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Alaska Airlines Will Use Electronic Bag Tags to Speed Up Check-In

The tags will work with smartphones to save you from printing a tag at the airport.

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Andrew Blok Editor I
Andrew Blok has been an editor at CNET covering HVAC and home energy, with a focus on solar, since October 2021. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
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Andrew Blok
The front and back of a small electronic device displaying destination information and a barcode.

Alaska's new electronic bag tag could speed up check-in at the airport.

Alaska Airlines

Alaska Airlines is trying to make the process of checking a bag a bit easier by launching reusable, electronic bag tags, the airline said Tuesday. Instead of printing and attaching paper tags to their checked bags at the airport, Alaska customers will be able to use the Alaska Airlines mobile app to load and display their destination on the electronic tag with a simple tap of their phone.

"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, Alaska Airlines' senior vice-president of merchandising and innovation, said in a press release about the tags.

The tag devices don't rely on batteries, which means they could "potentially last a lifetime," Jain said. They'll be attached to bags with "industrial strength" zip ties.

About 2,500 Alaska frequent fliers will be given the tags at no cost and will be able to start using them later this year. Members of Alaska's Mileage Plan will be able to purchase them early in 2023. Alaska said it's still working on the cost of the bag tags but that they'll fall somewhere between $60 and $70.