Will This Electronic Bag Tag Help Make Checking Luggage More Efficient?

Alaska Airlines' new electronic bag tag program could soon change the way we fly

Alaska Airlines Electronic Bag Tag Program

Courtesy of Alaska Airlines

As travelers worldwide have been dealing with severely delayed flights, lost luggage, and malfunctioning baggage systems preventing them from checking their bags, Alaska Airlines is offering one piece of good news regarding air travel. Last week, it announced an electronic bag tag program, allowing travelers to get to their gate more smoothly by speeding up the check-in process.

The program will debut later this year and is a first for U.S. airlines. Instead of printing out a paper bag tag at the airport, passengers can use Alaska Airlines' mobile app to tag their luggage from the comfort of their homes, so long as it's within 24 hours of departure. After tapping their phones against the electronic tag bag, the device will light up with the passenger's flight info.

Alaska reports that passengers will spend about 40 percent less time dropping off luggage with the new device. “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 at Alaska Airlines, said in a statement.

Alaska teamed up with Dutch company BAGTAG to create the devices, which can be attached to your suitcase with "an industrial strength plastic zip tie" and "have been tested to withstand being run over a luggage cart."

According to Alaska, the program will be rolled out over several phases, with frequent fliers getting first dibs on the electronic bag tags later this year. In early 2023, Mileage Plan members will get their chance to purchase one of their own.

"Not only will our electronic bag tags allow our guests to quickly [drop off] their luggage after they arrive at the airport, the devices will also give our employees the opportunity to spend more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance and reduce lines at our lobbies,” says Jain.

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  1. Alaska Airlines. "Alaska Airlines Becomes First US Airlines to Launch Electronic Bag Tag Program." July 19, 2022.

  2. Alaska Airlines. "Alaska Airlines Becomes First US Airlines to Launch Electronic Bag Tag Program." July 19, 2022.