Travelers have gotten comfortable checking in for a flight using a kiosk or the airline's Web page: More than 75% of passengers now handle the job themselves. That may have something to do with the fact that the airline industry is not exactly famous for its warm-and-cuddly customer service.

But hotels - places where guests still expect a personal touch - have had a tougher time getting people to embrace self-service: Just 10% to 25% of their customers use kiosks to check in or out when they are available. Hoping to increase those numbers (and shorten lines at the front desk), hotels are now letting guests use lobby kiosks to print airline boarding passes. "The more features and functionality we add to the kiosks, the greater the reason for the customer to try [them]," says Thomas Spitler, a vice president with Hilton Hotels Corp., which has added flight check-in to kiosks in about 40 hotels so far. "[But] we don't intend to follow the airline model, where the kiosk really replaces customer-service agents."

Hilton's touch-screen kiosk offers guests a choice of about 20 airlines, then connects to the carrier's Web site, where customers can enter a confirmation number, change their seat assignment, and so on. Other hotel chains trying flight check-in include Marriott, which has pilot programs in Detroit and New York; Holiday Inn; and Hyatt, which will have it in all of its hotels by this summer.

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