Ask for the Orange Tag

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A few weeks ago I was checking in at a (First Class) kiosk for my US Airways flight. As the attendant was putting the baggage tags on my suitcase, I decided to speak up and ask if she had one of the orange priority tags. After verifying that I was eligible for it, she quickly attached it, adding “I’m glad you said something because we can’t tell from the display who has status and who doesn’t.”


This past weekend I opted to check my bags with the skycap to avoid the long lines for United snaking around Dulles (at 7AM on a Saturday no less!). As he pulled out my baggage tags, I asked for a priority tag which he happily attached.

But I had to ask.

I wondered how many people in front of me, some of whom clearly knew the travel ropes since they were in that line, had elite status but didn’t have their bags tagged with that special orange sticker. It’s not something I usually think about. I rarely check a bag, when I do I assume because I’m in a preferred status line, orange stickers are the default.

And yes, I do know what they say about assuming.

So when checking bags, don’t forget to (nicely) ask for the priority tag, just in case they can’t tell or don’t remember.


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Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories.


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  1. John777

    March 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    Now they just have to consistently offload those bags first.

    • Jeanne

      March 27, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      John: I think yesterday was the first time I had my bag offloaded first.

      Keri: I also got into the habit of pulling off my old tag in front of them since I always had to ask too.

  2. Keri

    March 27, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    I must have unusual travel karma because I can’t think of any instance in the last couple of years where mine haven’t been out before the untagged bags. And hopefully this hasn’t just jinxed it 🙂

  3. Jerry Fu

    March 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    I’ve never had this issue on a *A carrier…I’ve had silver elite for 2 years and have gold this year. And I’m also DC-based, so I use both aforementioned airports.

    Even if they can’t tell from the screen, your boarding pass indicates your elite status / priority boarding status, and if you’re checking a bag, I’m pretty sure they ask to see your boarding pass first…so maybe you just had the misfortune to end up with, ahem, the not-so-sharp tools in the shed 🙂

    • Keri

      March 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm

      That is a distinct possibility 🙂

  4. patrick

    March 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    I’ve had the same problem with AA.

  5. Pingback: Why You Should Always Get the Orange Priority Tag on Your Star Alliance Bags - Heels First Travel

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