Baggage fees offer opportunity for Hub firm
New baggage fees may be the bane of air travelers, but they could be a boon and a business opportunity for Luggage Forward, a Boston company that transports suitcases and sports equipment from a traveler's front door to his or her vacation destination.
For many people, the economic meltdown could wipe out the annual ski vacation, but for those who can still afford a few days on the slopes, Luggage Forward claims that it can now offer both convenience AND value.
Since its founding in 2004, Luggage Forward claims that it's always been able to offer convenience. In describing its "doorstep-to-destination" luggage delivery service, the company noted in a press release that travelers can simply book online or by phone and select a convenient pickup time. A Luggage Forward agent will then pick up the bags or skis at the person's home before sending them to the traveler's hotel, where the bags will be waiting when the traveler arrives. (The photo at right, provided by the company, shows a Luggage Forward agent picking up suitcases at a customer's home.)
Now that many airlines have begun charging baggage fees - a move that can add to the expense of a ski vacation - Luggage Forward said it can also describe its service as "an affordable, hassle-free alternative to checking ski and snow-board equipment" at the airport.
Luggage Forward said its basic service option would charge a local $94 to get his or her ski gear from Boston to Aspen, Colo. The company also has a partnership with Ski.com, an Aspen-based firm that sells ski and snow-board vacations. Ski.com members qualify for a discount and can ship their gear from Boston to Aspen for $89, Luggage Forward said.
According to Luggage Forward's calculation, the fee that it would charge someone to have their ski gear shipped from Boston to Aspen and back would cost about $25 less than the fees charged by airlines, which typically charge $100 each way for checking a third bag.
(By Chris Reidy, Globe staff)