Tim Foolery

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Never Wait in Baggage Claim Again?

Several years ago, United rolled out a service for people who don’t want to wait for their checked bags. Seriously, who wants to wait in baggage claim after a long flight, then drag your suitcase on the train back home or to your hotel?

While I hate waiting at baggage claim, hell, I hate waiting in general, but the idea of paying for bag delivery, just boggles my mind. I have never used this service, but I am tempted to see if it offers any real benefit in my life.

I write this from Denver and the cost to ship my bag from Chicago would have been. $29.95 each way. Now if I didn’t have status, or a United credit card, I would have had to pay $25 to check my bag, then pay nearly $30 for  the bag to be delivered. You can have two bags delivered for $39.95 and three for $49.95.

So, how does this service work?  You pack your bags and fillout an online form that includes airline, flight and destination info, schlep the bags to the airport, wait in line to check your bag (I find waiting for the contract workers to pull and apply your baggage tag to be the longest and most excruciating part of the checkin process. There are often several people just standing around, but they aren’t allowed to tag your bag…or they aren’t allowed to throw your bag on the belt once it is tagged), you pay your bag check fee (if applicable) and move on to security.

Once you arrive at your destination, you just head out to your cab or car and go about your business.  You’re luggage will be delivered to the address you entered while registering online. Your bags will arrive within four to six hours of landing (if you are going less than 40 miles your bags will arrive within four hours and less than 100 miles in six hours – more than 100 miles requires a conversation with the vendor).

I can find a couple circumstances where this could make sense: heading to a meeting right after landing and not wanting to deal with a baggage claim delay; wanting to visit/explore a city on vacation, but not wanting to go to the hotel first (early arrival, but can’t check in until 15h00). Other than that, I can’t understand how this service makes sense.

I can see if these fees would be in place of the checked bag fees, this may make financial sense in some, I can’t ever see myself paying for a bag delivery service under the current structure.

What do you think? Have you used this service? What circumstances led you to the decision? Would you do it again?


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