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February 17, 2010

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I've heard about this, but we pack really light. My husband can pack a backpack for the week and I use one little carry-on bag. We didn't have any problems at the airport and we never lose our own luggage. :-)

Hmmm interesting! I wonder what would happen if the timing was off, hehehe. I can see me going to try to find the local post office to claim my luggage.

My husband actually did this once. I think it turned out okay (certainly better than some of our airline luggage delivery experiences) so I'm not 100% sure why we've never repeated it. He also fedexed his car to himself when we moved from NYC to Toronto.

Last two times I flew somewhere was when I was going on a cruise. I don't think this would be worth it for me. Where should I send the bags to? The hotel? ...Don't know what room I'll be in until I arrive. Will the bags get there before I leave on the cruise? Will I have to get a taxi to the post office to pick up? This idea just doesn't sound like it would fit with my travel needs. I think maybe just spend the extra 20-30 bucks to have the airline send em and I can just pick them up at the baggage carousel. To me that seems easier.

Southwest baby, all the way.

It would be easier and cheaper just to pack less.

For it to be cheaper to use a shipping company for luggage you'd have to use ground shipping and it would only make sense in some situations like extra heavy or extra light bags, shipping 3 or more bags, shipping light bags or going a small distance.

Coordinating shipping bags could be a bit of a pain and you of course have to make a separate trip to the UPS store to ship the stuff out. Ground shipping is not very fast and has no guaranteed delivery times.

I shipped our luggage via the postal service to Europe for our honeymoon. I reviewed the shipping options and chose an economical option that provided an acceptable delivery time frame. So, a week before the wedding, our luggage was headed to our destination. Even though we had to go to the local post office to pick it up, it was so convenient instead of going to baggage claim.

We packed 2 days worth of clothes in carry-on luggage and enough toiletries in travel sizes to get by on. This was a great choice because we did not have a single flight reservation to our destination and we would have continually un-checked and re-checked baggage during the trip. We "refreshed" our carry-ons and shipped the dirty and unneeded items back.

I agree this isn't the best solution for every trip. In the right circumstances, it can work wonders.

I have listened to a travel show on ktar.fm 92.3 in Phoenix called Around the World in 60 minutes. They talked to the owner of a company called Luggage Forward. Sounded like they had an excellent concept and provide an excellent service to anyone who is planning on traveling anywhere. Check out their website - www.luggageforward.com.

Glad to be of service.

I travel several times a month. Fortunately, I have Plantinum status on Delta, so I do not have to pay any of the fees. The unfortunate part is that many other fliers try to take more and more on the planes and many times the flights are delayed due to all the hassles of getting passengers settled with their bags and checking those that do not fit. It would just be easier if airlines increases the ticket prices a bit and then eliminated the baggage fees.

With that said, here are a few tips. Try and get you bag through security and then offer to check it at plane-side. Most airlines do not charge the baggage fees for those bags checked at the door of the plane.

Consolidate your flying to one airline so that you can get premium status. Premium passengers can often avoid baggage fees. If you are flying with a premium passenger, see if they will check your bag for you.

Look for low cost upgrades or use your miles to upgrade. Airlines typically do not charge 1st class/business class passengers for baggage.

Look into offsite parking facilities near the airport that also allow you to check in your luggage. Some of them have an arrangement with the airline to check in the bag, but then do not incur the fee. I use a place near the airport when I go on longer trips. They will valet park my car, check my bags, clean my car (for a low price) and drop me off at the door - all for a price that is lower than using the airport garage.

I've never shipped something to a destination...but I almost always end up shipping something home. I only travel with a carry-on, and there's usually no room for extras like souvenirs or things I had to buy because I forgot to pack them. So before we go home, everything that won't fit in the carry-on gets shipped home from the closest FedEx/UPS/USPS facility. It's cheaper than checking another piece of luggage.

Southwest woot woot!

My parents are going to Romania with British Airways and it costs them a little less than $1/lb to check in one extra luggage (up to 50 lbs). Shipping the same piece of luggage costs $1.49/lb + insurance and it takes 6-8 weeks to get to the destination.

Like @JimL, I also travel a lot and have elite status with Delta, so I don't have to pay for luggage. When I take a child or my spouse along with me on a trip (on a free ticket), I check their bag under my name so they don't have to a bag fee.

Years ago, radio host Bruce Williams mentioned that whenever he traveled, he shipped his luggage ahead of him to the hotel where he was staying. He had the hotel staff unpack everything and hang up his clothes, so he was good-to-go when he arrived. I always thought that was cool, for those who wanted to pay for the extra convenience.

This isn't a new concept, especially for traveling with odd sized/shaped stuff like golf clubs or fishing rods.

The biggest down side MasterPo can see is the need to ship all that stuff back. A lot of places you may go are pretty remote. No access to a PO or UPS store. And then there's the issue of re-packaging.

I think there should be a law saying that airlines have to let you check one bag for free for the price of the ticket. It's not like cargo space is not available or really tight on passenger airliners.

The charge per bag fee makes people try to bring everything on board with them, making the cabin cramped and less safe and boarding a nightmare.

The current policy also discriminates against people traveling with small children, vacation travelers, and the partly-abled, disabled, or elderly who can't manhandle their luggage up and down narrow isles, into the overhead bin, and through connecting airports.

But if you're a large, able business traveler able to manhandle your large bags and barge to the front of the line so you can hog the overhead bind space--woo hoo! You get to save money!

What's next--making passengers elbow each other to sit down during the flight or use the bathroom?

Buying a ticket should enable you to use the facilities on the airline, including the cargo space.

Just the hassle of getting the stuff to the USPS or Fedex store and picking it up at the other end seems enough reason not to bother.

Like JimL and Rich Avery I too am a frequent flyer so I have it easy comparatively. My other concern would be the quality of the hotel staff if shipped direct. I've had work materials sent ahead that couldn't be found more often than I have had luggage lost while traveling.

As a matter of fact, while my bags have been delayed a time or two, I am still using the same garment bag that I bought when I first started traveling over 1.5 million miles ago. Of course now that I say that....

I own a The UPS store and have two business travelers who ship their luggage to their hotel before traveling.
They ship all of the things the airport security will stop you for ( large bottle of cologne, shampoo, finger nail clippers and sewing kit, etc ). They take only what they need for one day on a carry-on bag. That eliminates having to go through baggage check-in and baggage claims. When they arrive at the hotel they tell the desk clerk there is a UPS package for the arriving guest, please have the bell boy bring it to the room. When leaving they attach the label we provided over the old label and leave it at the desk for UPS to pick-up. Then we call when the package arrives back at our store and they retrieve it.
WOW what convenience.

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