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Flyers tag their own bag as part of a growing trend towards self-service at airports

Excerpt from The Economist

Skift Take

In a perfect world, technology helps passengers take on additional tasks so airlines can cut staffing costs leading to cheaper airfares. Well, perfect for everyone but airline employees.

— Samantha Shankman

Canadians flying to the United States with WestJet Airlines can now tag their own bags at six airports. WestJet passengers checking in at a kiosk can print their own boarding passes and baggage tags, attach the tags and then drop the luggage off at the designated area. It’s the first time self-service baggage tagging has been available on non-stop cross-border flights, but the trend towards self-service is clearly moving beyond just checking in or printing tickets at home.

Airlines in other countries have already implemented such technologies. In America, Alaska Airlines has introduced self-tagging in Seattle and San Diego…American Airlines is rolling out the technology in big airports over the next two years. While critics suggest the trend is all about airlines saving some cash—and cutting a few employees—there’s no doubt that passengers do seem to want to do many things themselves.

 

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