Alaska Airlines today became the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program, which enables guests to tag their luggage through the airline’s mobile app before they even reach the airport.
This week, 2,500 Alaska Mileage Plan members will begin receiving their electronic bag tag. Those elite status members included in the first wave of the program are guests who have traveled in the last 12 months, checked in at least one bag, and were among the first to register to use the device.
“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.”
The three-by-five-inch devices are updated with a guest’s flight information through the Alaska Airlines mobile app during check-in, essentially allowing travelers to head straight to the bag drop area once they arrive at the airport.
The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag is estimated to reduce guests’ time in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and using 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.
“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.”
The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag will be available for purchase to all guests starting in 2023. It will operate on all Alaska Airlines marketed flights operated by Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, and SkyWest Airlines.
Along with the hardware, the software for the device is provided by BAGTAG, a Dutch company that is a pioneer in the field of baggage technology solutions.
“Alaska Airlines is an excellent example of a carrier on a mission to improve all aspects of their passenger’s experience,” said Jaspar Quak, BAGTAG managing director. “This vision is leading their choices for innovation, such as electronic bag tags and we are very proud to assist them in this project.”
BAGTAG was founded in 2014 in the Netherlands with the purpose of introducing the world’s first flexible and secure electronic bag tag solution. Having developed in close cooperation with the world’s leading airlines, the company launched its hardware solution in 2018 and is now leading the market for electronic bag tags.