Self print and electronic bag tags OK in Canada

Airlines can offer the e-tagging options now for all flights departing a Canadian airport

Passengers leaving Canada will now be able to print bag tags at home or attach electronic tags to their bags.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced the new “e-Tag” initiative during a Facebook Live consultation with Canadians aimed at improving passengers’ experience.

The intention is to make check-in more convenient and faster for passengers by allowing them to apply their own baggage tags on checked bags before heading to the airport.

Airlines can now offer self-tagging options to passengers:

  • Self-print bag tag: passengers print their bag tag from a personal device during online check-in, before heading to the airport. The printed tag is placed in a reusable holder and attached to the bag.
  • Electronic bag tag: passengers use a reusable plastic tag with an electronic ink screen (similar to an e-reader) provided by the airline. The tag is connected by wireless technology and updates its destination information via the airline’s application.

Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport

“Yesterday’s online consultation and new self-tagging options for Canadians demonstrates the department’s commitment to making the best use of technology and changing how we think about travel. With e-tagging, Canadians and their families can check-in faster so that they spend less time in line and more time enjoying the travel experience.”

Tony Tyler, Director General IATA

“Air travelers want the ability to do more things for themselves and to take more control over the travel process. By approving this baggage self-tagging initiative, Transport Canada is enabling airlines to respond to that need. Canada is among the leaders in this area. It’s a great example for others to learn from.”

All airlines can start offering the e-tagging options immediately for all flights departing a Canadian airport.

Airlines offering home print bag tags on some routes include:

A number of airlines are using or trialling electronic bag tags including:

In his Facebook Live discussion, Mr Garneau said his government is not considering a bill of rights for Canadian passengers, but he said his department is looking at all aspects of the passenger experience.

He said many of the complaints he hears are about airline overbooking.

“If you buy a ticket and you get it and you’re told there’s a seat for you, that seat should be there.”

No comment from Mr Tyler about that practice used by all IATA airlines.

Internet links

Marc Garneau consultation on Facebook