Luggage Shipping Services Explained and Compared

On this page you'll find information about luggage shipping services and sortable charts that can be used to compare rates and delivery times for different services.

What is a Luggage Shipping Service?

A luggage shipping service is an alternative to checking bags when traveling by air. Your bags will be picked up from your house and shipped to your destination, usually via FedEx, UPS, or DHL.

What are the Pros of Using a Luggage Shipping Service?

A luggage shipping service will deliver your baggage directly to your hotel. Since you won't be checking any bags on your flight, this allows you to:

  • Spend less time at the airport by skipping the baggage pickup at your destination; and
  • Use public transportation to reach your hotel instead of transporting your heavy bags in a cab or other car service.

If you are traveling with baggage that is considered overweight by an airline, it may be less expensive to ship your luggage than to check it with you airline. Some airlines issue hefty charges for overweight luggage, while luggage shipping services usually have several different size and weight classes. See the sortable charts below for more information on delivery times and pricing.

Luggage shipping services typically perform better than airlines when it comes to the successful delivery of luggage.

What are the Cons of Using a Luggage Shipping Service?

In most cases, shipping your luggage is more expensive than checking it with your airline. Also, to get the best deal on shipping your luggage, you must ship it several days in advance. See the sortable charts below for more information on delivery options and pricing.

What is the Difference Between Using a Luggage Shipping Service and Shipping with FedEx, UPS, or DHL?

Luggage shipping services use FedEx, UPS, and DHL to ship you luggage. Cutting out the middle man and shipping directly with one of these services can save you money if you are willing to ship your luggage days, sometimes even a week, in advance. However, luggage shipping services offer a level of customer service these companies can't offer.

Some of the services you can expect with a luggage shipping service that FedEx, UPS, and DHL can't offer are:

  • Guaranteed on-time delivery - You need your luggage when you arrive at your destination, regardless of the circumstances. If your package is delayed, some luggage shipping services will expedite the delivery free of charge.
  • Delivery Monitoring - When traveling by air, it can be difficult to track your luggage delivery. Luggage shipping services have someone watching the progress of your bags, so if something goes wrong, they will correct the problem and make sure your bags get back on route to your hotel room.

Some Important Points to Remember when Shipping Luggage

  • Always, always, always call your hotel in advance! Let them know your luggage will arrive early. In most cases, the hotel will be happy to store the luggage until you arrive. But in some cases, storage charges may apply. Also, if the hotel is not aware of the delivery, they may turn away the package, leaving you luggage-less.
  • Weigh your luggage before you ship it. Some luggage shipping services have weight limits for different types of bags (ie duffel bag, roller bag, upright bag). Also, measure the length, width, and height of your bag to find its linear dimensions. Compare this with the luggage shipping service's size limits.
  • Read through your luggage shipping service's insurance policy. If something happens to your baggage, you need to know your options. For example, some services will pay for clothing rentals, or even reimburse you if you buy new clothes.

The tables below can be sorted by any column. Simply click a column header (i.e., "Service") to re–sort the table. Clicking the header a second time will reverse the sort. Have questions? See the Chart Key.

Large Bag (up to 65 lbs.) Shipped from New York to Los Angeles (Round Trip)

ServiceOvernightTwo DaysThree DaysFour DaysFive DaysSeven DaysPrice/lb.
Baggage Quest $498.34 $398.04 $288.56 $156.42 n/a n/a $2.03
DHL $647.14 $540.02 n/a n/a n/a $110.14 $1.69
FedEx $633.72 $491.64 $394.22 $102.24 n/a n/a $1.57
Luggage Forward $594.00 $548.00 $422.00 n/a $260.00 $244.00 n/a
Luggage Free* $712.42 $540.00 $465.74 n/a $338.66 n/a $4.53
Sports Express / Virtual Bellhop** $785.34 $608.464 $482.68 n/a n/a n/a $1.27
The Luggage Club $819.00 $631.26 n/a n/a $254.56 $254.56 $3.76
United Door-to-Door Baggage*** $179.00 n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a $2.75
UPS $669.36 $559.92 $386.08 $143.22 n/a n/a $2.20
USPS $216.36 $92.54 n/a n/a n/a $49.71 $0.76

*Includes 15% fuel surcharge and standard $40 pick up fee, subject to $2.00 per mile charge outside standard pickup areas.

**Weight limit of 60 lbs. (Sports Express and Virtual Bellhop are partner companies and offer the same prices.)

***Weight limit of 50 lbs. The Door-to-Door Baggage option is available for customers traveling on United Airlines flights within the 48 contiguous United States.

If a price is n/a, a price quote for that time frame is not available.

Small Bag (up to 25 lbs.) Shipped from New York to Los Angeles (Round Trip)

ServiceOvernightTwo DaysThree DaysFour DaysFive DaysSeven DaysPrice/lb.
Baggage Quest* $298.30 $232.98 $176.66 $119.08 n/a n/a $3.04
DHL $304.86 $236.74 n/a n/a n/a $53.56 $2.14
FedEx $310.12 $227.82 $94.74 $54.90 n/a n/a $2.20
Luggage Forward $312.00 $276.00 $218.00 n/a $168.00 $157.00 n/a
Luggage Free** $318.62 $252.50 $237.50 n/a $174.84 n/a $6.50
Sports Express / Virtual Bellhop*** $428.48 $319.24 $253.44 n/a n/a n/a $9.11
The Luggage Club $360.80 $272.38 n/a n/a $164.48 n/a $7.12
UPS $330.28 $260.62 $178.60 $82.82 n/a n/a $3.31
USPS $90.94 $40.48 n/a n/a n/a $27.43 $1.10

*Pricing subject to additional charges, not all inclusive.

**Includes 15% fuel surcharge & standard $40 pick up fee, subject to $2.00 per mile charge outside standard pickup areas.

***Sports Express and Virtual Bellhop are partner companies and offer the same prices.

If a price is n/a, a price quote for that timeframe is not available.

Comparison Chart Key

Service:
The company that will service the delivery of your luggage.
Overnight, Two Days, Three Days, Ground:
The columns titled Overnight, Two Days, Three Days, and Ground (4+ days) represent the different service options and the price associated with them. Overnight is generally the fastest and most expensive shipment. Ground shipments are generally the least expensive and can take anywhere from four to seven days to reach the destination. Contact your luggage shipping service for more information on service options.
Price/lb.
This column shows the cost for each pound of luggage. This figure is calculated by dividing the ground shipping price by the weight of the luggage. If a ground shipment price isn't available, the price/lb. is calculated using the three day shipment price.

Disclaimer

This is meant to be a general guideline of competitive services and prices. It is not meant to be used as a means of obtaining a price quote for luggage shipping services. For price quotes and service options, please contact the luggage shipping service directly.

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