If you’ve flown American Airlines out of a larger U.S. city recently, you may noticed that something has changed about the check-in process: passengers are now able to tag their own baggage.
The aptly named “Self-Tag” program (which was initially tested in Austin, Texas late last year) works in conjunction with American Airlines’ current self-check-in kiosks.
Now, in addition to using self-serve kiosks to check into their flight, you can also identify the number of bags you want to check and print baggage tags and claim tickets along with your boarding pass and receipts.
American Airlines hopes that the Self-Tag system will free up more agents to work with travelers, but to also speed up the check-in process. In addition, agents will be available during check-in to lend assistance, and passengers who want to check their baggage the traditional way may still do so.
In a statement, American’s Vice President at Miami International Airport Marilyn DeVoe said, “Self-tagging brings us one step closer to a modernized, efficient new American by offering our customers more choices along their journey and more ways to customize their travel experience.”
American Airlines passengers can test out the new Self-Tag system at the following airports:
- Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS)
- Orlando International Airport (MCO)
- Reagan National Airport (DCA)
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)
- Denver International Airport (DEN)
- Miami International Airport (MIA)
American Airlines isn’t the only airline to offer this service – in fact the “DIY Baggage” trend has already been adopted by other major airlines, including WestJet and Alaska Airlines. So far, it appears to have worked quite well – American Airlines reports that the new system has been shown to speed up check-in times by roughly 55%.
If the Self-Tag program and other self-serve programs like it continue to be well-received, we anticipate that many other airlines will begin to roll out similar programs. Now that the flight and baggage check-in process has become self-service, we’re curious to see what other self-serve options airlines will introduce in the near future.
- British Airways Announces New Electronic Baggage Tags (tomshardware.com)
- Baggage Fees Turn Five Years Old; Passengers Turn Blase (wnyc.org)
- Self-Service at Airports Tag, You’re It (sealtagscn.wordpress.com)