I like when airlines introduce products for travelers that provide value and convenience and I’m willing to pay a reasonable fee for them. Last summer, American Airlines introduced a baggage delivery service, which delivers bags directly to a traveler’s final destination, allowing them to bypass baggage claim.
Working with an outside company, BAGS VIP Luggage Delivery, they offer a seamless process allowing travelers to sign-up for the service in advance of their flight, then simply check-in their specially coded bags as normal. On arrival, the traveler skips baggage claim and the luggage is delivered within four hours.
I think it’s a great idea and having the service connected directly with the airline ensures a more error-free experience. Also the economics of scale, offering the service to all of American’s millions of customers, allows the delivery company to do it at a reasonable price.
How it works
When booking online, travelers get the option to select the baggage delivery service. They are directed to create an account, which includes the destination and delivery address, along with their American reservation locater code. After signing up, when the bag is checked, it’s tagged with a special indicator, so the BAGS VIP Luggage Delivery people can spot it on arrival. The bags are then delivered to the traveler’s desired destination within four hours of arrival.
What it costs
For the first bag, the cost is $29.95, add $10.00 for the second bag. The more bags, the greater the value as the cost for 3-10 bags is $49.95. This fee covers delivery up to 40 miles from the airport, add $1 per mile beyond that, with a maximum distance of 100 miles. These fees are just for the baggage delivery service, they are in addition to any checked baggage fees American may impose.
Restrictions and limitations
The service is available for domestic destinations and is available from all domestic departures and a group of international cities (those with US Customs pre-clearance).
Is it worth it?
I think it’s a great idea and offers a lot of convenience for travelers. With advance planning, I could easily take anything I would need immediately on arrival in my carry-on and let them do all the heavy lifting. Especially if I was returning home from a long trip, that way I could just get off the plane and head home, as I don’t need immediate access to all those dirty clothes.
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog travel4people.com. In the past six months, he has visited Turkey, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia and Canada and leaves shortly for Peru. You can follow him on Twitter @thefredsherman