Qantas unveils chic new frequent flyer bag tags

Those clunky Q Bag Tag ‘coasters’ are being replaced by these stylishly slim luggage tags.

By David Flynn, May 24 2024
Qantas unveils chic new frequent flyer bag tags

Qantas will begin issuing complimentary luggage tags to millions of its frequent flyers next month, with the fashionable tags colour-coded to reflect a traveller’s status.

The new-look Qantas Luggage Tags replace the iconic Q Bag Tag ‘coasters’ launched in 2010, although they lack the RFID technology through which those palm-sized discs streamlined the process of checking luggage onto a flight.

That tech’s effectively been made redundant, Qantas says, since the introduction of app-based luggage tracking across its domestic and international flights. (We’re not to sure on that score, as we’ll explain later in this article.)

In fact, these slim new luggage tags aren’t meant for checked luggage at all – although you can continue to use your existing Q Bag Tags for bag drop functionality on domestic flights, as they will continue to operate as normal.

The new-look Qantas luggage tags.
The new-look Qantas luggage tags.

Qantas says most frequent flyers have been using the Q Bag Tags for carry-on luggage (which honestly serves only to flag or perhaps flaunt their status) so the new tags have been designed for hand luggage and cabin bags.

“The new luggage tags will help our teams to spot our valued members, recognise their continued loyalty and deliver that signature Qantas service,” a Qantas spokesperson tells Executive Traveller.

Each tag carries an aluminium button (which we admit has a passing resemblance to an Apple AirTag) is colour-coded to reflect a frequent flyer’s status – from red for entry-level Bronze members to Silver, Gold and a dusky colour for Platinum – with a more lustrous button for Platinum Ones and black for Chairman’s Lounge members.

The new-look Qantas luggage tags are colour-coded to reflect your frequent flyer status.
The new-look Qantas luggage tags are colour-coded to reflect your frequent flyer status.

The straps are made from recycled materials, with most frequent flyers seeing black strap while Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members get a caramel-coloured strap; on all straps there’s space on the back where Qantas suggests travellers write their contact details “using a permanent marker.”

The new-look Qantas luggage tag.
The new-look Qantas luggage tag.

Platinum One members will automatically receive their new luggage tags in the coming weeks.

Qantas says frequent flyers who attain or retain Gold, Platinum or Platinum One status will be offered the choice of a Qantas Luggage Tag or a ‘leaf’ to accelerate their progress towards Green Tier status.

Members who attain Silver status will likewise be offered the choice of a Qantas Luggage Tag or a Green Tier leaf, while Bronze members can purchase a red tag from Qantas for $20 or 3,480 Qantas Points.

Qantas has yet to advise if luggage tags will automatically be issued to frequent flyers holding lifetime Qantas status

The new-look Qantas luggage tag is intended for carry-on bags.
The new-look Qantas luggage tag is intended for carry-on bags.

Why you should keep using your Q Bag Tag

Qantas was well ahead of the high-tech baggage tracking curve with the 2010 launch of its RFID-enabled Q Bag Tags as part of the streamlined domestic Next Generation Check-in initiative.

Each Q Bag Tag contains an RFID chip which synchronises the traveller’s flight details with their baggage, and then lets the bag be identified by Qantas using RFID scanners and a ‘baggage reconciliation system’.

Qantas launched its smart Q Bag Tag 'coasters' in 2010.
Qantas launched its smart Q Bag Tag 'coasters' in 2010.

However, there was no way for travellers to access that system and receive assurance that their bags have been loaded onto the plane or are headed for the luggage belt.

By comparison, Qantas says its app-based luggage tracking lets passengers receive on-screen notifications on their smartphone

  • after their luggage has been dropped off at check-in
  • when the bag is ‘in transit’, having been scanned in the baggage loading area ahead of being transferred to your aircraft
  • and upon arrival, when bags have been delivered to the carousel
The Qantas App now helps track your checked luggage.
The Qantas App now helps track your checked luggage.

And for what it’s worth, we’ll make it clear that the Q Bag Tags and app-based luggage tracking are different and arguably quite complementary systems.

With a Q Bag Tag associated with your booking via your boarding pass, there’s no need to line up at a check-in kiosk to print out and then fumble with a luggage sticker before taking your bag over to the drop point – you can skip the kiosk and go straight to the baggage drop zone.

So the Q Bag tags are less about actual bag tracking and more about a replacement for manual check-in and paper tags. They still work brilliantly at that job, and they work fine with the Qantas app-based bag tracking.

App-based luggage tracking and AirTags 

In addition, app-based luggage tracking is also very different to the real-time tracking provides by gizmos like Apple’s AirTags.

Instead, the process relies on each bag being physically scanned at a small number of specific points along the way, while the ‘in transit’ stage doesn’t actually indicate the bag has been loaded onto your flight.

We’d suggest no airline bag-tracking app will replace the utility value of AirTag-style trackers, which deliver (mostly) accurate geo-positioning of a bag with live ‘real-time’ tracking and have become an increasingly common part of the modern traveller’s arsenal.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

20 Aug 2014

Total posts 160

Huh? They're designed for cabin baggage? Why would you need them in there? Given that half the passengers on some flights are Gold or above I doubt: “The new luggage tags will help our teams to spot our valued members, recognise their continued loyalty and deliver that signature Qantas service,” is the reason.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 53

Ive checked cabin baggage at the last minute especially in the states where they offer that service at the gate.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Mar 2019

Total posts 4

It would be particularly miserable to not offer them to members with a lifetime status.....

29 Jan 2012

Total posts 177

Simply -  what a waste of time and money. Nothing more than free advertising for Qantas with a touch of elitism thrown in. 

If they tracked luggage or in fact had a functional purpose of some kind, then maybe, but as they are - say no more!

Joe
Joe

03 May 2013

Total posts 673

It's the strap that will stand out to QF employees, not the badge. Black strap = meh passenger, Tan strap= Make an effort.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Apr 2017

Total posts 29

Would have been nice if they made them so they had a slot/pouch that could hold an AirTag.    My QFF annual reset is next Friday, so will be interesting to see if they send anything out.  Considering they stopped issuing physical cards years ago, all I get from QF now is an email with confirmation of status requalification. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 53

I have a Samsung Smart Tag in all of my checked luggage.. Even if it had tracking its easily torn or taken off the bag and you will never find it anyway.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 97

Oh for pete's sake! Spend money on things that actually matter! And "help our teams to spot our valued members" LOL! So when you drop down a level, you just keep using your higher level tag and get to pretend, demand, expect or actually receive attention for something you're not?! Good plan *rolls eyes again about Sydtas*...

Etihad - Etihad Guest

13 Jun 2019

Total posts 12

A complete waste of time and money. There is no point being recognised as a valued customer because every time Qantas call a flight to board, there are more pax in the Premium queue that the red queue. The whole concept of gaining Lifetime Gold, Platinum, Platinum Plus or actually paying to fly Business Class is eroded by the long premium boarding queue that Qantas does nothing to police. Even paying for domestic business is a waste because economy passengers now have worked out that they are better off stowing their buckets & spades and household contents in the business class overhead lockers, so there is now no space for actual business class pax to store their carry-on. Its a nightmare for the cabin crew crew to find space for passenger carry-on because we as a society are now so time poor and self important that we must carry everything onto the aircraft because we cant wait 10-15 minutes for luggage on the carousel. The other issue on domestic flights is the bathrooms. Nothing is done to segregate the passengers who pay to fly business, so ther is a never ending conga line of economy pax using the business lavatory. Qantas likes to consider itself a premium product charging premium prices but they do nothing to justify that reputation by preserving the entitlements that premium passenger expect and pay for. So whats to point of a colour coded bag tag?

05 Jan 2023

Total posts 4

I couldn't have said it better myself

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

17 Dec 2014

Total posts 7

Yes, as most comments say, "What a waste of money!"  Boarding passes tell Qantas staff what QFF status a passenger has and they couldn't give a toss.  Upon boarding, Platinum One members used to be welcomed by name but not any more.  As if staff are going to be checking out passengers' cabin bags.  Jetstar's the airline that does that...

Tav
Tav

20 Oct 2020

Total posts 15

I quite like them - they look stylish. Before the “coasters” it was pretty normal to have your FF tag on your hand luggage (and still is on most other airlines) but the coasters were too big and clunky for carry on. These look great. I’m not so bothered about flaunting status (I’m Gold so……. yeah) but they’ll be nice to have on the bag as something Australian when traveling internationally.

Also - I expect Qantas are cost saving here vs the RFID coasters but hey, a rare win-win.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 May 2017

Total posts 17

Hmm.  They look…. Interesting. Not bad, but a bit of a waste.

Absolute cop out that they aren’t RFID though, or tracking in some way! (Or as Johns said, to hold an AirTag or similar!). That is the best feature. If you don’t have RFID you have to print out a paper tag for checked. Silly. 

People only have them on their carry on luggage currently probably cuz everyone got 2 tags, so they had a spare. Or light traveller never using checked. 

I use checked luggage rarely, but when I do I appreciate the streamlined process of not needing an additional stop on my journey and a paper tag. 

Qantas know who you are ok flight from the manifest already - they’re not gonna rely on a possibly out of date tag.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

22 Aug 2015

Total posts 53

The RFID is for domestic only and I mainly travel OS so a new non rfid tag wouldn't bother me... All my checked bags have a Samsung Smart Tag in them anyway as the "old" coaster ones are easily removed by a disgruntled baggage handler or opportunistic thief at an airport carousel

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Sep 2011

Total posts 9

Having just waited 80 mins for my bag to be delivered from a domestic flight at Sydney, I wish they'd spent the money on more baggage handlers instead of trinkets.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

02 May 2014

Total posts 20

Now we go from the “ Look at me” walk of shame as we file pass the Business J Passengers ( many who may be on the Taxpayers Teat) to the now “Look at me” as I parade around the airport, but more obviously as I show my “Status” on my daily commute in the real world of the daily grind on the streets wherever I happen to be. QANTAS has attached free advertising to every person silly enough to attached one of these logos to their hand held whatever. I’d rather attached a tag of my Richmond AFL team membership that clearly defines loyalty.

28 Apr 2021

Total posts 24

Most interesting to note that the majority of the comments posted are negative and the big question will the 'persons of consequence comfortably housed in HQ read and take on board what is being voiced?

It is obvious that the Airline has a team of 'spin doctors' endeavoring to come up ideas less invigorating than a dose of Epsom Salts.

When are the many 'Passengers' who continue to support this once strongly admired Airline going to learn of Ground Breaking News that a much higher level of In Flight catering will be introduced and the bar lifted on the Cabin service provided in all sectors of the aircraft.

Should we continue to live the 'Dream'?

22 Feb 2019

Total posts 6

"That tech’s effectively been made redundant, Qantas says, since the introduction of app-based luggage tracking across its domestic and international flights."

Can someone explain why RFID tags are redundant when used with app luggage tracking? How are they better/worse then app tracking with paper tags on your luggage?

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 1197

They are just a cheap luggage tag.  $20 for something that would be costing Qantas $2 tops.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 566

I will be more interested to see who will pay $20 for that red bag tag that says “I have no premium status”

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

09 Feb 2015

Total posts 385

Qantas lost my Q tagged bag last week and the very helpful staff member in Sydney said they are upgrading the Q tags towards the end of the year as the entire system is getting an upgraded and is currently going through testing now.

She also advised it probably best to use a barcode tag until the new system is online as they seem to be losing more bags at the moment because the IT system are having issues during the upgrades.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Apr 2013

Total posts 14

Here is Qantas opportunity for recognition for LTG and LTP. Why not a LTG tag in Gold with the beige strap or different design with maybe gold with a Qantas red circle around it? 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Sep 2021

Total posts 16

I not so sure that baggage handling staff take any notice.


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