New iPad fans flames of techie travel
Diners select menu items via iPads at JFK's Delta Terminal. (OTG Management)
Who will be first in line to get the new iPad 2 today?
Starting tomorrow, the hotel promises to have the new gadget on hand for guests to try out. Or maybe it'll be InterContinental, who plans tol use the iPad 2 facetime feature to allow travelers to chat with concierges before they even arrive. But that's just the latest example of the travel industry's love affair with the tablet device.
In the 11 months since the first iPad hit the shelves, it's fundamentally changed the way we travel. We've seen it integrated into check-in everywhere from the new Hotel Missoni Kuwait to Hyatt hotels across the country. InterContinental Hotels concierges also use them to show photos and video of their suggestions, instantly book tickets and provide interactive directions. The Plaza puts the power in guest hands with in-room iPads that can handle dinner reservations, spa appointments, transportation arrangements and housekeeping requests. Holiday Inn is even testing the idea of using them in lieu of room keys.
But our favourite development has to be the iPads at the new Delta terminal at New York's JFK airport. Instead of having to leave the gate and wait in line for food, travellers can order from one of 200 iPad kiosks, which can also be used to play games, read articles and check flight times.
Not bad for a device that's not even a year old.