Hotel chains may find it feasible to do the kind of security screening the FAA is considering for the airlines, but independent or franchise hotels not linked to a central system might find it difficult to manage guest profiles.
“Hotel chains are far more capable of doing [security screening],” said Jane Karwoski, CEO of All-Hotels Ltd. in Edinburgh. “When you get down to individual hotels, it is far more difficult.” Franchises are also a problem, because they have no central system, she said.
Hilton Hotels Corp. is in a position to perform security screening on the strength of its customer relationship management (CRM) system.
Tim Harvey, CIO at Hilton, said the Beverly Hills, Calif.-based company has received several isolated requests from the FBI to provide information on guests following the terrorist attacks.
“We anticipate that at some point in time, somebody`s going to come to us and say, `Can you do a greater level of scrutiny?` I suspect there`s going to end up being names of people that you want to know - names, aliases, addresses,” Harvey said. “Since we use profiles for reservation booking anyway, you could create a series of profiles that end up getting red-flagged. That technology exists today. It would be just a matter of incorporating the profiles.”
Hilton owns several hotel chains, including Hilton, Hampton Inn, Doubletree and Embassy Suites Hotels, as well as landmarks such as New York`s Waldorf-Astoria and Chicago`s Palmer House. All have been connected to the Hilton CRM system since spring 2000.
The only real obstacle would be privacy-related issues, Harvey said.