Centerlines: Self-tagging at Austin-Bergstrom

American Airlines isn’t paying much attention to the famous warning, “Don’t mess with Texas.” In Austin, the airline is messing with the system used to check passengers’ bags, but in a positive way—one that already has led to less time standing in line and less space devoted to ticket counters.

In March, American Airlines began a six-month pilot program at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport that allows passengers to self-tag their stowed luggage. At the end of the trial period, the airline will use engineering studies to compare the self-tagging system to the traditional system of having customer-service agents tag bags and determine whether the project should be expanded to other airports.

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