On 19JUL, Alaska Airlines announced it will become the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program, coming later in 2022. Made in partnership with Dutch company BAGTAG, the devices are equipped with durable screens that have been tested to withstand being run over a luggage cart, and are affixed to baggage just like any other bag tag, using an "industrial strength" plastic zip tie.
According to the airline, electronic bag tags allow guests to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags at the airport. Travellers will be able to activate the devices up to 24-hours before their flight through the carrier's mobile app.
“This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport,” said Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandising and innovation at Alaska Airlines.
“Not only will our electronic bag tags allow our guests to quickly drop-off their luggage after they arrive at the airport, the devices will also give our employees the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance and reduce lines at our lobbies,” Jain added.
In a press statement, Alaska Airlines expects the program to reduce the time spent dropping-off checked luggage by nearly 40 per cent.
The tag activation is done by touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag, which has an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted from the phone. The e-paper bag tag’s screen will then display the guest’s flight information.
Rollout of the electronic bag tag program will happen in several phases. The first phase will initially include 2,500 Alaska Airlines’ frequent fliers who will begin using the electronic bag tags in late 2022. Mileage Plan members will have the option to purchase the devices early 2023.
For more information on Alaska Airlines, visit its web site.