You’ve done everything right.
Even though you’re stuck in Economy Class, you paid extra for a bulkhead seat at the front of the cabin. At the direction of the crew before landing, you got your stuff together, packed everything back into your carry-on bag, ready for a lightning-fast exit as soon as the door opens. To get out of the airport as quickly as possible, you’ve left no stone unturned – or so you thought.
You may be the first one off the plane but if you’ve checked a bag or two on the flight, you’re at the mercy of your airport’s ground crew and baggage handlers. Being the first to the carousel hurts that much more when you end up being the last to walk away with your bags.
We’ve all had tight schedules at one time or another; meetings booked too close to your flight’s arrival time, an airline schedule change that caused a delay, unexplained traffic jams, you name it. It’s on days like these when every minute truly counts and the last thing you want to be doing is waiting for your luggage.
Well, wait no more. Below are some tips to get you out of the airport as quickly as possible and get you where you need to be without having to wait for your bags. You’re welcome.
First, the obvious. If you can swing it, travelling with just your carry-on gear is really the only way to guarantee a quick escape. If your trip is any longer than a couple of days though, travelling this light could be a challenge. With a little creativity, everything you need can still fit in a standard carry-on suitcase, a garment bag and your purse or briefcase.
As far as your free carry-on baggage allowance goes, (unless you’re buying the absolute cheapest Economy Class seat that restricts even your carry-on allowance – looking at you, UA!), most scheduled airlines will let you bring the following on board with you: 1 standard article + 1 personal item, as well as your airport shopping or duty free purchase.
To maximize space in your carry-on roller bag or standard carry-on suitcase, hang as many dress shirts, dresses, jackets and suits in your garment bag as possible. This should leave enough room for at least an extra pair of shoes and anything else you would have packed in a bulky checked bag. If you are staying in a hotel, choose one with laundry/dry cleaning service and recycle your minimalist wardrobe. Oh, and of course, wear your bulkiest outfit on the flight.
Fly Business or First Class for a Priority Baggage Tag
If your trip simply demands that you pack more than you can carry on (and if budget allows), booking a higher class of service can make all the difference. An under-the-radar benefit of flying Business or First Class is the beloved Priority Baggage tag. Sometimes used by airlines for even Economy Class travellers with tight connections, Priority Baggage tags (and handling) are a standard Business and First Class perk that always gets you out of the airport in decent time.
Sitting at the front of the plane by virtue of the fare you’ve purchased, you’ll be one of the first out the door to begin with, and you’ll often get to the baggage carousel with your bags already circling, waiting for you. If you are travelling on connecting flights, the Priority Baggage tag also greatly lessens the odds of your bags not making the second leg of your trip.
Airline Baggage Delivery
Did you know that if you’re flying within the U.S., at least a couple of major carriers offer a baggage delivery service? Yup. Both Star Alliance member United Airlines and Oneworld’s American Airlines can deliver your checked bags to your hotel, home or office, as long as it’s within a hundred miles of the airport you are landing in. Both airlines use BAGS VIP Luggage Delivery, and here’s how it works.
After you have a confirmed ticketed itinerary and up to 2-hours prior to departure (or at time of check-in), guests in any class of service can make a Baggage Delivery reservation online or at an airport check-in counter with their airline. Then, simply check your bags in at the airport, pay any related delivery fees and your bags will be tagged with your Baggage Delivery information.
After arriving at your destination, bypass the baggage claim area and head straight for the exit.
If your delivery address is within 40 miles of the airport, BAGS VIP guarantees delivery within 4-hours of your flight’s arrival. If the delivery address is between 40 and 100 miles from the airport, delivery is within 6-hours. If the drop is to a business address, a signature will be required to release the goods.
Luggage Delivery Companies
Working together with global delivery partner, Luggage Forward, Air Canada invites you to ‘enjoy the luxury and convenience of having your bags, golf clubs, skis or snowboard, bicycle and other gear delivered to and from your next travel destination, worldwide.’
Luggage Forward ships luggage and guarantees on-time delivery to more than 200 countries and territories using a clear and easy online booking system. Send your bags directly to your hotel or even a Seabourn, Holland America or Celebrity Cruises cruise ship! The best part may be their guarantee; you get your goods on time or full money back PLUS $500.
Travel, sweat-free, with all your creature comforts, work-related materials or sports equipment waiting for you at your destination, wherever it may be. Take advantage of the flexibility of packing or bringing back as much as you want and breeze through the airport with ease.
At the end of the day, time is money. While most of the above options are in no way free, they all save valuable time when it’s needed most.
Or, you could get one of these.
Now that you’ve streamlined your airport experience, would you like a flight with that? Flight Centre Business Travel, or FCBT, is your one-stop-shop to seamless business travel. Give us a call at 1866 940 0217 and see the difference expertise makes.