Luggage Shipping Offers Alternative to Checking Bags at Airport


"Most hotels are cooperative, but Vegas loves to nickel and dime," Altomare said. "We work out deals with them on a case by case basis."

Both the Courtyard Times Square South in Manhattan and the Hilton Los Angeles Airport told they do not charge a "holding fee" to guests with luggage shipped there prior to their arrival, but employees from both the Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas confirmed that they do charge a "small handling fee," which covers unloading the baggage, entering it into their databases and scanning it through x-ray machines.

Other companies like Luggage Forward ship internationally to over 200 countries and even deliver suitcases onto cruise ships like the Holland America Line. Unlike LugLess, Luggage Forward works with various partner companies that offer discounts. For example, AAA members can take advantage of a special 20 percent off promotion. Luggage Forward is "all-inclusive and has no hidden surcharges," compared to Luggage Free, which charges an extra $50 delivery fee on top of the initial fee.

"From the beginning, we knew the right thing to do was to include everything that's required to provide the best service," said Luggage Forward co-founder Zeke Adkins. "The only thing that would make the cost go up is to get more insurance."

Adkins said one of the main advantages to shipping versus checking baggage is "the peace of mind" travelers get when they choose to sign up for their service.

"It provides you with a whole additional set of benefits," Adkins said. "We pick it up at your door, have it delivered, and call you to let you know your bag is waiting for you there. It adds an extra layer of convenience."

Both Adkins and Altomare agreed that convenience is one of the main factors that travelers consider when deciding the ultimate question – "to check, or not to check."

"For a family of four, the nightmare of traveling with kids and bags is sometimes too much too bear," Altomare said. "We may be $10 more or double the price than what airlines charge but we provide a service that customers actually benefit from. How do they benefit from lugging their own bags to and from the airport?"

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