BA trials electronic bag tag

The days of affixing a disposable paper bag tag to every item of airport luggage could be numbered as British Airways launches a trial of an electronic version of the luggage identification label.

The UK-based airline hopes that a successful trial of the state-of-the-art tag will save time and be a greener option for the future. It is designed for use by passengers that book in on line, and after completing the computerised process they will be able to update their details on the electronic tag by holding a smartphone above it. This will program the tag with a unique barcode that holds all of the passenger’s flight details.

At the airport the electronic bag tag will be quickly scanned at the bag drop, saving time for the passenger as it then goes straight through security. In BA’s estimation, the current bag drop that averages three minutes could be reduced to 35 seconds, and as the tag can be used many times over, it will also save the waste associated with the paper tags.

BA’s trial will initially be of an internal nature, with a view to it being extended to passengers during next year.

BA’s managing director, brands and customer experience, Frank van der Post, said, ‘This is a fantastically simple, yet smart device that gives each customer the choice to have their own personalised electronic baggage tag that changes with the swipe of a smartphone – every time they fly. As the saying goes, ‘good things come in small packages’, and this innovative device is no exception. Along with other initiatives we are investing in, we believe it has the potential to revolutionise the way our customers check in and pass through every airport around the world in the future.’

A patent is pending on the electronic tags, which have been specially developed by the airline in partnership with Densitron Displays, and Designworks Windsor. Heathrow Airport is also assisting with the trials.