SEATTLE – Alaska Airlines last week announced  it will become the first U.S. airline to launch an electronic bag tag program later this year.

Electronic bag tags will allow travelers to skip the step of printing traditional bag tags at the airport. Travelers will be able to activate the devices from anywhere—their home, office or even car—up to 24-hours before their flight through our mobile app.

“This technology allows our guests to tag their own bags in just seconds and makes the entire check-in process almost all off-airport,” said Charu Jain, senior vice president of merchandising and innovation at Alaska.”

The activation is done by simply  touching the phone used for check-in to the electronic bag tag, which has an antenna that powers and reads the information transmitted from the phone. The e-paper bag tag’s screen will then display the guest’s flight information.

When you get to the airport, you can bypass the check-in kiosks and head straight to the baggage drop-off line. Your ID will be verified and you’ll then be able to drop your bag, without printing any physical bag tags. Alaska estimates that this new initiative will reduce the time spent dropping off checked bags by nearly 40 percent.