Electronic luggage tags slash EVA Air flight check-in time

The China Post

By Kuan-lin Liu–German luggage maker Rimowa officially launched their electronic tag suitcase collection in Taiwan on Thursday.

This timely launch came just days after Taiwan’s EVA Air implemented a system-wide electronic luggage check-in service for its customers on Dec. 1. Starting this month, EVA Air flyers with electronic luggage tags have the option to check their luggage via smartphone and to save themselves waiting time at the airport.

The case features an E Ink display screen to which passengers can upload their baggage tag information via Bluetooth at their own convenience. Even with the addition of electronic tag technology, the price of the suitcase is only roughly NT$100 more than the average price of a Rimowa suitcase. Electronic Tag Debuts  The electronic tag collaboration between Rimowa and EVA Air was announced earlier this year at the Future Travel Experience Asia EXPO 2016 and makes EVA Air the first Asian airline and the second airline worldwide to adopt Rimowa’s electronic tag.

With the combination of the self check-in stations and the electronic tag check-in, EVA Air’s Customer Service Deputy-General Manager Yang Yung-heng (楊永恒) estimated that passengers could cut their overall check-in time at the airport to between three and five minutes for a quick passport check and baggage drop-off.

There are currently no exclusive baggage drop counters for passengers who choose to check their luggage electronically. As the number of electronic tag users increases, such counters could be installed to further expedite the checking-in process, Yang said. Electronic Tag by the Numbers

Rimowa launched its electronic tag suitcase in 2015 with German airline Lufthansa as its first partner. Vice President for the Rimowa Electronic Tag Sven Lepschy estimated that 8,000 bags had been sold and 3,000 bags had been used in Lufthansa flights this year alone. While Yang did not state an exact figure for the number of passengers EVA Air would like to see adopt the technology, he did say that the airline was targeting business travelers with the electronic tag. After all, business travelers are the ones who “want convenience and control,” Yang said.

Rimowa, who is the first to use this E Ink technology in its suitcases, is in the process of acquiring more partner airlines.

Lepschy said that Rimowa was in conversation with 30 airlines who could be interested in implementing the technology. While Lepschy did not disclose the names of these companies, it is known that United Airlines and Condor Airlines are in the process of testing out the technology.

Furthermore, Lepschy told The China Post that Rimowa would produce 600,000 electronic tag suitcases next year, sparking optimism for the widespread purchase and adoption of the technology.