You travelers tell us that "Baggage Fees" have risen near the top of your lists of airline annoyances. Certainly, the fees are getting ever more widespread. And UPS just got into the act with a new "luggage box" it would love to ship for you. But does this development mean shipping your stuff ahead makes any sense? My answer, at least for now, is that, onerous as it is, paying the airlines' fees is still a better option for most of you.
The pitch from the shipping companies is simple: Pack your stuff, have it picked up at your home/office or drop it off, and the company delivers it wherever you say -- hotel, resort, office, cruise pier, private residence, or whatever. The system can work the same way when you return home.
I currently know of four outfits that provide shipping service specifically geared to travelers' baggage: Luggage Concierge (800-288-9818, www.luggageconcierge.com), Luggage Forward (866-416-7447, www.luggageforward.com), Luggage Free (800-361-6871, www.luggagefree.com), and
For a better look at the process, I repeated a test I ran two years ago: the costs for two medium suitcases (30 pounds each) from the SmarterTravelMedia office (02129) in
The new UPS box does a bit better.
You could ship two of them, regular ground, for
The most two of you would pay your airline for one checked bag each would be
Of course, the cost balance could shift for some specialized types of shipment -- sports gear and such -- for which airline fees can get very stiff. You'd have to compare the specific shipping costs with airline fees to decide which is best for any given trip.
Obviously, most of you would find advance shipment of ordinary baggage to be an expensive indulgence, even by slow ground, and the cost of shipping a couple of bags overnight could easily exceed your airfares. But there's an undeniable appeal to forgetting your stuff and traveling light. If you feel like a splurge, check with a few of the four specialist companies and UPS to see how much it might cost for your trip.
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