Paying for convenience: American Airlines charges to deliver your bags

American Airlines is offering its luggage delivery service at US domestic airports and some international cities, and hopes to expand it further internationally.

American Airlines passengers travelling within the US and to some foreign cities can skip the baggage carousel and pay to have their bags delivered from the airport to their home, office or hotel.

The new baggage delivery service was introduced on Monday and aims to deliver bags from the airport to a designated address within four hours.

Charges are $29.95 (£19) for one bag, $39.95 (£25) for two bags and $49.95 (£32) for three to 10 bags – if the bags are being delivered to a location within 40 miles of the airport.

Passengers will be charged $1 (£0.65) per mile for addresses between 41 and 100 miles from the airport, the airline said.

The service is optional and passengers must still pay the airline’s standard charges to check in a bag: $25 (£16) for the first bag and $35 (£22) for the second.

“We think this service will be especially valuable to families travelling with children as well as our business travelers who need to go straight to a meeting or into the office,” said American Airlines’ David Vance, managing director – customer operations planning.

Baggage shipping services are offered by third party companies globally, but American Airlines says it’s curently the only US airline to offer this type of service.

Rather than shipping luggage in advance of a trip, American Airlines’ service – run by the airline’s partner, BAGS VIP Luggage Delivery – differs as bags travel with passengers on the plane and are then picked up at the traveller’s destination airport and forwarded on.

In Europe, Alitalia offers a door-to-door baggage delivery service to passengers travelling on flights within Italy or to other European destinations on its network.

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