Consumer: Now couriers can transport your luggage
If you've been putting every spare penny towards holiday spending money, you'll hardly want to waste any of it unnecessarily, writes Consumer Correspondent Claire McNeilly
But recent research has found that extras – such as baggage charges, allocated seating and check in fees – can mount up.
After surveying 12 airlines flying from the UK in 2012 and 2013, comparison website TravelSupermarket reported a hike of 66% in costs.
However, one local online courier has pledged to save travellers hundreds transporting bags across the UK, Europe and beyond.
Paul Stewart, founder of Uni Baggage (www.unibaggage. com), said holidaymakers – and not just university students, who are his traditional market – are increasingly sending luggage ahead of their travels to save money.
"Last summer we transported suitcases, golf clubs, and wakeboards along with many other bulky items," added the 24-year-old Belfast businessman.
"We offer a full door-to-door service, with online tracking each way, and we have partnerships with couriers that will pick up your luggage from locations all over the world."
A 20kg bag to Europe from any UK airport costs around £17 one way with a low cost airline such as easyJet, according to TravelSupermaket. Opt for 30kg and it will cost an additional £70 (if booked online) – amounting to a staggering £87 for one case.
In contrast, Uni Baggage, which has been in operation for over three years, can ship a 30kg suitcase for £18.99 within the UK and from £29 to Europe.
Belfast man Kyle Gilchrist (21), who works as a water-ski instructor in Greece, has used the courier service to save money.
"I have to take three flights to reach Lemnos, the small island I'm working on," he said.
"However, the small airline on the island does not accept large bulky items such as a wakeboard onto its aircraft.
"In order to get the board to my destination I usually have to pay excess baggage on my first two flights and then arrange to send it via a local courier once in Greece.
"This operation usually costs approximately £150, but by using Uni Baggage I saved £110 – as well as considerable time."
If, however, you prefer to travel with your suitcases, just think ahead.
Remember, most low cost airlines let you book excess baggage and sporting items in advance, which means you can save a fortune.
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