Alaska’s Electronic Bag Tags Set to Reduce Time Spent Checking Luggage by 40 Per Cent
Alaska airlines are the first US airline to launch an electronic bag tag program. The tags will enable passengers to “tag their own bags in seconds” and crucially will “make the entire check-in process almost all off-airport.”
How does it work?
The electronic tag can be activated from any location up to 24-hours before a passenger’s flight. All the passenger must do is physically touch the tag to the phone used for check-in. The tag will then display the corresponding flight information. These new tags are durable and are said to last a lifetime.
Alaska Airlines will be the first US airline to adopt BagTag’s technology joining Lufhansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and soon Qatar Airways. The tag is robust, “battery-less,” and never needs to be recharged. As such, Alaska have argued that this will eventually offer a more sustainable alternative to the traditional paper system.
The tags will initially be rolled out for free to 2,500 of the airline’s Mileage Plan elites.
How will this improve the current system?
The electronic bag tags will make the “entire check-in process almost all off-airport.” When passengers do arrive at the airport they will just take their luggage to a self-service bag drop instead of waiting to print anything off.
The introduction of these electronic bag tags aims to improve passenger experience. Having identified bag check-in and drop-off as “the bottleneck at the airport,” Alaska expect the introduction of this technology to reduce the time spent dropping off checked luggage by nearly 40 per cent.
By cutting down the time spent printing off a luggage tag and checking in a bag in person, the airport experience will be simplified and accelerated for the passenger, enhancing their overall experience.
For airports and airlines facing staff shortages, the streamlining of the process is paramount to continuing to meet customer expectations. Alaska have also identified the technology as providing an opportunity to spend “more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance” which would further contribute to passenger experience as well as utilise airport staff more efficiently.
The electronic tags will assist in modernising the airport experience and help streamline resources to maximise passenger experience. However, it will be a long time before the tags will have been used often enough to make the argument that this new system is better for the environment.
For more content on baggage innovation at airports have a look at Eric Leopold’s article.
Alaska Airlines will be speaking at this year’s World Aviation Festival.
Article written by Jess Brownlow