Report: More Airlines Say, Tag Your Bags Yourself

We should be used to do-it-yourself travel innovations by now, thanks to all those self-service check-in kiosks at airports. Good thing, because according to the Wall Street Journal, many of us may soon be tagging our own bags. Of course, some already are.

Do It Yourself Bag Tagging

Alaska Airlines has had a voluntary DIY bag-tag program for years now, as FareCompare reported back in 2012 but from what the WSJ says, such innovations have long  been an entrenched part of international travel and there’s more to come: Qantas now has a permanent bag tag with bar codes that can change as flights change, and Air France-KLM is coming out with tag that lets owners know if a bag is opened and where it is at any time.

The tracking part sounds nice, but unless they also develop wings for wayward bags so they can immediately fly to their owners, how important is it to know precisely where a missing bag is? If you need what’s in the bag right away, lost is lost.

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More Work for Passengers

For passengers, these new tagging scenarios can mean more work. An amusing comment from a WSJ reader: “I must be getting old because I missed the part in the article where the price [of airfare] is going to be reduced 20% to compensate the public for the inconvenience.”

You didn’t miss anything, but we can tell you Alaska and some of the other airlines give DIY bag-taggers a reward of extra miles. In fairness, self-tagging can also make for a faster airport experience  especially for those who show up with bags already tagged (Alaska allows printing out tags at home).

Question for travelers:  What do you think?


Updated: July 9, 2015