How many luxury hotel brands let you put reservations “on hold” while using a mobile device? Yesterday, Omni Hotels & Resorts became the first.
Omni found during research that almost 50 percent of people research hotel pricing on their mobile device, only to book later on from their desktop computers. Guests can now get a “courtesy hold” at a quoted rate at omnihotels.com for a reservation held up to 24 hours without booking, which makes the task of completing a reservation later on easier.
Here’s how it works –
After selecting their dates of travel, number of guests and rate on omnihotels.com via your mobile device just enter your name, phone number and email address.
Omni will send you an email reminder to complete the booking, which must be done within the 24 hour period.
Once on your desktop computer, go back to omnihotels.com and log in using your email address. The reservation will pull up, and you can modify or complete the booking.
After the 24 hours is up, if you forget to complete the booking or decide not to continue the space is released and the held reservation is automatically cancelled at no penalty.
Tom Santora, chief marketing officer for Omni Hotels & Resorts said, “We are constantly working to enhance the digital guest experience. In doing so, we needed to address the lower conversation rates on mobile and to overcome the obstacle of completing a reservation on a mobile device. As a result, we added this functionality, which has been very well received by our guests.”
To me, a 24 hour period doesn’t typically seem like a big deal regarding price increases. Once a reservation is on hold though, the email could serve as a good reminder if you meant to book but didn’t have your computer nearby. When booking for busy holiday dates, this might come in handy too in case rooms are going fast and you need a little extra time to complete the reservation.
Omni was one of the first hotel brands to roll out their mobile check-in back in 2008, and add their loyalty program to Google Wallet in 2013. This seems like the next logical step for them, keeping ahead of some of the other programs.