Self Bag Tagging Coming Soon to All Star Alliance Airlines
Airports around the country are dealing with massive security lines, causing people to wait for hours and even miss flights on multiple occasions. Airlines have invested millions of dollars in hopes of speeding up the process for passengers, and while that may take some time, other process improvements may help reduce waits at another part of the airport.
This week, Star Alliance shared the details of a plan to implement further automation among all member airlines aimed at improving check-in procedures and the airport experience overall. The chief executive of the alliance, Mark Schwab, said that passengers on any Star Alliance carrier will soon be able to check-in on smartphones and utilize self-tagging features for bags, either at home or at an airport kiosk.
Several airlines in the alliance — and others like Alaska Airlines, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines — have various degrees of automation already in place. United and SAS have airport kiosks at select airports that allow passengers to print and attach a bag tag before dropping it at the baggage drop area. Lufthansa has a new feature called HomeTag through which passengers can print out a bag tag with their home printer and attach before departing for the airport. Air New Zealand is on the cutting edge of automated check-in processes, with its biometric bag drop stations at its Auckland hub. However, not all carriers in the alliance have implemented the same technology, leading to an inconsistent experience (that should improve soon).
Don't forget that if you're planning on checking a bag on your next trip, consider signing up for a credit card that waives checked baggage fees. Further, several cards offer an annual airline credit that can be used to wipe away any fees you rack up from checking bags.