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Alaska Airlines Letting Passengers Tag Their Own Bags; Processing Passengers 30% Faster

For anyone that has been late for a flight and needed to check a bag, they know how painful it can be to stand in line while someone in front of you takes fifteen minutes to check their bag.  I have always found it interesting that I can stand in line and watch ten people take a good 5-10 minutes each, yet I walk up and am out of there in under a minute.  Whether you are late or not, it is painful how long some people take.

Alaska Airlines is now making that process simpler by allowing passengers to tag their own bags.  Much the way that we have been printing our own boarding passes for years, they will now let you tag your bags and hand them to the TSA agent.  Apparently, in many other countries they will let you do the whole thing unsupervised, but naturally TSA wants to maintain their job security, so they have to watch you.

This was one of those things that made me go “duh” when I read about it, because it just seemed to be such on obvious way to save time in the whole process.  According to an interview Jeff Butler of Alaska Airlines did with The Cranky Flier, it has actually shaved 30% off the time it takes passengers to be processed, which is a significant enough that Alaska is working to make this a reality at all of the airports they serve.

Unfortunately, TSA is once again trying to make it as difficult as possible.  The above mentioned article goes into more detail about the whole process Alaska went through to get permission, and it is pretty ridiculous if you ask me.  Not only did they have to prove the safety of their program, they must reapply for permission to implement it every time they want to roll it out somewhere new.

Time is quickly becoming one of the biggest assets in aviation.  People want, and in some cases need, to be able to flow through an airport as quickly as possible from the time they pull up, until they drive away after arrival.  That is why we see all of these new programs to get you through security faster, and why airlines have invested so much money on kiosks that allow you to print your own boarding pass.

A 30% reduction in processing time is a big enough benefit that every airline will likely look at this option, if they aren’t already.  Maybe that is the push that TSA needs to streamline the process and make it easier for airlines to use this new concept.

I remember as a kid being able to walk into the airport, get through security, and be at the gate in fifteen minutes or so, but now I have to plan to be at the airport at least an hour early if I don’t want to miss my flight, and I live in a relatively small city.  Speeding up the whole process would be a benefit to everyone involved, and hopefully TSA will not be the speed bump that prevents everyone from taking advantage of it.

July 17, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner: An Unbiased Visitor Gives His Opinions

It can be really hard to get an honest, unbiased look at anything that is new.  That really is no surprise since the first group to share any information are the people who build it.  Up until recently, pretty much everything we have heard about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has come from Boeing.  As much fun as it is to listen to the Kool-Aid drinkers from any company, it is so refreshing to get an unbiased perspective.

That is exactly what you can get from Brett Snyder, The Cranky Flier.  If you are not familiar with his blog, I highly recommend that you go to his blog regularly as he always provides a very nice perspective of whatever he writes about.

In this case, he had the opportunity to go and take a tour of the 787 Dreamliner while on its tour stop in Long Beach.  He provides some really fun pictures, as well as a short video, and a nice refreshing perspective.  I am so jealous, and I hope that I get the opportunity to see it for myself sometime soon.

My dad has dreamed of flying on a 747 his entire life, and came as close as sitting on one when the flight got cancelled and they had to switch planes.  I have a feeling that the 787 may just be that plane for me.  Right now there are so few of them, and most of them are overseas, so I don’t see a chance to fly on one anytime soon.  In the meantime, I will live vicariously through those who have the opportunity.

March 15, 2012 I Written By

I'm Dave and I am a proud Avgeek. It goes way beyond liking airplanes. It is a passion that cannot be subdued.