TTI Technologies’ Luggage Tag/Phone Card Kiosks Helping Jazz Hostels in New York

  • TTI Technologies International
  • 06.11.08
To better serve the growing number of travelers staying at five New York Jazz Hostels and one in Miami, Fla., TTI Technologies International has developed an automated luggage-tag and pre-paid phone card kiosk to boost guest satisfaction, streamline front-desk operations and increase revenues.

Properties using the automated TTI Luggage-Tag System with Pre-Paid Phone Cards include: New York’s Jazz on the Park, Jazz at Lenox and Jazz on the Villa; as well as Miami’s Jazz on South Beach. Jazz Hostels soon to deploy in New York include Jazz on the City and Jazz on the Town. Each of these properties provides affordable accommodations for guests ages 18 through 35 who are traveling for recreation while on a budget, and who are looking to meet like-minded travelers to share their travel experiences.

“Previously, each of our Hostels sold luggage tags and pre-paid phone cards from the front desk, but due to the high-volume demand for each of these items, the cash handling became too cumbersome for our busy front-desk staff to maintain, not to mentioned that it slowed down guest checkout,” said Shirley Levy, Jazz Hostels’ managing director. “To alleviate both the cash and labor burden, we turned to TTI to build us an automated solution.

“TTI, which provides and maintains our lobby Internet kiosks, offers great, consistent service year round,” she added. “They’ve been terrific in accommodating all of our automation needs – even when we wanted a dynamic upgrade to one of our kiosks. We approached TTI six months ago with the luggage machine concept. Within two months they had a working prototype of a completely new system for us to review. After a short and very successful beta, we have systems in place that exceeded our expectations and meet all of our guests’ needs.”

When a guest checks in prior to 3:00 p.m. at one of the Jazz Hostels, the front desk team offers to store the guests’ luggage at no cost as a cost-effective courtesy on the front end. Once a person has checked out, however, he or she technically is no longer a guest, and therefore luggage storage becomes a fee-paid service.

Through the TTI Luggage-Tag kiosk, a guest types in the first three initials of his or her last name, the date bag storage is requested, and how many bags the guest wishes to store. The system then calculates the fee based on that information, and prints an adhesive luggage tag similar to what travelers receive at the airport. The tag is affixed to the luggage either by the guest or by front desk staff if assistance is requested, and bags are then stored. Guests will receive a printed receipt to present to the front desk when retrieving their luggage.

“During the point-of-sale tagging process, the guest also is given the opportunity to enter his or her e-mail address,” Levy said. “That way, if the guest loses the paper receipt, he or she can print out an e-mail confirmation sent to them immediately after the purchase and use that receipt to claim the bags. Capturing the e-mail address provides us with guest data for future market research.”

Also built into the machine is the ability to purchase pre-paid phone cards.

“Through the TTI kiosk, we can now offer a wide variety of pre-paid cards, rather than the limited selection we offered previously,” Levy added. “The system instructs the user to select from a number of different dollar denominations and how many cards the user wishes to purchase. The system calculates the fee, prints a receipt, and dispenses the pre-paid code. It’s a fast and simple guest service that increases satisfaction and adds immediate revenues to our bottom line.” 

Steve Blidner, president of TTI International, said he is thrilled that Jazz Hostel staff and guests alike have embraced the system so whole-heartedly.

“When Shirley came to us asking us to build an automated luggage-tag and pre-paid phone card system, we jumped at the chance,” Blidner said. “Not only did this allow us to provide a value-added service for one of our long-term customers, but it enabled us to create a new product that we believe the entire hospitality industry will quickly come to embrace. A system like this certainly is viable in New York or any location where front-desk staff interaction needs to be minimized.”

Levy said as more Hostels are added to the Jazz portfolio, each will come equipped with a TTI Internet Kiosk and a Luggage-Tag/Pre-Paid Phone Card system.

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