Good Thinking

British Airways introduces digital baggage tags to simplify luggage check-in

British Airways introduces dig...
British Airways has teamed up with ViewTag to introduce RFID-packing digital baggage tags
British Airways has teamed up with ViewTag to introduce RFID-packing digital baggage tags
View 2 Images
British Airways has teamed up with ViewTag to introduce RFID-packing digital baggage tags
1/2
British Airways has teamed up with ViewTag to introduce RFID-packing digital baggage tags
Flight information can be transferred to the ViewTag's digital screen over Bluetooth using a mobile app
2/2
Flight information can be transferred to the ViewTag's digital screen over Bluetooth using a mobile app

No-one likes to queue at airport check-in lines, it eats into your holiday time, and can be both boring and tiring. Now British Airways has signed up for ViewTags, reusable electronic baggage tags that can be attached to luggage before holiday-makers get to the airport.

The idea for ViewTags came to company CEO Rick Warther when he was stuck in a long check-in line back in 2010. Research and development followed, with the Qatar Airways Group being the first to test the technology last year.

The ViewTag has been approved by the International Air Transport Association and features radio frequency identification (RFID) technology, Bluetooth LE, and a digital display to show the kind of flight information usually found on the paper tag attached to luggage by airport staff at check-in.

The passenger transmits flight information to the reusable luggage tag from a smartphone app before leaving for the airport, with the idea being that check-in lines can be avoided and the tagged luggage just left at a drop-off point.

"By allowing passengers to transfer their information digitally before they arrive at the airport, check-in is reduced to a matter of seconds," said Warther.

The company also says that the technology allows travelers to keep track of where the luggage throughout the baggage handling process, which could help reduce mishandling.

British Airways has started selling the slightly renamed TAG to members for an introductory price of £63 (about US$80). That will go up to a standard price of £80 in October. Each TAG can be reused more than 3,000 times and can currently be used in 63 countries, including the US, Canada, Spain and other EU countries, Jamaica and China. The video below has more.

Source: ViewTag

British Airways - Introducing TAG

4 comments
Michael Chin
In principal, it is a good idea. At £63 and later at £80 it is a lot of money to invest for an RFID tag. Please note these appear to be hard plastic tag. Do you think the baggage handler will be more careful when handling baggage with these RFID tag. I had a brand new suitcase with the handle broken off when I used it for the first time on a single trip. I even have name tags and Executive Club tags broken off when it was encased in leather. How long do you think this tags will last bearing in mind it is £63 each for now
anthony88
What Michael Chin said...because that tag sticking out like that looks like it will be 80 pounds for each trip, not once for 3000 trips.
splatman
Wouldn't it make more sense to simply have the passenger print a paper tag and insert it in an approved holder? It would certainly be a lot cheaper! KISS!
aki009
There's a reason why airlines add a tag *and* a small sticker to the luggage. The tags are lost more readily than the small sticker. If you use these bulky, easily pulled off tags, and the tag goes buhbye, expect the bag to go for a long ride looking for its owner. On the upside, this should provide for a good supply of awesome e-ink displays on eBay at some point.