For a few years, United and dozens of airline partners (including American, 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
- United℠ Explorer Card
- The United Club Card
- Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card
- JetBlue Plus Card (see related post)
- JetBlue Business Card (see related post)
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®
- Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
- American Airlines Aviator cards from Barclaycard
- Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express and the Gold Delta SkyMiles® Business Credit Card
- The Platinum Delta SkyMiles Card and the Platinum Delta SkyMiles® 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 – 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’s 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). 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?
Any experience with international services?
Angelina Aucello says
Unfortunately I’m not sure an international service would exist with third-party couriers because baggage claim at customs is a secure area.
What if your luggage arrives off your flight damaged? Who files a claim with the airline?
Angelina Aucello says
Great question, Patrick! Based on T&C it seems like they will file a claim on your behalf if your bag does not make it to the baggage carousal. More info is outlined here: https://www.maketraveleasier.com/bagsvip/terms
Terrrence Smithers says
I am truly grateful for your comments. I travel two to three times a month and baggage surely does get annoying. The idea that I could have my bags delivered to my house when I arrive home or to my hotel when I’m on business is truly exciting. I love hearing about your experiences and I’m wondering how do I get connected with bags VIP?
Angelina Aucello says
Hi Terrence, thanks for the comment. The next time you fly on a participating airline to an airport that’s served, keep an eye on your email inbox as the option for baggage delivery usually comes via your inbox around check in time. You can also check out https://www.maketraveleasier.com/bagsvip and book ahead of time there
Dianne W says
I used BagsVIP one time when traveling to NYC Laguardia. I wanted to take public transportation and not have to hassle with my checked bag. I was nervous about theft off the LGA luggage carousel, so I went there and waited until the BagsVIP guy showed up to get my bag. I was also worried about damage by the airline and the possibility that my bag wouldn’t arrive on my flight. I confirmed with the BagsVIP agent that my bag would be delivered to my hotel, then took the very economical bus and subway to Manhattan. The cost of the BagsVIP was less than the cost of a ride share or taxi. It took about 6 hours for my bag to arrive at the hotel, which was a little annoying, but it was NYC in winter.
I plan to use the service again this Thanksgiving on a trip to San Diego due to now having a service dog and having to take a train to my final destination. Luggage delivery will really make the trip less stressful.
Angelina Aucello says
Sounds like you had a great experience and were able to save money as well by not having to take an expensive uber to the city. Great strategy & convenience. Win-win
Do you know if they have any restrictions on wine?
Angelina Aucello says
Hi Dave! Don’t see how there would be any restrictions on wine. If you can check it in with the airline beforehand, the courier can deliver it.
Do you know if they will transport skis?
i use Luggage Forward for international and my bag gets to the concierge at my hotel days before me and then put in my room..I have used it for Paris and Japan…
The $39’95 says for up to 40 miles?? is that from the airport to home????