I have a question about luggage. The airlines have added several fees for checking bags, sometimes up to $15 for the first and $50 for the second—and they still lose my bags (or send them to the wrong place). Is there a better way to send luggage, or do I have to cram two weeks’ clothes into my carry-on bags?
-Jim, Nashville, Tenn.
Well, Jim, as I always say, there are only two kinds of luggage: carry-on and lost. And nothing makes me angrier than luggage fees, especially when you consider the airlines used to lose my luggage for free!
This is where it often makes sense to ship your luggage ahead of time. Dedicated luggage-shipping companies, such as Luggage Forward and Luggage Concierge, take the work out of it. They offer door-to-door service, provide all the forms, and insure your bags.
But, if you want to save a few dollars, plan ahead with UPS, FedEx, or DHL. A 40-pound bag shipped cross-country with FedEx Ground’s four-day service costs about $33. For domestic travel, these services work like a charm. However, keep in mind that shipping items abroad can be prohibitively expensive. That said, international services are also available from shipping companies.