I heard a story on Marketplace a few days ago about an idea whose time has clearly come. The air traffic industry has now irritated people so much with all the luggage restrictions and security regulations that a new industry has opened up: luggage courier services.
The story, “Travel with a lot less baggage“, interviewed the heads of two such companies, FlyLite and Luggage Forward. FlyLite is the coolest, because they offer a “virtual closet.” They’re aimed more at really frequent business travelers who are willing to spend some money to avoid the hassle. People send in their suitcase, travel kit, and clothes, and they are all stored in a cedar-lined “modular California-style closet,” after having been cleaned and cataloged, of course. Then, when you’re ready to go on another trip, you just go to your “closet” and choose what you want packed and delivered to your hotel.
Luggage Forward doesn’t offer the “closet” service, but they do courier all your stuff for you, door to door. They apparently tend to cater more to golfing retirees and vacationers, so they offer a lot of interesting choices in the “type of luggage” list: golf bag, skis/snowboard, surfboard, bicycle, etc.
Luggage Forward claims to serve every zip code in the US, and I assume FlyLite promises similar things. My questions is this: Where do they get all the couriers? I can’t imagine there are that many people using these services yet everywhere, so do they have sleeper couriers, ready to be activated at a moments notice? One courier for every state, ready to drive hours on end to fetch your bag? Where do they find these fine, dedicated luggage professionals?
Silliness aside, though, this is an awfully tempting service. Even though I am one of those travelers who can fit pretty much everything into a small carry-on for a short trip, or a standard one for a long trip (1 month in China in one carry-on bag, baby!), I must admit, I have started leaving my laptop behind unless I’m really going to need it, because taking it out and putting it back in the bag going through security, not to mention having to deal with my jacket and my shoes and any liquids I might have, is such a pain. I wonder when I can justify having my luggage shipped somewhere?
-posted by Dana