Alaska Airlines is shaking up the checked luggage industry by introducing reusable electronic bag tags. Checking a bag always adds time to the airport experience. Yet, Alaska is looking to help customers save time and streamline the experience with these new gadgets. The reusable tags will be available for purchase and in the initial pilot for approximately 2,500 frequent flyers.
Electronic Bag Tags
The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tags are devices that can be activated with Alaska’s mobile app. Using the app, up to 24 hours before the flight customers can request their electronic tag. Using NFC technology, the app will then communicate with the bag tag with a simple tap and display flight segment information. Once at the airport passengers can drop their bags and quickly catch their flight. Alaska Airlines is hoping that this new method will save time since it won’t require customers to print paper tags. It should also reduce lines for people who may need assistance.
If electronic bag tags make it to the mainstream, customers can expect the following day-of-travel timeline:
- Check in for your flight via the Alaska Airlines mobile app.
- When prompted, select the number of bags to be checked and complete check-in.
- Turn on the electronic bag tag to prepare it for syncing. The bag tag will automatically update.
- At the airport, find a customer service agent who will check your ID, scan the bag tag and send you on your way.
Speeding up the check in process is not new to Alaska Airlines. Alaska Airlines has used technology and design for years to speed up the pre-flight process. All the way back to the early 2010s Alaska Airlines patent their design of the Airport of the future and remodeled airport lobbies in Seattle, Los Angles, and elsewhere. Alaska Airlines was also among the first airlines to introduce self printing luggage tags from airport kiosks. Which allows passengers to self-tag their luggage. Alaska also has long offered print at home luggage tags which slide into a reusable plastic bag tag.
The plan of rolling out these new tags is in phases. The first ones to have access to it will be 2,500 of Alaska Airlines’ frequent fliers, sometime late this year. After that Mileage Plan members should have the option to purchase the electronic tags early in 2023 for around $30. A final price has yet to be set.
Alaska Airlines will offer reusable electronic bag tags to flyers. The purpose is to save time and allow customers more control over their check-in process. These reusable tags will be part of a target group of frequent flyers first and then will be made available to the public in 2023. Alaska Airlines is the first airline to offer this technology.