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Travel Tip: How Do Digital Bag Tags Work

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british_airwaysYou know those sticky tags that wrap around your suitcase handle? The airlines print so many each year—nearly 3 billion—that they could circle the Earth 39 times. Worse yet, those tags aren’t exactly easy to recycle. So the airlines are creating digital bag tags.

It’s starting with British Airways, which is testing out a digital bag tag. You use an app to program your information onto the digital tag…as in, you literally transmit it by holding your smartphone over the tag. On your next trip, you reprogram the tag. Pretty cool, huh? We might see this as early as next year, but probably not far and wide.

Of course, there are dinosaurs like me who still prefer the human factor. I like to see the sticker being placed on so that I can look at it, and—if there’s an error—talk to a human to fix it.

But if going digital means avoiding issues, like having my luggage that’s bound for Orlando–which uses the code MCO—end up in MCI, or Kansas City—then I’m all for it.

For more information, visit the airline archives.

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