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.
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