If you traveled throughout Europe, you may have already experienced the joys of tagging your own luggage and scanning your boarding pass at the gate, services that are currently being tested and rolled out throughout the US.  I’ve taken advantage of self-tagging and self-boarding when flying with Lufthansa in Munich as well as with Ryanair during a trial in Dublin, both experiences were easy and convenient.   Reader Bryan L from New York, NY, shares a link to a Wall Street Journal article providing details on the US roll-out and carrier and airport specific plans:

After testing the technology in Austin, Texas, AMR Corp.’s American Airlines is rolling out kiosks that direct travelers to tag their own checked bags in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and other major airports over the next two years. And last month in Las Vegas, JetBlue Airways Corp. became the first U.S. airline to officially implement self-boarding gates, where fliers scan their own tickets to board the plane.

It seems Australia is even further ahead in passenger self-service game where Qantas allows travelers to print their luggage tags at home and insert them into permanent plastic cases.

Before long, travelers in many countries will be able to print baggage tags at home and insert the bar-coded paper in plastic cases distributed by airlines, similar to baggage tags that many already issue to their frequent fliers, SITA said. Qantas Airways Ltd. of Australia already issues permanent electronic bag tags that store fliers’ information.

Full article available here, including airline-employee union reactions.

So, if given the opportunity, will you be tagging your own bag or opting for the elite check-in desk?

What could possibly go wrong…

courtesy WSJ

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og September 14, 2012 - 11:09 am

I travel frequently through FRA and MUC, and must confess, i hate the automated boarding gates.

100% of the time, the gates for First and Business are swamped by coach passengers, 75% of the time when i go to scan my BP, the gate does not pick it up and i have to fight like a salmon back to the desk to see whats up.

There i get yelled at for no apparent reason other than i am bothering the GA for not using the right automatic gate?? what? then i get scanned in manually.

Whats the point?

Mikey September 14, 2012 - 1:58 pm

Problem is, if there are any mistakes, yourself is only to blame.

Better to make the airline agents liable if there is a screw up, you will have some recourse.

JW September 15, 2012 - 12:11 pm

If I tag my own bag, how can the airlines justify increases to bag fees (and bag fees in general?)? Another cutting cost measure with no real sense of their increasing customer satisfaction…

adam September 15, 2012 - 2:07 pm

@JW – Great point!


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