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You’ll no longer be able to print online bag tags with Alaska

Sept. 07, 2022
3 min read
Alaska Airlines plane
You’ll no longer be able to print online bag tags with Alaska
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Alaska Airlines is dropping one of its most convenient ways to streamline the airport experience.

As of Sept. 12, the Seattle-based carrier will no longer offer the ability to print bag tags at home. This functionality previously allowed travelers with checked bags to complete online check-in and issue both a boarding pass and a bag tag at the same time.

After printing your bag tag, you could bring your checked luggage and its tag to the airport then head straight to the bag drop-off counter. You didn't need to interact with any machines or kiosks.

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Instead, an agent would help you affix the printed tag to your luggage, verify your ID and send your bag on its way.

This self-tag system has increased in popularity in recent years, with many airlines adding this functionality at airport check-in kiosks. However, few carriers have allowed the ability to print a tag at home.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In fact, Alaska was the first U.S. carrier to launch the tagging-from-home technology back in 2014, following a successful pilot in the Seattle-to-Hawaii market a year earlier.

When the service officially launched, it was available in just four airports nationwide. Since then, the program has expanded to 95 cities from which Alaska flies.

"Usage of guests who print bag tags at home is low and oftentimes required them to still see an agent at the airport. At-home bag tag printing is being retired so that we can focus on the new Electronic Bag Tags coming later this fall as well as other enhancements to the lobby experience that will allow guests to quickly generate their bag tags," an Alaska Airlines spokesperson said in a statement confirming the move.

While Alaska phases out one way to make the travel experience more efficient, the airline will shortly offer a new, more tech-savvy method of skipping the bag drop line.

The new method is a digital bag tag technology that'll be rolled out beginning later this year.

Flyers will have the option to attach a physical RFID-enabled electronic bag tag that’ll automatically update each time they fly.

COURTESY OF ALASKA AIRLINES

After completing mobile check-in, the device will sync with your phone through an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted from the Alaska mobile app. The device’s e-paper screen will then display your digital bag tag.

After purchasing the device for around $70, you’ll no longer need to worry about stopping at check-in kiosks or printing bag tags. Instead, you can go straight to the bag drop counter and then head straight through security.

Although Alaska is rolling out new technology, some customers will certainly miss the self-tag bag drop option.

Featured image by (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases