Alaska Airlines to roll out NFC bag tags to speed up contactless luggage check-ins

Alaska Airlines NFC bag tag on luggage to speed self check-in
TRAVEL AID: Flight information is displayed on the NFC bag tag’s e-paper screen

Passengers travelling on flights operated by Alaska Airlines will be among the first in the US to be able to transfer their flight details to an NFC-enabled electronic bag tag attached to their checked luggage by tapping their NFC smartphone on the device, avoiding the need to print a physical tag when they arrive at the airport.

Once they have activated the programmable batteryless bag tag, users can then update the flight information displayed on the tag’s small e-paper screen from their NFC mobile device whenever they check in luggage before a flight via the airline’s app.

At the airport users will be able to scan the electronic bag tag at a self bag-drop point directly rather than having to first print a paper tag and attach it to their luggage before dropping it off for loading.

“The activation is done by simply touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag, which has an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted from the phone. The e-paper bag tag’s screen will then display the guest’s flight information,” Alaska Airlines explains.

“Electronic bag tags will allow guests to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags at the airport.

“Travellers will be able to activate the devices from anywhere — their home, office or even car — up to 24 hours before their flight through our mobile app.

“Our electronic bag tag program is expected to reduce the time spent dropping off checked luggage by nearly 40%.”

A short video shows how the NFC bag tag works:

Alaska Airlines plans to roll out the NFC bag tags to its 2,500 frequent fliers “in late 2022” and to members of its Mileage Plan loyalty scheme “early next year”.

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