Alaska Airlines launches electronic "bag tag" program, first in the U.S.

Dec. 2, 2022
2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan members will trial the system before full public availability in 2023, Ryan Erik King writes for Jalopnik.

SEATTLE - Alaska Airlines hopes to offer all its passengers the opportunity to skip the line at the baggage check counter. The airline is now the first in the United States to launch an electronic bag tag program. Alaska will be utilizing software and hardware from a Dutch company called BAGTAG. Several major international airlines, such as Lufthansa, KLM and China Southern, currently use BAGTAG’s electronic bag tag technology. But will it become widely adopted here in the U.S.? Ryan Erik King asks for Jalopnik.

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The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

2 December 2022 -The device allows passengers to tag their own luggage through Alaska's mobile app, provided that the carrier has selected them and sent them an electronic "bag tag." Paired with a smartphone, the bag tag will be updated with pertinent flight and passenger information, allowing travlers to head straight to the baggage drop area.

The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag is estimated to reduce the time guests 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 (Alaska Airlines employees tested it by running it over with a truck), the devices don't require charging or batteries.

"The last thing our guests want to do is stand in line," said Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska. "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."

"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," said Jain. "We'll collect feedback from our first wave of users before the devices become available to purchase to all our guests early next year."

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Military + Aerospace Electronics

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