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Sofitel Chicago O’Hare’s European Style Embraces Guest Airline Services

The focus on amenities like FlyteBoard delivers a value-add for business travelers

October 25, 2007 - Home to one of the world’s busiest airports, Chicago bills itself as the convention capital of the world and the nation’s most active business center.  So, it’s no wonder that today’s harried corporate Chicago travelers rushing from plane to plane and hotel to hotel appreciate the “little things” in life that help improve their business trips.

At the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare, outstanding service for business people is what it’s all about and it is service that sets this sophisticated European brand apart from the competition. “Guest service comes first at the Sofitel, and that is very rare in a business hotel,” said General Manager Pierre-Louis Giacotto.  “Being French-managed, we offer our corporate guests more savoir faire including luxurious amenities, real-time flight information in the lobby and guest rooms, high-tech business center, a refined atmosphere and the privilege of a unique address.” 

Trendsetting airline travel services

Another unique service policy, Giacotto notes, is that management empowers the employees to take personal ownership in serving guests.  Giacotto recounts that a front desk staffer on night duty was recently asked by a guest how he could get his shirt pressed for a morning meeting.  The employee explained that since housekeeping was closed she would press it herself to ensure the guest looked his best.  “It is this ‘European’ level of personal dedication our guests find so valuable,” Giacotto said.  

The Sofitel Chicago O’Hare is a high-occupancy 300-room property connected to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center that caters to its own guests and off-property conference attendees as well.  Because of this, Giacotto says the hotel focuses on service at every touch-point in the hotel, beginning in the high-traffic lobby.  Twenty years ago the property installed a wall-mounted airline flight information display from ITS, the leading provider of information displays for airports. The property later upgraded to a touch screen kiosk that enabled guests to check arrival and departure flight statuses for Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.  The hotel also recently installed a FlytePass kiosk from Flyte Systems that prints boarding passes to make its guests’ travel plans even more efficient.  “This is a great service for our many traveling guests and they definitely appreciate it,” Giacotto said.  “It is free, helps them with their travels and is viewed by everyone as a unique service not offered by other hotels.” Giacotto says he considers the Flyte System package to be an essential element of their service offerings to business travelers.

Giacotto says that when guests learn their flights are delayed out of O’Hare, they often pass their time in one of the hotel’s outlets, which keeps their revenue on property.  Thanks to the Sofitel’s flight information displays, many convention attendees make the trek to the Sofitel via the skyway to check on their flight status, increasing the opportunity for additional revenue and new business.  The product is so well received, the hotel also offers FlyteChannel airline information on its guestroom TVs for instant flight updates and greater convenience.

Providing vital, real-time flight information

FlyteBoard, developed by Chicago-based Flyte Systems, is a wall-mounted high-definition, flat panel screen designed for use in hotel lobbies, conference centers, restaurants, bars and other public areas, that displays airline flight information for one, or more, airports.  What sets it apart from other PC-based systems is its ability to post accurate real-time airline flight arrival and departure information, not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that do not list delays caused by:

  • Air Traffic Control
  • Aircraft maintenance
  • Crew availability
  • Weather
“Providing useful, unique services is what our guests expect from us.  FlyteSystems is a natural fit for the Sofitel.  It is such a valuable service for all our guests, what property would not want to provide it?” asks Giacotto.
About The Sofitel Chicago O’Hare 

A touch of France in the heart of America, the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare, connected to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Centre, is near O Hare airport (free shuttle) and has easy access to downtown Chicago by subway or car. The property offers 300 rooms and 12 suites with pay per view TV, all floors are non smoking.  The hotel features the Chez Colette restaurant with French specialties, Le Petit Marche bakery, conference centre, 15 meeting rooms for up to 400 people, five function rooms and grand ballrooms for 1000 people, as well as a pool and gym.

About Flyte Systems

The Flyte Systems Division of Industrial Television Services (ITS), based in Chicago, Illinois, is the leading provider of airport flight information displays for the hospitality and convention center industries and related businesses.  It delivers accurate, instant, airport-centric updates of flight information – not FAA-regulated scheduled departure times that may omit last minute changes.  Properties are able to differentiate their products and boost customer loyalty and repeat business with ’glance-and-go’ content critical to a traveler’s day.   Flyte Systems’ product suite builds upon ITS’ 47-year history as the leading provider of live flight information to airports, airlines, government agencies, port authorities and other travel based businesses.  Flyte Systems was formed in 2007 to offer new Web-based travel technology and product lines.  Customers include Marriott, Days Inn, Hilton, DoubleTree, Hotel Sofitel, and Crown Plaza hotels, independent properties and municipal aiports. 


The Sofitel Chicago O’Hare
5550 North River Road
60018 Rosemont 
Phone: (847) 678-4488 
Email: [email protected]

Flyte Systems
Debbie Kalish, Account Executive
3515 Martens Street
Franklin Park, IL 60131
Phone: (877) 463-5983
Email: [email protected]

Media Contact:
Julie Keyser-Squires, APR
Softscribe Inc.
[email protected]

Also See: Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel Provides Guests with Airline Flight Information To Speed Their Travels; Real-time airline departure-arrival screens set The Westin Boston Waterfront apart / October 2007
Flyte Systems Installs Airline Flight Information Displays at Berger Hotels; Updated airline departure-arrival screens keep guests and revenue on property / September 2007

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