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American Airlines Testing Out Do-It-Yourself Bag Tags at Austin's Airport

March 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM | by | ()

We knew airlines wanted you to start tagging your own checked baggage, and it now looks like testing will finally begin in the Lone Star State. If you’re flying out of Austin anytime soon—say to head back from SXSWAmerican Airlines is asking you to be their self-tagging guinea pig.

Tagging your own bags is nothing new overseas, but here at home, it’s always been up to airline employees. For whatever reason it’s like the law or something for airline agents to do all the tagging, but apparently American Airlines got the go-ahead to let us crazy passengers do things ourselves.

The test will run for six months at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, as American Airlines has rolled in some kiosks that will print out the handy dandy luggage stickers. You’ll still need to flash your ID at the ticket counter before tossing your suitcase on the belt—or dragging it to the TSA x-ray machine—so it’s not a baggage free-for-all just yet.

We’re all about new travel technology—even if it’s a simple as a destination sticker—but we’re concerned that this really won’t speed up the check-in process. There’s still going to be a line to get boarding passes, verify IDs, and ask all kinds of ridiculous seating questions.

At least we’ll know exactly where our bag tag is now, instead of just standing around while agents yell out last names while we waste precious time that should be dedicated to post-security ice cream breaks.

Related Stories:
· American Airlines Introduces Do-It-Yourself Bag Tagging at Austin Airport [USA Today]
· American Airlines Targets Frequent Fliers on Twitter and Facebook [Jaunted]
· Checked Baggage coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo of AUS: cote]

Archived Comments:

It hasn't always been this way.

Alaska experimented with self-service bag-drops before 9/11 in PDX and ANC: http://www.cnn.com/TRAVEL/ADVISOR/auto.check.in/index.html