Alaska Airlines is introducing an electronic bag tag late in 2022.
The electronic bag tag is a device about the size of a smart phone with a durable screen. The screen shows the bag tag details including the bar code.
Passengers attach the device to a bag just like a traditional tag or the home printed tag already available to Alaska Airlines passengers. They can remove it and attach it to a different bag for future flights.
The electronic bag tag has two main differences from the other types:
- it is reusable (possibly for a lifetime)
- it costs (probably a one off charge)
The big benefit is that passengers can attach the tag at home or anywhere before getting to the airport.
Self tagging at an airport is a slow, tedious and complicated process that increases the check-in time. Alaska says “Our electronic bag tag program is expected to reduce the time spent dropping-off checked luggage by nearly 40%.“ The bit passengers using electronic bag tags bypass is the self tagging at the airport.
How it works
- Passengers have to register with the company that makes the electronic bag tag
- They check-in online with Alaska
- They ‘activate’ the tag by touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag
- The device reads the information transmitted from the phone
- The bag tag screen then shows the passenger flight information
Passengers will be able to activate the devices from anywhere—their home, office or even car—up to 24-hours before their flight through our mobile app.
Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandising and innovation at Alaska:
“This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport.
“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.”
Alaska Airlines plans to rollout the electronic bag tags in 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 next year.
Alaska is partnering with Dutch company BAGTAG on the electronic bag tag program.
Jasper Quak, BAGTAG Managing Director:
“We are very proud to announce the first American carrier adopting our EBT solutions. Alaska Airlines’ relentless efforts to make their passenger journey a true 21st century experience makes us very confident in a successful rollout among their guests.”
More on electronic bag tags
Electronic bag tag have been around for almost a decade, but are not widely used.
Alaska Airlines started a trial of electronic bag tags in 2016.
British Airways stared trials in 2013 and introduced TAG in 2020, cost is £80 each
Other airlines using or trialling electronic bag tags include:
China Southern, Lufthansa, SWISS and Austrian use BAGTAG.
N.B. Image credit: Alaska Airlines