American Airlines Tests Self-Service Luggage Tagging

Travelers flying with American Airlines at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will now be able to tag their own bags at self-service kiosks.

Domestic airlines began testing the self-service bag tagging last November. American Airlines marks the first airline to allow passengers to tag their own bags in the U.S., but Delta Air Lines and Air Canada also plan to implement the service. Internationally, self-service bag tagging is done at 35 airports.

The six-month trial by American will allow passengers to print and tag their own luggage without direct supervision by an airline employee. Ticket agents will still check passenger IDs, scan luggage tags, and place bags on the conveyor belt to be scanned by the Transportation Security Administration.

American hopes this will speed up the check-in process, but currently is not requiring passengers to use the new service.

"It is one of the areas in the travel process that our customers have been asking us to streamline and provide them with better controls," Craig Richey, American Airlines Austin General Manager, told USA Today. "Our agents remain available for customers opting not to use self-tag."

Other airlines, like Alaska and Delta have also voiced interest in this service. "We continue to study this but don't have anything firm to announce for implementation at any airport at this time," Delta spokes person told AOL Travel News.

If others adopt the self-service tagging, additional airline-related jobs could be lost. AOL Travel News reported last November, that the partly due to the popularity of self-service options for passengers, the U.S. airline industry has lost about 8.4 percent, or about 50,000, jobs.

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