Alaska Airlines Is Introducing Permanent Electronic Tags For Do-It-Yourself Checked Bags

Alaska Airlines is introducing permanent luggage tags you can affix to your bags that speed up the check-in process. Passengers with these tags won’t have to print bag tags at the airport. Instead they will “activate the devices from anywhere—their home, office or even car—up to 24-hours before their flight through [Alaska’s] mobile app.”

This program will start “in late 2022” with tags for about 2500 Mileage Plan elite members. Then they’ll begin selling the tags to loyalty program members after that. They haven’t disclosed the price.

“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.”

Here’s how it works:

What’s weird isn’t that Alaska is doing this. It’s that we haven’t had it in the United States yet.

  • Qantas introduced the ‘Q Bag Tag’ in 2011.

  • Alaska has been testing this since at least 2016.

I wonder what’s taken Alaska, and especially others that aren’t this far along, so long to develop the idea? The fact that they ae going to charge most customers for this suggests that it isn’t enough of a cost saver to justify the product. Surely giving these out to MVP Golds and above makes sense, at least if the project itself was worthwhile.

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