China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines are introducing NFC-enabled electronic baggage tags that let passengers check in their own luggage and then track its location on their mobile phones, China Daily reports.
The service is due to go live at Beijing Daxing International Airport in September 2019.
“The e-tag is similar in size to an iPhone 8, and is like an ID card for the suitcase,” China Daily explains. “When passengers arrive at the airport, they can self-check in the luggage with the e-tag and self-service machines, and check luggage status by scanning the barcode.”
“Through the apps, the systems will generate bag tag numbers and transmit the data to the e-tag through Bluetooth. After a few seconds, the electronic ink screen of the bag tag will display information such as the barcode and flight numbers.”
“The e-tags show images by reflecting natural light, and produce electricity through an NFC sensor,” the report adds.
Over the next three years, real-time baggage tracking will become a new and common feature for passengers to identify where their bags are by checking the status on their mobile phones, the International Air Transport Association said.
“After checking their luggage in the city, travelers will have time and freedom to hang out with no burdens after they check out from hotels. Besides, they don’t need to wait in lines at the airport,” said Zhou Lin, senior business manager for passenger services at Travel-Sky Technology, a Beijing-based State-owned travel information provider.
“Off-airport bag drop needs to guarantee the isolation and safety of luggage transportation. There are many other things that need to be considered such as legal issues and authorizations if the services are to be launched in Beijing,” he said.