For a few years, United and dozens of airline partners (including American,Â JetBlue, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, and Alaska) have partnered with BagsVIP to offer a service designed to “make travel easier” with the option of having your checked baggage delivered straight to your home or final destination upon landing.
What is BagsVIP?
Luggage delivery by Bags VIP is available for flights that originate from any U.S. domestic location and arrive at a one of the 250+ participating airports.
The price for 1-2 bags is a flat fee of $39.95. For 3-8 bags, add an additional $10 per bag. That standard pricing is for deliveries up to 40 miles, and you’ll be charged an additional $1.00 per mile for deliveries 41-100 miles.
Keep in mind that checked-airline baggage fees are not included (though you do get two free checked bags with Southwest), so this can be a great service for those who have airline status with checked-luggage privileges or a co-branded credit card that offers a free checked bag when paying for the itinerary with the card (see below).
Credit Cards That Offer a Free Checked Bag
- Unitedâ„ Explorer Card
- The United Club Card
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card
- JetBlue Plus Card (see related post)
- JetBlue Business CardÂ (see related post)
- CitiÂ® / AAdvantageÂ® Executive World Elite™ MastercardÂ®
- CitiBusinessÂ® / AAdvantageÂ® Platinum SelectÂ® World MastercardÂ®
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
- American Airlines Aviator cards from Barclaycard
- Gold Delta SkyMilesÂ® Credit Card from American ExpressÂ and the Gold Delta SkyMilesÂ® Business Credit Card
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMilesÂ® Business Credit Card from American Express
- Delta Reserve Card from American Express or Delta Reserve for Business Credit Card
My Two Experiences
I used BagsVIP through United for the first time last year when I was flying home from Las Vegas. It was a good trip, so I did a bit of shopping which resulted in me having to check a bag home. While I loved the idea of leaving Vegas with new goodies, I also was aware that nearly all of the LAS to EWR United flights were oversold, so I was ready to continue my lucky streak by volunteering for a later flight for compensation since my plans were pretty flexible that day. I wasn’t going to let a bag get in my way of a money-making opportunity ;).
Not wanting to have any “responsibility” towards my checked bag, I checked in for my original flight and paid the $39.95 for it to be picked up at baggage claim and delivered home. Since my best friend was also traveling on that same itinerary as me and intended to fly on the original flight, I attached the checked bag to her reservation, putting my home address as the delivery address just to play it safe.
I’ll admit – Â I was a bit nervous to hand off my luggage to a stranger/courier, because a lot can go wrong if your bag goes missing or gets lost or stolen during transit. It was reassuring, at the very least, knowing that I had friend flying home on my original itinerary just in case I somehow ended up getting cold feet and needed her to grab my bag instead.
After the bag was checked and en-route to Newark [and then my house], I was able to successfully give up my seat and score a $500 voucher to take a flight less than two hours later.
During the time my bag was in transit, I received real-time updates about my bag as soon as it was dropped off at the check in counter at LAS and again when it was picked up at baggage claim by the courier in Newark. My bag arrived at my doorstep about 4 hours after the plane landed and it was a seamless experience and well-worth the $39.95.
I just used BagsVIP again with United this past week when I was offered a new-in-box printer by a client after an office visit in Asheville. Ironically, I was in the market for a printer, so I accepted it. Side note: Yes, I know there are plenty of printers on Dell.com where I could easily burn the $100 American Express Business Platinum credit that’sÂ offered every 6 months, but this specific Xerox printer retails for $299+.
Since it was a large and bulky box, the client offered to ship the printer to me, but the shipping costs would be over $80 due to weight and size. I suggested that BagsVIP luggage delivery would be a more sensible option since I was about to be on my way to the airport and would literally have it at my doorstep the hours later.
And just like that, I dropped off the printer at AVL before my flight and headed home. As promised, the courier delivered the 30-lb box to my doorstep a few hours later. It was a seamless experience and far more efficient and cheaper than shipping and having to wait a week for it to arrive.
Scenarios Where Luggage Delivery Makes Sense
I can think of many practical uses for electing for luggage delivery aside my two examples (“bump” opportunities and “shipping” a large and bulky box).Â Traveling solo with kids and a bunch of “stuff” immediately comes to mind.
Furthermore, if you’re traveling solo or as a family and intend to go straight from the airport to an activity or meeting, you can simply go about your day and trust that your luggage will be waiting for you when you return. Or perhaps you’re traveling and relying on public transportation and you simply just don’t have the hands to carry it all. Luggage delivery makes perfect sense for a small fee if you just want to avoid the hassle and headache of baggage claim all together.
As frequent travelers, many of us have [hopefully] mastered the art of packing and avoid the burden of checking bags all together, but there certainly some scenarios where it’s actually worth it to pay a small fee for the sheer convenience of skipping the long wait at baggage claim and having your bags delivered directly to your doorstep (or hotel or office).
Have you used luggage delivery before? If so, how was your experience?