Alaska Airlines tries out DIY Bag Tagging at LAX

Alaska Airlines has gained a reputation for being willing to test new technology on its passengers.

The Seattle-based carrier tried adding solar panels to power its passenger ramps in 2013. The airline tested out fingerprint machines to identify passengers at its airport lounges in 2014 and launched electronic, reusable bag tags on a trial basis last year.

Now Alaska is experimenting with a system at Los Angeles International Airport that lets passengers tag their own bags and leave them at an automated station.

Under the trial program that started last week, Alaska passengers can print bag tags at home or at an airport kiosk. Once the tags are affixed to the luggage, the passengers take them to self-drop stations.

The idea has already been used by airlines in Europe and Asia.“We try to be nimble,” said Bobbie Egan, a spokeswoman for Alaska.Alaska claims the drop-off process takes less than 30 seconds. The trial will continue until Nov. 10.

Why is Alaska testing the new system at LAX?“The self-bag drop model works best at high-volume airports where road warriors are tech savvy and willing to try a new pilot like this,” she said. “The design of the check-in area at LAX in particular was better suited for the equipment and passenger flow than in Seattle, for example.”

Alaska also is aiming to be California’s go-to airline, now that Alaska has acquired Burlingame-based Virgin America.
Latest Blog Posts & News

Once upon a time when ride sharing programs were just emerging, they were very difficult to use for airport pickup. Most airports didn’t want independent drivers picking up travelers, because they had existing deals with taxi companies and and professional car services ...


If there’s one consistent thing that seems to stress out absolutely everyone, it’s preparing to travel. That’s not to say the actual experience of traveling is aggravating, most people love it! But the process of getting to that experience can be a headache, even for those who are prepared and on ...


Like it or not, driverless cars are right around the corner. There is some debate as to how quickly they’ll actually emerge on a broad scale, but most estimates would place a deadline within the next decade. Most of the core technology already exists, and in some cases we’ve even seen ...


Air travelers who can’t stand waiting in line will get some relief when Los Angeles International Airport opens its first two “innovation lanes” designed to speed security screening by up to 30%.The two new lanes are scheduled to open at Terminal 7, home of United Airline...


It’s been a rough couple of weeks for airlines in the United States. United Airlines has drawncriticism for a string of disastrous incidents, including its decision to keep customers off its planes for wearing leggings and its forcible removal of a paying customer from an overbooked flight.