Qantas will begin installing its wireless Q Bag Tag self-service luggage drop system in 21 Australian regional airports this month.
The rollout follows the introduction of the touch-and-go Q Card readers in all these airports, which is the first stage of Qantas' Next-Generation Checkin system.
The airports are: Albury, Alice Springs, Broome, Cairns, Coffs Harbour, Darwin, Emerald, Gladstone, Hobart, Kalgoorlie, Karratha, Launceston, Mackay, Newman, Paraburdoo, Port Hedland, Port Macquarie, Rockhamptom, Tamworth, Townsville and Wagga Wagga.
Qantas says the electronic baggage drop facilities will be installed in all the regional airports by the end of June.
There's still no word on when Adelaide, Brisbane and Canberra will receive Next-Generation Checkin beyond Qantas' promise that "the program is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2011."
Travellers should note that as part of the Next-Generation Checkin system, Qantas will charge domestic passengers between $15 and $60 for extra bags from June 1st, and introduce an additional $20 ‘heavy charge’ for bags beyond the ticket allowance which weigh more than 23kg.
Qantas currently permits passengers to check any number of bags on domestic flights provided their combined weight falls under a ceiling of 23kg to 45kg (depending on your class of travel and Qantas Frequent Flyer status level).But from the beginning of June all travellers will be limited by the number of bags they can check in, in addition to a per-bag weight limit.
For more on this, read our report on how Qantas’ new domestic baggage allowances will affect every traveller.
We've also discovered that the Qantas wireless Q Bag Tags can be shared among friends, family and colleagues, and we've detailed the top 5 things you need to know about Qantas Next-Generation Check-in.