tips and tricks – What does the 10 digit code on luggage tags represent?


That’s the IATA 10 digit “license plate” code. A summary can be found in this document, which gives this example:

The baggage license plate is a unique 10 digit number. The only
correct format of baggage tag number should be e.g. 7512123456 rather
than RJ123456.

In this example: “7” is the “leading digit” + “512”
is the 3-digit airline code + “123456” is the 6-digit bag number.

As such the last digit is not special in any way.

A list of three digit airline codes may be found on the IATA’s website. In your example, 176 belongs to Emirates.

The Wikipedia article for Bag tag also contains some helpful information. Note that the previous system used a two or three character airline code followed by a six digit bag number, rather than the 10 digit system now adopted. Per that article, the leading digit follows this scheme:

0 for interline or online tags, 1 for fallback tags (pre-printed or
demand-printed tags only for use by the local baggage handling system
if it cannot receive BSMs from a carrier’s departure control system
due to a fault in the latter or in communication between it and the
baggage handling system, as defined in IATA Recommended Practice
1740b) and 2 for Rush tags. The purpose of numbers in the range 3 to 9
as the first digit of the 10-digit license plate is undefined by IATA
but can be used by each carrier for its specific needs (commonly used
as a million indicator for the normal 6-digit tag number)

The full text of Resolution 751, which defines this format, is excerpted here. Complete details on everything related to the IATA baggage standards, along with far more material about interline procedures, should be found in the IATA Passenger Services Conference Resolutions Manual (PSCRM), which will cost you between $604.80, or $1737.75 for the “combo” package.