Hotels In Difficulty

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.