Using a Luggage Delivery Service When You Fly

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This weekend I am presenting at the Frequent Traveler University conference in Dallas and I wanted to bring some fun goodies like t-shirts and bears to give away (confession: we also desperately needed the closet space back to prep for two kids).  I was going to fly the short flight from Houston to Dallas for the conference, but wasn’t quite sure how I would comfortably maneuver not only my (big) purse and carry-on luggage, but also this decent sized box of t-shirts and bears.  It could be done with the help of getting luggage carts a couple of times, but it really didn’t sound like my idea of pregnant fun.

Using a Luggage Delivery Service

Then I remembered about a cool sounding baggage delivery service that I had yet to find a good reason to try out for myself.  BagsVIP partners with United (and a few other airlines including Delta, JetBlue, American, Southwest, and Alaska) to delivery your bags to your home, hotel, office, etc. so you can skip waiting at the baggage carousel and messing the bags or boxes and leave the airport as soon as you land. I can think of lots of very practical uses for this including traveling solo with kids, heading straight to a meeting or presentation upon landing, or simply traveling with more stuff than you can easily carry by yourself.

To be eligible for this service, your flight must be originating from a US airport and the delivery service is only available at select U.S. airports.  They say your bag will be delivered within four hours of your flight’s arrival if your destination is within 40 miles of the airport, and within six hours if your destination is within 40 – 100 miles from the airport (extra $1 per mile for deliveries over 40 miles from the airport).

Luggage Delivery

Costs of Using a Luggage Delivery Service

Of course, this sort of service isn’t free… In additional to whatever charges the airline may charge you for your checked bags, you will may extra to BagsVIP for their delivery service.  In my case I didn’t have any checked bag fees from United, so I only had to pay the BagsVIP charges.

The charges to use BagsVIP are:

1 bag $29.95

2 bags $39.95

3-8 bags $49.95

Luggage Delivery Service

My Experience Using BagsVIP

A week or so before my flight I went to the BagsVIP website and purchased the service though you can schedule until one hour prior to your scheduled flight departure time. I had to input my flight info, the number of bags, the description of the bag, my destination information, etc.  It was a pretty simple process that only took a couple of minutes.

The day of the flight I checked my box in as normal with United and asked if there was anything special I needed to do since I was having it delivered via BagsVIP.  This started a whole chain reaction of confusion as I was told they don’t deliver bags, “this isn’t FedEx”, I have to claim my own bag at baggage claim, etc.  I showed them my confirmation from BagsVIP, but that didn’t help at all.  In the end I just trusted it was going to work and my checked box went into the airport in Houston with me a little unsure if I would see it safety delivered to my hotel in Dallas.

After landing in Dallas I spent some time in the airport at the Amex Centurion Lounge, and before I ever got to the hotel I had three email confirmations from BagsVIP first saying that my bag was picked up, then that it was on its way, and finally that it had been delivered.

When I arrived at the hotel to check-in, the front desk staff said they had a package for me, and indeed it was my box that had been delivered before I even arrived without me having to do anything!

My box beat me to the hotel!

My box beat me to the hotel!

In this case the service was well worth the $29.95, and I love that the more bags you have delivered the better relative value the service is.  There aren’t a whole lot of circumstances where I anticipate needing my luggage delivered, but I will certainly keep it in mind when I have more bags or boxes than I can easily manage on my own.

Have you used a service like this?  What was your experience?

Comments

  1. Thanks for the reminder – I always forget about baggage delivery services. This may be exactly what I need for my next trip alone. I am a bit surprised that they didn’t give detailed instructions on what to do when you checked your bags.

  2. I didn’t know a service like this was available. I have shipped my bags via UPS to hotels many times and that has always worked well for our family but this would be a great option for a last minute trip when you didn’t have time to ship ahead!! Thanks for the info mommypoints!!

  3. Just be careful that many US hotels are now charging to receive packages for you. I have family that lives in South America and every time they come to the US they shop a lot online in advance and use the hotel address for delivery. They were surprised with a huge bill charging a “handling fee” for all packages delivered. They charged per package which was a huge rip off. That happened couple times in different hotels.

  4. We use Lugless to ship one of our bags to Japan. We were leaving for a long trip and needed warmer clothes for Japan.. Despite a hiccup as we were leaving 2 weeks before we needed our bags delivered, they worked with me via email the night before. They even had me fax our completed forms so they could look them over and ensure we would have no problems. When we got to Japan, our hotel had the bag waiting for us upon checkin. I definitely would use a service like this again.

  5. How did they pick up your bag at DFW? Did you have to identify your bag (box) in advance so they would know which one it was? I assume the airport wasn’t checking bags against the claim sticker (rare/nonexistent in the U.S., but not internationally), because they didn’t have your claim sticker. The pick up part of this process seems a little unclear to me, as if it relies on luck.

    Their website says ” Bags VIP agent will retrieve your luggage . . . .” which is pretty ambiguous

      • But when you check a bag they give you a “sticker” which has the bar code, etc., for the bag. At some airports (almost always international, but I’ve had it happen occasionally in the U.S.), airport staff checks the code on your bag against the sticker to make sure you have the right bag. The Bags VIP people would not be able to prove that they had authorization to pick up your bag if they were checking.

        • Well since they only partner with certain airlines and in certain airports, I’m pretty sure they have the info/authority to manage the luggage for their customers with the airlines’ blessing. I don’t know the exact mechanics of how it all works, but I don’t think they are just going rogue.

  6. I was going to make a smart aleck comment but after reading the post in (thank you) I think I am going to start using this for my excess stuff. I travel for work with some Pelican flight cases with tools and supplies and in the past used FedEx to deal with it when I didn’t want to try wheeling three to four bags thru an airport. Again thanks now I can resume a carry on only lifestyle and save some big bucks (billable to client but whatever) as long as I hit the select airports!

  7. We used the takkyubin delivery service in Japan when traveling from Tokyo to Osaka. It was great to travel on the train with only a day bag. These are so common in Japan, there are many drop off locations, even in the lobbies of many hotels. I had no idea similar services were available in the States.

  8. I have used a similar service (forgot name of company) when in Okinawa and traveling to mainland Japan. Call company and bag is picked up at home day before leaving and then delivered to address (home or hotel) we will be at. Two years ago, we packed what we needed for our travel and sent the rest of our bags to Park Hyatt Tokyo. We sent to Osaka for 4 nights, went to Tokyo and stayed at the Conrad Hilton 4 nights, and then to Park Hyatt(4 nights here) and bags were waiting to complete our trip back to the US. Was great not having to lug our bags to Osaka and to two hotels in Tokyo. This is common in Japan and very useful. Did not know was available in US. Will keep this in mind for future use. Thanks for tip.

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