In a bid to improve the check-in experience for passengers Qatar Airways has joined the bandwagon along with British Airways and Qantas in rolling out a line of personalised luggage tags. My Q-Tag provides a method to allow customers who wish to print their own baggage tags before arrival at the airport. This allows them to proceed directly to the web check-in bag drop counter, where a Customer Service representative will process their already labelled baggage.
Currently only available to 103 destinations in a combination of availability arriving at or departing from Doha the process adds a further layer of customer service to the online check-in process by enabling customers to proceed through the departure’s hall with less hassle.
Furthermore, each customer can print a maximum of 3 baggage tags for one sector. My Q-Tag is not available for itineraries which include transfer stops or multiple destinations.
Although it has been running for sometime, its arguable as to how much time it will save considering the number of staff manning the departures hall – for those who have never departed from Doha’s Hamad International it’s a lot.
Also in terms of piece of mind, what happens if the tag falls off while being shifted around and ends up in a completely different location. Who will take responsibility then?
Or, what happens when it fails to be read due to poor printer quality. Self-printed boarding passes are one issue, since there is always someone around to print a card, but if you loose a bag in an automated system, how is it rectified.
Ultimately Qatar is the first gulf carrier to go down this route but has taken a different approach to its alliance partners British Airways and Qantas who use e-ink (similar to those found in a kindle) to display the luggage information.
But Lufthansa, Alaska Airlines and Air France all have home-print luggage tags which is a sign that this could be a growing trend in the aviation industry. IATA even has lent its support to these efforts and airlines around the world are cooperating with airports on introduction of increased automation of the baggage check-in process.