I am usually in favor of additional options for travelers without taking away current options, and it appears that the new VIP baggage delivery service option being implemented by American Airlines starting on Monday, August 6 is one of those options.
For $29.95, you can bypass the baggage claim area at the airport after your flight has landed and have your baggage delivered to your final destination within one to four hours upon arrival, whether it is your home, office, hotel or any other delivery location within 40 miles of the arrival airport which you may choose. Two pieces of baggage will cost you $39.95, and three to ten pieces of baggage will cost you $49.95. There is an additional charge for delivering your baggage greater than 40 miles from the airport.
According to American Airlines, “Baggage Delivery Service, enabled by BAGS VIP Luggage Delivery, is available seven days a week, including holidays, at more than 200 U.S. domestic airports and select international Pre-Clearance cities.” This service may be purchased when booking a flight at www.aa.com or up to two hours prior to departure.
For some passengers, this means no more schlepping bags in the rain, snow or heat onto buses or trains or stuffing and cramming them into the trunks of taxi cabs — if you can hail one, that is. This can also be beneficial if your flight arrives early and you want to explore your destination for a couple of hours — or perhaps go shopping — without lugging around your bags if you happen to be on a day trip with no hotel reservation. This baggage delivery service could even save time and a few bucks on a rental car that is otherwise not needed, without having to drive or worrying about purchasing fuel upon return of a rental car.
Because I usually travel with one bag with which I carry on the aircraft, I personally have no need for this service. However, this is one of those options which appears to be a win-win situation for all involved: customers now have a more convenient option which is reasonably priced, and American Airlines has a new way to increase revenue without taking away current options from its customers.
Will you use this baggage delivery service? Will other airlines adopt their own version of this service? Can you think of ways to further improve this service?