Travel SOS: Do the Qantas bag tags work on other airlines?

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Patrick has just received his permanent Qantas bag tags and wants to know if they work on other airlines.


Q. Patrick
My wife and I recently signed up to the Qantas frequent flyer program as we have been getting about a bit since retiring last year. We both received our complimentary Qantas Q-Tags in the mail and were wondering if we could use these even if we were flying with a different airline. Can you help?

A. Unfortunately not, Patrick. The Qantas Q-Tag doesn’t even work on international flights with Qantas at this point in time, not does it work at all airports in Australia. If you are travelling to or from Cloncurry, Moranbah, Hamilton Island, Mount Hotham, Gladstone or Geraldton, you will still need to go back to using the old paper tags.

While the tags don’t work on international flights or if you are travelling with a different airline, there is no need to take the tags on and off depending on who you are flying with. They will not disturb any other system that is in use around the world.

For those unfamiliar with the Qantas baggage tags, the Australian airline introduced them as part of its bid to go paperless. The tag is registered by passengers to their frequent flyer information or passenger information, and then linked to an embedded RFID (radio frequency identification) chip.

This process obviates the need for a temporary bag tag each time you fly and, if you check-in online or with your mobile before you arrive at the airport, you can go directly to the bag drop area.

Do you use the Qantas Q-Tags? Have you ever had any problems? Do you trust them to get your luggage to the right place, or do you prefer the paper bag tag?

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