Flyte Systems brings flight information from ‘the airport to the hotel.’
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
When traveling across the country, it is essential to keep track of your flight status. Many hotels recognize their guests’ need for this vital information and have implemented solutions from Flyte Systems, which provides real-time flight information boards and related travel products to subscribers around the world.
The brand is a division of ITS, a leader in airport flight information displays. Vice President of Sales Scott Triphahn explains that the company got its start in 1960 when two broadcast engineers for WGN Channel 9 in Chicago started a side business.
The duo provided engineering and specialty camera equipment for various markets, including aviation. One of their earliest jobs involved creating a camera and video system that filmed and broadcasted flight schedule flapper systems at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. “When you saw these monitors on a concourse, you would see flight changes being made on the display in the Ticket Lobby,” Triphahn says.
ITS moved into using digital computers and software in the 1970s, which has led “to where we are today,” he says. Flyte Systems not only provides the information to hotels and airports, but also serves convention centers, parking facilities, ground transportation centers, limo and taxi companies, and government agencies.
“It’s been a real successful venture,” Triphahn says, adding that the brand goes beyond helping travelers. “The information that we provide in real time can be valuable to the staff as well.”
It also can benefit a hotel’s business. If a guest sees that his flight has been delayed via a monitor in the hotel lobby or the television in his room, “That could change his decision on whether or not to leave the property,” Triphahn says.
“That can always convert back to something monetary for the hotel, whether it be an additional night’s stay or time at the bar or restaurant,” he says. “We’re bringing the airport to the hotel.”
ITS provides custom solutions to its clients. One hotel may want the flight information to occupy an entire screen, but another may want other information to appear on the screen as well.
“We can size the content and provide a URL that they point their display to,” Triphahn says. “We can provide a number of different solutions when it comes to content both for end users and digital signage partners.”
Those include providing a Doppler radar weather map that allows guests to see weather patterns and the reason why their flights may be delayed. “Weather is probably the biggest travel culprit that causes our systems to be the most valuable,” he says.
ITS also can design the presentation to fit the motif and décor of its clients’ locations. “We’re not just a software company that’s providing a tool,” Triphahn says.
“We’re tailoring the solutions,” he says. “So once they get the equipment and they connect to the Internet, that’s all they need to do.”
Triphahn joined ITS in 1992 as a project manager and moved his way up the ranks. “I enjoy this business,” he says, adding that many at ITS, like him, enjoy and find satisfaction in their work.
“The size of the company allows us to see the fruits of our labor,” he says. “We’re not just going through the mill. It’s ever changing and it’s not the same thing every day.”
One area where he has found satisfaction is seeing the Flyte products in action; how they integrate with the property, how they are used and how they impact the lives of travelers and staff. “What once was a luxury, our products have become easy to implement and an amenity many have come to expect.”
Much of the company’s business also is earned through repeat customers and referrals. “It’s a common practice for those who have been with us at one property to carry us to the next,” he says.
He sees a strong future for ITS, which plans to add more complementary products to Flyte Systems as well as adopt new technologies. “We are always adapting, because the technology available continues to change,” he says, noting that the next innovations will take the company beyond smart TVs.
“When these new products are made available, we get them to our R&D and we’re working with them,” Triphahn says. “We put in the effort to learn and understand what’s available and how we can leverage it for the good of our clients and their guests.”