Monday, February 2, 2009

RFID Tags To Replace Paper Checked Bag Tags?

Posted by Travel Sentry

Testing of new plastic bag tags recently began at Chicago O’Hare. These new “fast tags” are the brain child of United Airlines and will allow passengers to bypass lines to get paper tags for checked bags.

The technology behind the new tag is the RFID , or radio frequency identification chip. The six week test period is being conducted by 1,000 United frequent-flier members who live in the Chicago area.

Here’s how it goes …
  • The passenger checks in like usual either online or using a United terminal kiosk.
  • The bag is the dropped off in a designated spot.
  • An airline employee scans the tag and checks the passenger’s identification. The passenger continues to his gate.
  • The tag is scanned again and the bag enters the screening process.

United is conducting the test with the Transportation Security Administration, TSA.

United spokeswoman, Robin Urbanski told USA Today, "We're going to find out through this trial what work needs to be done in order for this to become the next generation in how customers check bags."

And then there are the implications for lost luggage retrieval.

Travelers interested in participating can apply online by clicking here.

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