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QANTAS: Show off your status with new luggage tags

QANTAS: Show off your status with new luggage tags

In a move that accepts the uselessness of the drinks coaster-sized Q Bag Tags with trackable RFID chips, introduced in 2010, Qantas is replacing them with Qantas Luggage Tags that do nothing other than advertise your status and hold your contact details.

Sure, they look stylish and advertise your status, but so does an Apple AirTag that actually does something.

a black zipper with a red circle on it
New Qantas Luggage Tags for use primarily on cabin luggage [Qantas]

Complimentary Luggage Tags

From June, Qantas will issue these new-look luggage tags to its millions of frequent flyer members. The Luggage tags use the colour of the disk, Qantas logo and strap colour to denote your status. Only elite Platinum One and Chairman’s lounge members get a brown strap, everyone else gets black.

If you are Qantas Platinum One or Chairman’s Lounge, you will automatically receive the new tags. As a lesser mortal, you will be asked if you want the tags or an additional ‘leaf’ for the green tier. If you are only ‘Red’, you can purchase the tags via Qantas Marketplace. Qantas Frequent Flyers with lifetime status (Silver, Gold, or Platinum) will also receive the tags without asking or cost.

a close up of a luggage tag
The now old-fashioned Q Bag Tags with RFID tracking technology [Qantas]


Qantas claims that the old Q Bag Tags are effectively redundant, claiming that they now have an app-based luggage tracking system for their domestic and international flights. I’ve been convinced that the Q Bag Tags have not been a credible way of tracking luggage for some time, and a Qantas service representative told me as much. They were a great innovation that never quite took off around the world or was adopted by other airlines. They are basically now old-tech and should be phased out.

The new Luggage Tags are a mere loyalty banner. Something to show off your status on your cabin luggage, which is what they are designed for.

“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 told ET.

If you are tied to your coaster Q Bag Tags – and I remain rather fond of mine, even though I consider them useless, then they should still work for checked luggage.

a group of black tags with white text
Qantas new Luggage Tags in recycled packaging [Qantas]

New Luggage Tags

Although looking like and seemingly could house an Apple AirTag, they aren’t, and they don’t.

They are literally a hollow aluminium shell plus a band colour-coded to your status. The straps are made from recycled materials – black for most and brown for Platinum One and Chairman’s Lounge members. You can write your name and contact details on the back of the strap with a permanent marker.

Qantas in-App Luggage Tracking

The Qantas app-based luggage tracking now notifies passengers

  • when luggage is dropped off at check-in
  • ‘in transit’, scanned in the baggage loading area before heading to your aircraft
  • on arrival, when bags are delivered to the carousel

The downside of not using the now old-fashioned Q Bag Tag is that you need to print out one of those fiddly and confusing paper luggage tags at the check-in kiosk. However, I have been advised by staff that the printed tags are more reliable than the Q Bag Tags anyway. I have also been advised never to use both on a bag. It confuses the system.

a group of black leather strap with a silver gold silver and bronze circle with a bird on it
Qantas new Luggage Tags by status – Red, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Platinum One [Qantas]

2PAXfly Takeout

These new tags look pretty, and I’m not completely averse to advertising my status. But that is where their usefulness ends. I will continue to have some kind of bag tag on my check-in and carry on luggage externally, whether Qantas or otherwise. I will also have an Apple AirTag inside all my luggage, so I know that they have been loaded and whether they are in the same airport as I am, whether travelling domestically or internationally.

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