Are More Airlines Offering Self Serve Bag Tagging?

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One of our Seattle readers (who flies Alaska and not Delta) sent in an email about how Alaska Airlines offers a self-tag baggage option when you check-in online. In fact, there are two different self-tagging options.

The first one is you can literally check-in online and print out a self tag baggage tag and put on your luggage at home, whereas the other is you can use one of their kiosks at the airport and print out your bag tags there. If you want to tag at home, you must first request bag tag holders, which can be ordered for free online.



Here are how the two options work:

Self-Tag Online

  • Select the Self-Tag option during Web Check-In.
  • Check in and pay applicable* baggage fees with your debit or credit card.
  • Print and fold your bag tags.
  • Insert into our reusable bag tag holder and attach the holder to your bag
  • Drop your bags off at our designated Self-Tag Express™ baggage drop areas.

Self-Tag Kiosks

  • At eligible airports, look for the Self-Tag kiosk.
  • Check in and pay applicable* baggage fees with your debit or credit card.
  • Self-sticking tags will print from the kiosk, along with your boarding pass.
  • Attach the tag to your luggage using the printed instructions.
  • Drop your bags off at our designated Self-Tag Express™ baggage drop areas.

Bottom Line

I’m going to open this up to readers about how they feel with self-tagging options. On one-hand their cool that you can do this at home and potentially save time at the airport, but on the other hand is it really worth the effort to print out these tags at home?

And here’s another question, let’s say you do this at home, and your bag is overweight but you already tagged it, will you be forced to pay for overweight luggage and get a heavy tag on it?

I could see how this may save some time, but I think the only one I personally would use would be the self-tag kiosks, since it doesn’t require printing tags at home. You’ll still have to drop off the bags and show your ID and boarding pass, but it could save a few minutes of time.

Have you ever used a self-service bag tag kiosk or self-tagged online before?


Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. If you had seen the cluster at DFW (in AA’s A Terminal) of people trying to check in and tag their bags during Spring Break, you would immediately ban self-tagging. It literally made the TSA line look like a lovely walk in the park. The idea that having customers – a good number of whom are not proficient fliers – do this for themselves will save time and make things “more convenient” for the customers is laughable, and the system is rife with issues: customers not knowing where or how to place the tags (because who reads instructions?), kiosks running out of paper, a lack of agents to help customers and keep kiosks running, odd/over-sized luggage, customers fouling their tag and needing another…and then you have to get in line again to physically check in your bag – show your ticket (again), weigh it, kiss it goodbye. Epic Fail.

  2. Success at last ! All new technologies need time, mostly to be adopted by the public. Think of when we started using an ATM and not going to a bank teller. At first an outrage, now the most normal thing in the world and few if any would want it back. People will always tend to complain against modern technologies and change in general until they understand it better and see it work. I have now seen it happen in both Amsterdam and Zurich where it does work. People have gotten used to it and happily use it with shorter queues. Epic success !

  3. A success I fully agree. I always use it at DFW and EWR and I see the difference between the companies that use it and don’t. Besides I get to choose between the old fashioned way and doing it quicker with self-tagging. Me personally I don’t like slow moving queues so I always use self-tagging

  4. Give me choice and I’ll give you loyalty !

    I much prefer when I’m given the choice to either do it myself or have an agent do it, although I always do it myself. I had to get used to it the first time, but now I know what I’m doing it really works. Why don’t all airlines offer this ? I used to fly Delta, but switched to American just because I had no choice.

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