APEX Insight: Two Netherlands-based companies have introduced smart self-tagging options with the aim of streamlining the check-in process. While easyJet has already implemented eezeetags’ simplified luggage sticker at Gatwick Airport, Bagtag expects that several airlines will begin offering its digital solution by the beginning of next year.
With global passenger volume estimated to reach seven billion annually by 2034, how can airports and airlines process travelers more efficiently? Two Netherlands-based companies that exhibited at Future Travel Experience Asia in Singapore last month think the answer lies in smarter self-tagging solutions.
Eezeetags has developed a bag tag without backing paper – something it claims is six times faster to label than traditional tags. “As soon as you see someone do it, you can copy them, our solution is much faster,” says Sven Tolsma, eezeetags’ Sales manager. “If you peel a traditional tag from the wrong side, it will never work. We’ve seen couples getting in arguments over how to peel them.”
EasyJet is one of eezeetags’ biggest customers and uses the product at its 50 self-bag drop machines at Gatwick Airport. After adopting eezeetags, the low-cost carrier tested the product alongside traditional bag tags, asking participants to affix the tags as quickly as possible around the arm of the person standing next to them. “By the time 60 people had finished labeling eezeetags, only around nine or 10 people had managed to label with the traditional tag,” explains Tolsma. “This indicates that the eezeetag really is five or six times faster to label.”
Amsterdam-based Bagtag has developed what it says is the world’s first secure electronic bag-tag solution. The smartphone-shaped product connects to an Android and iOS app and uses e-ink display similar to that used on the Amazon Kindle, enabling travelers to fully check in luggage from anywhere and avoid airport lines. “Our thought was, ‘What can we do with e-screens?'” says Rob Sneekes, Bagtag’s head of Operations. “The idea is around 11 years old and came from electronic boarding passes, but the technology was not ready yet – neither were airlines – and it was too expensive. Two, three years ago was really the time to start.”
Bagtag’s product attaches to hard shell luggage using the same adhesive 3M VHB double-sided tape as GoPro cameras – and, like the action cameras, it’s built to withstand hard knocks. “We did multiple tests, such as dropping a 22 kilogram bag on it from a height of five meters. The suitcase was gone, but the tag was still working,” says Sneekes. Sixteen airlines, including six Star Alliance members, are currently trialing the service and Bagtag expects they will begin offering it to commercial passengers at the beginning of next year.