Since I spend the majority of the time traveling and I’m not great at patiently standing in lines, I’m constantly looking for ways to make my travels easier. I signed up for the Privium program last year, which essentially helps me skip the customs and immigration process at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport through the use of an eye scan: I just look into a camera and within a few seconds I’m good to go. So when the beautiful luggage brand Rimowa asked me test the Electronic Tag that could simplify the whole travel process, I jumped at the chance!
The idea behind the Electronic Tag is simple: instead of checking in yourself at home and checking in your suitcase at the airport, you check both in at home. Once you get to the airport, all you have to do is drop off the suitcase at a counter and you’re on your way to the gate, or the lounge because now you’ll have enough time. The way it works is identical to checking in for a flight using an airline app, where you can usually store the boarding pass on your phone. Except in the case of the Electronic Tag, the luggage label appears rather magically on a display on the suitcase. It looks, and will be scanned as, a regular label except it’s created by electronic ink in a shatterproof display.
The display runs on regular batteries and even if they run out (after pairing it no less than 800 times with your phone, which are a lot of flights), the label will remain visible on the display. I used the Electronic Tag on the beautiful Topas Titanium model on a one day trip to Hamburg, from Amsterdam via Munich (outbound) and Frankfurt (inbound). Four airports with extremely little time between the flights made for a perfect opportunity to lose a suitcase, but it was cool to be able to track the whereabouts of my suitcase in the app. I really enjoyed that aspect of the Electronic Tag, because it made the trip much more relaxing.
At this point in time, the Electronic Tag is being tested by major airlines like United and Lufthansa has began using the system at its major airports. Obviously, it’s still early days for the technology and I noticed that not every member of the Lufthansa ground crew knew how to handle a suitcase that already had a luggage label. One older gentleman even asked me politely to turn off the display, so he could attach a regular printed label. His supervisor corrected him promptly and off went my suitcase.. Seeing it go down the conveyor belt without a luggage label, felt a little bit how I imagine parents feel when they send a child off to school on the first day. A bit scary, but it’s the future and I love it!
Find more information about the Rimowa Electronic tag here