Alaska Airlines Launches the Electronic Bag Tag

U.S carrier Alaska Airlines announced on 19th July that it will be launching an electronic bag tag programme later this year. 

In doing so, Alaska has become the first U.S airline to launch the electronic bag tag. 

Tired of waiting in line? Alaska has pioneered a new device to eliminate faff

On 19 July, Alaska Airlines proudly announced that it’ll become the first U.S airline to launch an electronic bag tag programme. 

Electronic bag tags are beneficial in that they can speed up your airport routine. The electronic tags will allow guests to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags at the airport. 

Travellers will be able to activate the devices from anywhere up to 24 hours before their flight via Alaska’s mobile app. 

While the electronic bag tags will save a lot of time at the airport, they also reduce waste by reducing the amount of paper use caused by the typical bag tags.

Charu Jain, Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Innovation at Alaska, commented on Alaska’s new programme and the extent of how much time it will save:

“This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport. Not only will our electronic bag tags allow our guests to quickly drop-off their luggage after they arrive at the airport, the devices will also give our employees the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance and reduce lines at our lobbies.”

The Oneworld alliance carrier expects the electronic bag tag programme to reduce the time spent dropping-off checked luggage by nearly 40%.

Alaska Airlines check-in
An Alaska Airlines check-in area. | © Alaska Airlines

You might be thinking – how is the electronic bag tag read? 

The tag is activated by holding the phone used for check-in against the electronic bag tag. The tag has an antenna that powers up and reads the information transmitted from the phone. The e-paper screen on the bag tag will then swiftly display the traveller’s flight information. Handy stuff. 

Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag
Alaska is partnering with Dutch company BAGTAG to produce electronic bag tags. The devices are durable and able to be affixed to baggage the same way any other bag tag would. | © Alaska Airlines

Where will the programme launch?

In March this year, Alaska launched a self-bag drop system at San José International Airport in California. The new system was designed to reduce confusion and speed up check-in times. 

Alaska Airlines new bag check-in system
Alaska’s new check-in and self-bag drop system was engineered to streamline the check-in process in the home of tech, Silicon Valley. | © Alaska Airlines

As Charu Jain put it at the time, “California is the epicentre of tech and the perfect place to test out these innovations”. In lieu of this, Alaska has turned to California’s San José International Airport again to debut the new electronic bag tag. 

San José Mayor Sam Liccardo said:

“Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. airline to pioneer this innovative electronic bag tag program here at SJC. This program will modernize the check-in process and provide a more sustainable option for travelers.” 

The electronic bag tag will be rolled out elsewhere in several phases. The first will include 2,500 Alaska Airlines’ frequent fliers who will be able to use the electronic bag tags in late 2022. Then, Alaska’s Mileage Plan members will be presented with the option to purchase the devices early next year. 

Would you fancy giving these electronic bag tags a go? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. 

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Jasmine Adjallah
Jasmine Adjallah
Jr Reporter - Aspiring to work in a journalism, PR, Communications/media role, Jasmine is using her gap year as an opportunity to learn, gain experience and grow as a person. Interested in the sports, aviation and broadcasting world. At Travel Radar she is a Jr. Reporter working with the publication over Summer 2022.


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