December 17 2010 by Chris McGinnis
Most business travelers reading this rarely check bags when on the road for business, anyway. But for holiday trips home, bag contents frequently expand to include winter coats, formal wear, gifts and plenty of other extraneous items--especially if kids are involved.
Shipping bags via FEDEX or UPS sounds like a great idea until you look at rates. Shipping luggage is not cheap--or fast. To get rates that meet or beat airline fees, you must ship via ground which can take four or five days to get across the country. And distance makes a big difference when it comes to rates.
I checked with FEDEX to determine how much it would cost to ship a standard carry on-sized piece of luggage (10"x14"x22") weighing 35 lbs. from the FEDEX store near my office in San Francisco to New York, Boulder, Colo. and Los Angeles.
Keeping in mind most airlines charge $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second, each way, would you pay to ship or just check it with the airline and hope for the best?
SF to New York:
$199.05 each way- Standard overnight delivery
$160.60 each way- Two-day delivery
$ 42.50 each way - Four-day (ground) delivery
SF to Boulder, Colo.:
$ 175.62 each way - Standard overnight delivery
$ 96.75 each way - Two-day delivery
$ 25.65 each way - Three-day (ground) delivery
SF to Los Angeles:
$165.33 each way - Standard overnight delivery
$68.97 each way - Two-day delivery
$21.98 each way- End of second day (ground) delivery