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Lost + Found: Alaska Airlines to introduce electronic bag tags in U.S first

Alaska Airlines has announced plans to become the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program later this year.

Alaska Airlines has announced plans to become the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program later this year.

Alaska Airlines says their electronic bag 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—their home, office or even car—up to 24 hours before their flight through the airline’s mobile app.

“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 at Alaska.”

Not only will our electronic bag tags allow our guests to quickly drop off their luggage after they arrive at the airport, but 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,” says Jain. 

The activation is done by simply touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag, which has an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted from the phone.

The e-paper bag tag screen will then display the guest’s flight information.

Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. airline to pioneer this innovative electronic bag tag program here at SJC,” said San José Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This program will modernise the check-in process and provide a more sustainable option for travellers.”

The rollout of the electronic bag tag program will happen in several phases. The first phase will initially include 2,500 Alaska Airlines frequent fliers who will begin using the electronic bag tags in late 2022.

Lufthansa Group carriers Lufthansa, Austrian, Air Dolomiti and Swiss are already using the technology, according to the Bagtag website, as are KLM and China Southern.