Alaska Airlines launches e-bag cards to speed up airport check-in

The new option, which Alaska considers the first of its kind for a US airline, will allow customers to skip the step of printing baggage tags at airport check-in. Alternatively, customers will be able to activate electronic bag tags via the Alaska Airlines mobile app up to 24 hours prior to the flight. After arriving at the airport, the customer simply touches his phone to the sign to view his flight information.

“This technology allows our guests to tag their bags in just seconds, and makes virtually the entire check-in process outside of the airport,” Charo Jin, Alaska senior vice president of marketing and innovation, said in a statement. The company expects it will reduce the time spent dropping luggage by about 40% and also free up staff to deal with other issues at the airport.

Availability will be limited to start. These programmable devices will be launched in phases, starting at San Jose International Airport in California. Alaska Airlines also introduced a self-driving baggage drop system in March at San Jose Airport, which will work with electronic tags to make the baggage check-in experience as hands-free as possible.

The e-tag option comes as airlines across the country face Big Fonts and Big Delays Thanks to pandemic-era travel hikes, staff shortages, and bad weather. US airlines have canceled more than 100,000 flights this year, with 30,000 canceled since Memorial Day weekend, according to data from flight-tracking website FlightAware.

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