British Airways Offers RFID Luggage Tag

The United Kingdom's largest international airline has partnered with ViewTag to create a secure electronic bag tag.
Published: July 22, 2019

At British Airways, the United Kingdom’s largest international airline, customers will soon have a simpler luggage check-in process. This is made possible through a partnership with ViewTag.

ViewTag, located outside Philadelphia, Penn., offers a permanent electronic bag tag (EBT) that can be securely attached to luggage for the purpose of convenient itinerary information writing and airline check-in. Incorporating RFID and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technologies, the ViewTag device fits into the scanning sortation equipment used at airports worldwide. Currently, the tag can be used only by passengers taking direct flights. According to the company, the tags are rated for more than 3,000 screen changes, without the need for recharging.

The ViewTag is a reusable tag that enables customers to tag their own bags before they arrive at an airport. The device’s digital display shows the same flight information as traditional paper-based bag tags, according to the company. Using the British Airways mobile app, passengers can check in to receive their boarding pass and synchronize that information with their electronic bag tag via a BLE connection, using their smartphone. “By allowing passengers to transfer their information digitally before they arrive at the airport,” said Richard Warther, ViewTag’s CEO, in a prepared statement, “check-in is reduced to a matter of seconds.”

British Airways’ passengers can preorder the tags directly from the airline. The devices are being made available initially for £63 ($78). In addition to BLE functionality, the tags come with an E Ink display that shows a customer’s flight information.