Travel Tech: Qantas Q-Tag

G’day Travelers! While I’m not a Platinum Frequent Flyer, well yet… I do take quite a few flights around Australia throughout the year. In 2016 decided to invest in a Qantas Q-Tag to see if it made any difference in speeding up the check in process on my Qantas flights. Also generally just to see what the experience was like.

If you don’t know what a  Qantas Q-Tag is, it’s an RF based electronic tag designed to replace the paper luggage tags we’re all familiar with in air travel.

What I like about the Qantas Q-Tag

Qantas Q-Tag
Qantas Q-Tag

Qantas has tried to make the check in process and quick as possible with online check in’s and self-service check in’s. However printing out bag tags for checked luggage always seemed to slow the process down, particularly trying to attach them myself.

With the Qantas Q-Tag the process speeds up dramatically. Just check in, drop your bag in the luggage drop and scan your boarding pass then your on your way… Well in theory. It does reduce the queues and makes the check in process in with luggage much easier. But I’ll run through some of the issues I’ve experience win the what I don’t like section.

Another plus for the Q-Tag is that I no longer have to remove the old bag tags. Something I’d forget to do until trying to attach the new one. It does eliminate those wasteful paper tags on most routes.

What I don’t like about the Qantas Q-Tag

Now the only major issue I’ve had with the Q-Tags is scanning it in when checking in luggage. Ideally it should pickup the Q-Tag straight away, but I find mine takes a couple of attempts to successfully scan.

Once it didn’t scan at all and I had to stand in a queue in the service line which just holds up the process. Not ideal, but something to keep in mind. Like all technology, when it works it’s great, when it doesn’t it’s a bit of a hassle. That said I’m not sure if placing the tag on another handle of my bag would improve its accuracy, but I’ve not been able to find any information about Q-Tag placement anywhere on the internet.

The other thing is it’s limited to Qantas domestic flights and only major airports. Smaller airports don’t have the facilities in place to use Q-Tags.

In an ideal world like to see a system where these RF style tags could be used between airlines and on international routes. However I understand that the tech required behind the scenes to pull that off would be quite a task.


Is it worth the cost? Not for a one off trip. However for those people who travel regularly, say every couple of weeks like I do, then the time-saving and convenience is definitely worth it. Hopefully the tech behind it continues to improve and expand to make it even better value.

Update – After a few more flights and plenty of testing I’ve found that attaching the Q-Tag to the top strap (near the handle) of my bag wielded the best results for being picked up.

For more information about Qantas Q-Tags check out the Qantas website –

What travel tech do you use in your travels? Let me know with a comment below or get in touch via the contact page.

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Rhys Vandersyde

Traveler, Photographer, Content Creator. I've spent the last 10 years exploring all over the world, but there is still plenty more to see.

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