The days of having to go to the counter to tag your luggage before your flight could soon be over. Alaska Airlines is introducing a new, reusable electronic bag tag that has the potential to change the industry.
Alaska said it is the first U.S. airline to use the tags from Dutch company BAGTAG and could speed up the check-in process by 40%.
The tags work in conjunction with a phone app. When the phone touches the bag tag, an antenna on the tag reads the flight information from the phone and transfers it to the tag.
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The passenger can then scan their flight information at an airport kiosk and drop off the bag without having to go through a customer service agent.
“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,” said Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandising and innovation at Alaska, in a statement.
Just like with electronic check-in to get your boarding pass, the electronic tag feature can be used up to 24 hours before the flight.
Jain also said the tags do not require batteries and are durable enough to possibly last a lifetime.
The rollout will happen in phases. Some 2,500 Alaska Airlines frequent fliers will be the first to use the tags starting later this year. Then Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will have the chance to buy the tags early next year.