In a move designed to save time and money for travelers heading through Austin, Texas, American Airlines has launched a new program that will allow travelers to tag their own checked baggage prior to boarding.
The new program, which the company will operate as a six-month trial before committing to a nation-wide rollout, mirrors similar options at foreign airports. Passengers can now print tags from any of nine self-service kiosks and place them on their luggage without having to deal with an airline agent.
Baggage will then be handed off to an agent at a dedicated line where it will then be scanned and placed on the conveyor belt to be screened in private.
American Airlines Austin’s general manager, Craig Richey, says that the move has been a long time coming.
“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,” Richey told USA Today. “Our agents remain available for customers opting not to use self tag.”
American chose Austin to test the new program thanks to the town’s reputation as a tech-savvy destination, and the young crowd expected to swarm the city in the coming weeks for the annual South by Southwest music festival.