United offers travelers the option to skip the baggage claim

Why wait? New service will deliver bags from the airport to your door Photo: U.S. Army Photo

ATLANTA, Jan. 15, 2013 – Travelers who hate waiting for their bags at the baggage claim have reason to take note and take heart.

United Airlines, through its BagsVIP service, will deliver travelers’ checked bags directly to their final destination, as long as it is within 100 miles of the arrival airport, the airline announced. That likely makes the service a popular option for business travelers who don’t want to lug bags with them to meetings.

To start, the new service will be available to customers who arrive in Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles or Orlando, according to United. The airline plans to expand the service to more than 190 domestic airports “in the coming months.”

“United’s new baggage delivery service offers an alternative for travelers who prefer the convenience of having their checked bags delivered directly to their homes, offices or hotels,” Tom O’Toole, United’s senior vice president of marketing and loyalty, said in a release. “Our customers have told us this type of option adds value to their travel experience.”

American Airlines, also through BagsVIP, offers a similar service to more than 200 domestic locations.

With the service, a single bag delivered within a 40-mile radius would cost passengers $29.95. Two bags delivered within a 40-mile radius would cost $39.95 while three to eight bags would cost $49.95, according to a United press release.

Within 40 miles, bags would be delivered within four hours of arrival. Bags delivered more than 40 miles could take up to six hours to deliver, and a $1 per mile fee will apply for destinations outside the 40-mile radius.

To use the service, passengers must sign up at least two hours in advance.

As of July, the most recent statistics available from the Bureau of Transportation, United had 4.84 misdirected bags per 1,000 passengers, making it the 11th best airline in terms of baggage handling. American had 2.99 reports per 1,000 enplaned passengers, making it the seventh best airline.

Virgin Americas topped the list with the fewest mishandled bags reported per thousand passengers, followed by AirTrain Airways, JetBlue Airways, Frontier Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Todd DeFeo is an award-winning reporter and marketer, but his true passion is seeking out the bizarre roadside attractions, one-of-a-kind roadhouses and unique destinations that make the world worth exploring. He is also editor of The Travel Trolley travel blog.

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Todd DeFeo

Todd DeFeo jouned The Washington Times Communities in May 2012. He covers travel and Georgia. A marketing professional who never gave up his award-winning journalistic ways, DeFeo revels in the experience and the fact that every place has a story to tell. He also serves as editor of The Travel Trolley.


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