first Passbook code was being farmed out to developers to code against that mobility and travel management had reachedÂ ”critical mass”.
“NFC is going to happen and it is clearer now there will be several competing versions â€“ with Apple iWallet eventually being one of them.
“Passbook is great for iPhone users but the halo effect will increase awareness and adoption of fast travel experiences we all want for our industry.
“Making boarding passes easy to use on iPhones so Apple can offer a great user experience, is likely the most it will get from our industry from this development and we should embrace this innovation.”