Is there any bastion of human misery more wretched than the airline luggage check? Abandon all hope, ye who reach suitcase sizes exceeding 50 pounds.

AirFrance-KLM, at least, is trying to ease the pain. They’ve developed an electronic luggage tag that will let users skip the lines. Rather than waiting, customers will be able to use the eTag to digitally tag their luggage at home via smartphone, then drop it off at a designated area in the airport. Also available: the eTrack system, a tiny gizmo you stuff in your bag, and then tracks your luggage in case it gets lost. (Which it will, always, every time.) We’ve written about such tags before, and apparently the pilot test(heh) is kicking off at the end of this year.

Great. But, concerns: Couldn’t we have done this years ago by just printing our own luggages tags? And more importantly, will this one day be used as a way for airlines to squeeze pennies out of customers? My lack of legroom has led to cynicism.