Warning for Those Who Take Hotel Towels

Posted Apr 13th 2011 12:00 PMUpdated Apr 13th 2011 01:13 PM


Those oh-so-fluffy hotel towels may seem hard to resist taking home, but guests who do so should know that new technology might be tracking that linen straight to their doorsteps.

Linen Technology Tracking, a Miami company, has patented a washable RFID chip that can be sewn into towels, robes and bed sheets. The chip allows hotels to keep track of their linens, reducing loss and helping with inventory.

The New York Times reports that Linen Technology Tracking's executive vice president, William Serbin said three hotels in Honolulu, Miami and Manhattan are currently using the chip, but did not want their names used.

Serbin, however, told the Times that the Honolulu property, which introduced the technology last summer, has reduced theft of its pool towels from 4,000 a month to just 750, saving more than $16,000 a month.

Besides the obvious theft deterrent, the company says the chip can also benefit hotels by reducing inventory time and labor, improve control and savings within the laundry process and help with the management of linen purchases.

Considering linen is one of the hotel industry's biggest expenses, and bound to get bigger with the rising cost of cotton, the embedded chip may prove to be extremely popular with hoteliers.

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Lucifer Jones

Actually its mostly the rich who steal exspensive towels and robes, the cheapy places have nothing worth taking and the middle priced places usually get a working clientele that dont tend to steal, its the elitists who stole our freedom and now our towels.

June 04 2011 at 5:17 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Evan B

I must be staying in the wrong hotels. The towels I come across are pretty used up and usually stained. I try NOT to use them (let alone steal them). With all the cost-cutting these days I'm lucky to have a bed, working tv, and room door that hasn't been smashed in. Hotels are maximizing their profits which is logical in this economy.

June 04 2011 at 5:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

if it was not a sin, i would opt for the warm, large fuzzy bathrobes

May 05 2011 at 1:54 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

ikky nasty ishy!

April 14 2011 at 11:46 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Jeez...this entire “holier than thou” attitude is just hypocritical! A.) If you have to put a chip in a $6.00 item then you are targeting the wrong clientele. B.) National chains give freebees away ranging from candy mints to flowers all the time; I doubt most hotel chains will utilize this technology. C.) the bible says "let he who is without sin, cast the first stone"; so all you "this is stealing" folks, look to yourselves for your own personal violations and faults before crying over a towel or two. This country has big problems, and as long as we continue to fight bitterly over the pettiest of things; we will NEVER tackle the big items. Get real and let’s talk real issues and come together as a nation. Read your history books! The first sign of a countries downfall and its peoples' failure is division from within. Stop arguing over towels, the only cloth that matters is the RED, White, and Blue!

April 13 2011 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to orlguyhc's comment
hi bev

Chip probably cost more than the towel lol

April 13 2011 at 10:12 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
Mark Lathom

My X girlfried's mom was head of house keeping at a resort, and her kids all had jobs cleaning hotel rooms. You don't wanna know what people have done with those towels.

April 13 2011 at 8:23 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It's also stealing when passengers take blankets off the air plane

April 13 2011 at 7:52 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

I must be a cheapo because most of the hotels I've stayed in haven't had nice enough towels to care less about!!! X-}

April 13 2011 at 7:43 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Who would want to steal towels that everybody wipe their behind on?

April 13 2011 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply