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 airline said 2,500 repeat Alaskan builders will use the technology first, starting in late 2022. The devices will then be made available for mileage plan members to purchase in early 2023.
Other airlines around the world have also started offering the option of digitizing the baggage process. Companies such as BagTag, One Bag Tag, and eTag allow customers to use electronic tags on many European and Asian airlines
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