In the Aug. 23 issue of Aviation Daily, I wrote a story about two companies -- Las Vegas-based Bags to Go and Orlando-based Baggage Airline Guest Services (BAGS) -- which, for a fee, allow passengers to check baggage and get their boarding passes at off-site locations. I did a free story in April 2006 on how Bags to Go worked with McCarran Airport to set up pick-up sites at the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Venetian Hotel.
BAGS also operates the free Disney Magical Express service, which provides passengers staying in a Disney hotel free airport shuttle service, luggage delivery and airline check-in. I used it on a recent trip to the Magic Kingdom, and it worked like a charm. A Google search using "luggage service" as the key words came up with even more companies offering similar services.
Several companies are also now offering mailing services for people who are unable to carry their banned items past security. At Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Ken's Baggage will ship small items like tools, knives and scissors for $7 to U.S. destinations, $10 to Canada and $14 to international destinations.
I did an article in the April 10 edition of Aviation Daily about how Smarte Carte has opened Mail Safe Express outlets in 12 airports, including Dayton, Fort Lauderdale, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York LaGuardia and Washington Dulles. And North Carolina-based Checkpoint Mailers is another company that will mail smaller items from locations in 27 airports for a fee of between $8 and $32. Hartsfield-Jackson has a full-service U.S. Post Office onsite.
And for those who still want to carry things onboard despite the new rules, ePromos has created a new line of transparent backpacks and totes. As recent events have affected air travel, the company saw an opportunity for organizations to offer their traveling employees and customers a better way to get through security lines at the airport. They'll even imprint the bags with your company's logo.
Our friend at Upgrade Travel told us about the launch of WB Solutions' MyWetStuff.com on Sept. 5. The web site will allow travelers to pre-order trial sizes of their favorite water-based toiletries and travel amenities. The company will coordinate a traveler's flight plans and deliver a personalized travel kit ahead of time to his or her hotel. As part of its kickoff, the first 70,000 travelers to order from the site through Sept. 11 will get a credit for up to $15 toward their first order. Upgrade Travel plans to try it out and let us know how it works.
And last, but not least -- at least one airport refuses to join the crowd to make a quick buck. Daytona Beach International Airport has a program where it will mail back confiscated items no matter the destination, according to director of business development Stephen Cooke. "We also provide a small complimentary gift and a letter from our [airport] director when we mail an item back. Based on letters and feedback, the program continues to be well received by the public," he said. "We did see a temporary increase in mailbacks following the new TSA rules prohibiting liquids and gels, but most passengers at DAB quickly became aware of the new restrictions."