Alaska Air Debuts 'Do It Yourself' Bag Tagging

Checking your bags just got a little more "do it yourself" for Alaska Airlines flyers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines

The airline debuted self-bag tagging for travelers flying out of Sea-Tac on Tuesday after a successful trial of the process in 2011 at Redmond/Bend Airport in Oregon. Seattle is Alaska Airlines' headquarters and largest hub.

"We are committed to making Alaska the easiest airline to fly on and self-bag tagging is another step toward that goal," says Jeff Butler, Alaska Airlines' vice president of customer service-airports in a press release.

Passengers will still be able to have their bags checked and tagged by an agent should they elect not to use this new self-serve option.

The process allows customers to print and attach their own luggage tags from a kiosk during the check-in process. Then, they simply show their identification to an airline representative and the bag is handed over for normal security screening and loading onto the aircraft.

The Transportation Security Administration granted Alaska permission to implement self-bag tagging at other airports. Alaska plans to offer the service at more airports across its route system this summer.

As a road warrior accustomed to self-service check-in processes like printing my own boarding pass and scanning my own passport for international flights, I applaud this additional feature. While I don't check bags too often, when I do I find myself waiting at the counter for an agent to come by and pull the tag, which has already printed behind the counter. Being able to do it myself will save a few minutes wait time and get me to the security line faster.