Earlier this month, American low-cost carrier Alaska Airlines announced plans to launch electronic bag-tags, becoming the first airline in the United States to use bag tag technology. The incorporation of the electronic bag tag into the traveling timeline reduces checked bag drop time by 40%, skipping the traditional airport bagging process. As travelers check in for their flight on Alaska’s mobile app 24 hours or less before departure, they can then activate the bag tag by tapping the activation function. The app will connect to the bag tag’s antenna, displaying travel information on screen. Once at the airport they can quickly drop the checked bag and verify bag weight and boarding pass information before proceeding to the gate.
"This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport," said Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska Airlines. "Not only will travelers with the devices be able to quickly drop-off their luggage, our electronic bag tags will help also reduce lines in our lobbies and give our employees the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance."
The new electronic bag tags are made in partnership with Dutch company BAGTAG, made with durable display screens, industrial strength zip ties, and signature Alaska colors. The electronic bag tags (EBTs) are applied in a similar manner to traditional paper tags, and don’t require any batteries. Starting at San Jose International—Alaska’s Tech Hub— 2500 frequent flyers will be selected to receive the EBT trial by late 2022, with a later 2023 launch for Milage Plan members.
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