Don't want to check a bag? Ship it! - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Shipping bags may save money

Checking just one bag on an airline is going to cost you, but if you check multiple bags or an overnight bag, you could pay more than $100.

If you think there's nothing you can do to avoid this fee, there is another option. You could mail your luggage to your destination.

It will cost you, but weighing the dollars against your travel time and your peace of mind may be worth it.

"Shipped from here and shipped straight to your home, that's the convenience of it," says Debbie Starns, owner of Dilworth Packing Company in Charlotte, North Carolina.

You may actually save money if you have several suitcases, especially if they're heavy.

For most travelers, however, Starns says it's not about the cost.

"It's more convenience," she says.

The convenience of having your things waiting for you at your hotel or home is particularly attractive for parents traveling with children who get antsy standing in long lines at the airport.

Starns says it require some planning to make sure your luggage is shipped at least a few days before your flight and let your hotel know it's on its way.

One of the big bonuses of shipping your items in advance is that you can protect your luggage from being lost or damaged. 

By telling the shipper the 'declared value' of your luggage and paying a small fee, you're guaranteed a refund if any damage occurs to your luggage.

You can send your suitcase as is or box it, but remember, people working for the airline still have access to what's inside. 

So, be sure to lock up your valuables and don't ship expensive items like electronics or jewelry.

Additional Information:

  • FedEx covers the first $100 in value of your belongings. If your luggage is worth more, you can pay an extra fee to secure additional value. Assuming the items are packaged correctly, FedEx will reimburse you your Declared Value should the package be damaged or lost. Cases for lost/damaged goods are handled on a case-by-case basis.
  • UPS says when you purchase additional Declared Value Coverage, you are reimbursed for 100% of the value of your items, assuming everything was properly packed. UPS automatically covers $100 in Declared Value. If you ship from a UPS Store and allow them to pack the items for you, the Pack and Ship Guarantee allows you to get 100% of the value back plus the cost of shipping materials. Cases for lost/damaged goods are handled on a case-by-case basis.

The following information is from Kiplinger magazine (Source: http://www.kiplinger.com/columns/kiptips/archives/save-money-by-shipping-your-luggage.html).

  • If the cost is the same, note that shipping services have better delivery records than the airlines. They provide tracking numbers so you can follow online.
  • Shipping allows you to insure your items, which airlines don't.
  • You are more likely to get a refund from a shipping company than an airline if your luggage is lost or damaged.
  • You don't have to wait in long lines at baggage claim, which may be particularly helpful for those with children.
  • The key is shipping your luggage a few days before your flight so that it arrives at your destination when you do.
  • Note that some hotels may charge a fee to hold your luggage until you arrive.

The following information is from SeatGuru, a travel information website and part of TripAdvisor (Source: http://www.seatguru.com/articles/luggage_shipping_services.php).

  • Shipping your luggage allows you to use public transportation to reach your hotel or destination instead of transporting your heavy bags in a cab or limo.
  • In most cases, shipping your luggage is more expensive than checking it with an airline.
  • Private luggage shipping companies can guarantee on-time delivery and offer delivery monitoring.
  • Always call your hotel in advance and let them know your luggage will arrive early. Storage charges may apply.
  • Weigh your luggage before you ship it and measure it. Make sure that you meet shipping size limits.
  • Understand the shipping service's insurance policy.

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