Alaska Airlines has announced a new electronic bag tag program, an initiative expected to launch later this year and make the carrier the first U.S. airline to have such a program.
“This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport,” Charu Jain, senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation for Alaska Airlines, said in a statement. “Not only will travelers with the devices be able to quickly drop off their luggage, our electronic bag tags will help also reduce lines in our lobbies and give our employees the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance.”
The program is expected to cut down the amount of time spent at check-in by allowing allow guests to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags upon arrival at the airport. Instead, guests will be able to activate the devices from anywhere – home, home, office or car – up to 24 hours before their flight using the Alaska Airlines mobile app.
According to Alaska Airlines, 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’s screen will then display the guest’s flight information.
“Our electronic bag tags will not require batteries and are durable enough to potentially last a lifetime,” said Jain.
Jain expects Alaska Airlines’ electronic bag tag will reduce the time guests spend dropping off checked luggage by 40%. For example, a guest flying through Alaska Airlines’ tech hub at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, could drop off their luggage at the self-bag drop in three minutes or less.
“Alaska Airlines is the first U.S. airline to pioneer this innovative electronic bag tag program here at SJC,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “This program will modernize the check-in process and provide a more sustainable option for travelers.”
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