Alaska Airlines launch electronic bag tags
On 30 November, Alaska Airlines launched its electronic bag tag programme making it the first US airline to do so. This technology allows passengers to tag their luggage before arriving at the airport. Passengers’ flight information will be transferred to the three-by-five inch tags allowing passengers to walk straight to the bag drop area.
Charu Jain, Senior Vice-President of Merchandising and Innovation for Alaska Airlines explained:
“The last thing our guests want to do is stand in line. With the addition of the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag, our guests can complete almost all of their check-in tasks – from the comfort of their home, at work or on the way to catching their flight.”
The permanent, reusable tags are expected to reduce waiting times by 40 per-cent for those that use them. They are built with technology provided by BAGTAG which has been used by several major airlines including Lufthansa, KLM, and China Southern.
Explaining the launch, Jain said:
“We’ve tested our electronic bag tags on countless flights across the country, including international routes where Alaska Airlines flies, and the devices have performed exactly as they’re meant to. We’ll collect feedback from our first wave of users before the devices become available to purchase to all our guests early next year.”
In the initial roll out, 2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan elite members will receive the tags. In the second phase, Alaska Mileage Plan members will have the option to purchase the tags for approximately $70. Some have raised concerns over whether customers will be willing to pay this sum per bag.
The introduction of this technology is part of a wider trend towards moving processes off-airport. This is expected to offer a more seamless experience for passengers and reduce bottlenecks in airports.
Article by Jess Brownlow