Alaska Airlines officially becomes first U.S. airline to launch electronic bag tag program 

Today, we became the first airline in the United States to launch an electronic bag tag program, which will enable guests to tag their own 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 the time guests spend in airport lobbies by about 40%, including reducing lines and the use of 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.”  

We’re also excited to announce that the Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag made Popular Science’s Best of What’s New list of 2022! Each year, PopSci reviews thousands of new projects and innovations before choosing the top 100 winners across 10 categories. Alaska was recognized in the Aerospace category. To win, a product or technology must represent a significant step forward in its category. 

The Alaska Airlines electronic bag tag will be available for purchase to all guests starting in 2023 and 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.”  

Click here to see how it works and to join the notification list when the devices become available for purchase.