Posted October 29, 2008 by Zak Patten
One of the biggest hassles for air travelers today is dealing with baggage. It's always been a "drag" to haul a huge broken-wheeled suitcase across a parking lot, but lost luggage remains a problem, and most carriers have instituted fees, even for first-checked bags. That's why United's new partnership with Federal Express is so welcome. Rather than having to schlep your bags to and from the airport at both ends of a trip, FedEx will swing by your home or office, collect your bags, and deliver them to your destination within 24 hours. Prices for this service start at $149 each way.
Back when United began charging for checked bags, BookingBuddy blogger Heather Gilbert took it rather hard, attributing a personal packing crisis to the new policy. As she wrote in February, "I’ve never gone on vacation and actually worn all the clothes I’ve packed. Most of my clothes are simply an insurance policy meant to cover my various whims and 'what-ifs.'" This spring, her fellow blogger Nicki Krawczyk came up with the ingenious solution of wearing all of her clothes onboard: "That’s right: all four sweaters, three shirts, two pairs of jeans and two pairs of khakis. You’ll be warm and rather bulky, but since other people don’t seem to care about encroaching on your seat space, you can pay that back in full."
Perhaps such extreme measures aren't necessary anymore. United's new service isn't cheap, but it's highly competitive with more established luggage-shipping services. According to the Wall Street Journal, United will get your 50-pound suitcase from Santa Monica to Manhattan for $179 one-way, while the same service from Luggage Forward would run you $364, and Luggage Concierge would charge $333.
So maybe it's time to travel light. You can throw your laptop and a few snacks into a carry-on and head on over to the airport. Leave the heavy lifting for the experts.
(Photo: Perfect Flight)
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