After a day full of security checks, airport food, stale cabin air and talkative seat mates, shoving to the front of the baggage claim line is usually the last thing a weary air traveler wants to do. But now there's an alternative.
United Airlines recently announced a new partnership with BagsVIP to offer a luggage valet for domestic passengers and, along with Boston, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles and Orlando, Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport was one of the initial markets selected for the service.
"United's new baggage delivery service offers an alternative for travelers who prefer the convenience of having their checked bags delivered directly to their homes, offices or hotels," said Tom O'Toole, United's senior vice president of marketing and loyalty, in a statement. "Our customers have told us this type of option adds value to their travel experience."
Travelers can have their luggage delivered to a home, hotel or office within a 40-mile radius of IAH for a small charge on top of the standard checked baggage fees — $29.95 for one bag, $39.95 for two or $49.95 for between three and eight. Additional charges of $1 per mile apply for destinations within a 100-mile radius of the airport.
While those who elect delivery get to skip the crowds at the carousel, they'll still have to wait for their luggage — up to four hours for destinations under 40 miles and up to six hours for destinations up to 100 miles away (or even longer if a flight arrives after 11 p.m.).
United and BagsVIP are slated to unroll the service at more than 190 domestic airports in coming months. Reservations for the service can be made online up to one hour prior to scheduled flight departure time.