Traveling with checked baggage is a common feature, and, some might argue, a necessary evil, of making longer trips by air. While it is useful to have the extra capacity, it does mean that passengers will likely have to spend more time queueing at their departure and arrival airports. However, certain UK facilities offer various ways for passengers to avoid this, by dropping off their bags in other ways.
For passengers departing from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) with checked baggage, looking into the services offered by Airportr could be a worthy investment. The company, which also serves certain Swiss airports, enables users to have their bags picked up on, typically, the day before their flight. This means that, on the day that they travel, they can avoid dropping them off, and head straight to security.
Airportr allows users to have their bags picked up from their home, a hotel, or even an office within the company’s catchment area. This is an option for passengers traveling on various airlines out of Heathrow, with Qantas being added to this list in February 2020. With digital baggage receipts built into Airportr’s app, users can keep track of their luggage throughout its journey.
According to British Airways, the cost starts at £19 ($22). The carrier has also partnered with Airportr to allow passengers arriving by rail to check their bags in at Terminal 5’s railway station, once again avoiding check-in queues. This particular variant of Airportr’s service is free if passengers have already checked in online.
Photo: British Airways
Manchester’s BagsDirect scheme
Airportr may grow in popularity in years to come, given that, according to a recent IATA survey, 67% of passengers are interested in home pick-up services for checked baggage. While the company presently only serves Heathrow as far as the UK is concerned, other airports in the country have their own similar services.
For example, at Manchester Airport (MAN) in the northwest of England, there is a scheme known as BagsDirect. This functions similarly to Airportr, and can be used by all passengers regardless of their airline or destination. The airport claims to be able to pick passengers’ checked baggage up from 99.9% of UK postcodes.
BagsDirect users can book the service online, and print their baggage labels at home before having their bags collected. They are tracked at every step of the journey, and can even be delivered to passengers’ destinations at the other end of their flights from Manchester. For European flights, this can cost less than £40 ($46).
easyJet’s Twilight Bag Drop
Traveling with low-cost airlines such as easyJet can sometimes mean that passengers’ flights depart in the early hours of the morning. When coming to an airport from further afield, this might necessitate an overnight stay at the facility in question beforehand. Luckily for such travelers, easyJet has the perfect solution.
Specifically, at its bases in Berlin (BER), Bristol (BRS), London Gatwick (LGW), and Manchester, passengers can use the Twilight Bag Drop area to check their luggage in the day before their flight, as long as it is scheduled to depart before 08:00 (Gatwick), 08:30 (Bristol and Manchester), or 09:30 (Berlin). The service is free, and passengers simply have to check in online beforehand.
What do you make of these various schemes? Have you ever used one yourself? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments!
Sources: Airportr, British Airways, easyJet, IATA, Manchester Airport