Recently a number of major US airlines, such as Delta, United, American, and Southwest, raised their domestic fares by $2 for a one-way ticket. While you may not think that this will impact your holiday flight plans you may feel the punch if your luggage, packed with all your Christmas gifts, weighs over the airlines limit as this could cost you an additional $15 – $100. Most of the airlines are now charging for your first checked bag and some even charging for your carry-on, it’s even more important to make sure you don’t get charged excess baggage fees as well.
Even with the extra cost of checking your bag with the airlines, it may still be your cheapest option. Some airlines, like Southwest, JetBlue and Air Canada, still offer your first checked bag free and others, like Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit, charge less for checked bags if you purchase at the time of booking. If you know you are bringing gifts with you, chances are you’ll be checking a bag anyway, so double check these rates before you book your flight.
If you are the type of traveler that prefers to travel with only your carry-on, this option may work for you. You can send your luggage ahead using either a standard delivery service, such as UPS, FedEx or DHL, or a luggage shipping company, like Luggage Forward, Luggage Concierge or Luggage Free. With either of these options you will be sailing through the airport without having to stop to pick up your checked bag – it’s up to you whether it’s worth the cost.
Standard delivery can be fairly cost effective if you send it far enough in advance. Just remember during the holiday season these services can get very busy, so make sure to plan ahead! While standard delivery can be quite reliable, as you will be able to track your bags while en route, it is pricier than checking your bag at the airline.
These services charge by size and weight and it’s cheaper if you bring your luggage to them and pick it up yourself. At UPS, a carry-on bag with the dimensions of 22 x 14 x 9 with the weight of 25lbs costs around $45 to send by ground from San Francisco to New York and will take 5 business days.
Luggage Shipping Companies
The luggage shipping companies are quite a bit more expensive and they also charge by size and weight. Luggage Forward will charge you for shipping a small bag, like a carry-on, with the weight of 25lbs $69 for delivery in 7 days. The bonus of paying that extra cash is you get door-to-door service and they guarantee to deliver on time.
Regardless of which way you choose to get your luggage to your holiday destination you still need to weigh your bags. This is where a luggage scale, like the Jetsetter Digital Luggage Scale, can be an essential tool in your travel gear toolbox – and it also makes a great gift for Christmas!