Alaska Airlines announced it had become the first carrier in the US to launch an electronic bag tag program, which will enable guests to tag their own luggage through the airline’s mobile app before they even reach the airport.  

More than 2,000 Alaska Mileage Plan members have begun receiving their tags. The elite status members included in the first wave of the program are customers who have traveled in the last 12 months, checked at least one bag and were among the first to register to use the device. 

Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandising and innovation, said, “The last thing guests want to do is stand in line.” With the addition of the tags, she said, “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 3-by-5-inch devices are updated with a traveler’s flight information through the carrier’s mobile app during check-in, essentially allowing travelers to head straight to the bag drop area once they arrive at the airport. 

The tag is estimated to reduce the time passengers spend in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and the use of paper bag tags. In addition to the device’s “impressive lifespan and durability” (employees tested it by running over it with a truck), they don’t require charging or batteries. 

Along with the hardware, the software for the device is provided by Bagtag, a Dutch company that, according to the announcement, is a pioneer in the field of baggage technology solutions.

Image: Alaska Airlines News