Shipping your suitcase

Do any of you have experience of Fedexing or UPSing your suitcase instead of checking it on an airplane trip?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Yes, I UPSed a case once. Went fine. Domestic only. I’ve never tried it internationally.

  2. I have done it many times when in the Army. I traveled quite a bit to the far east and shipped bags, equipment etc…mostly fedex. It was always at the hotel or base I was arriving at. However did have a customs problem with one case a few years back took a few days to get out of the airport in Bangkok. But that was our fault we didn’t have the case labeled correctly.

  3. bruno says:

    I have done it in Canada only and on the bus. It went fine.

  4. jo seno says:

    I work at a UPS Store and we ship them all the time. UPS goes by weight, dimensions (L,W,H), and where the package is going.

  5. 3D says:

    My grandmother does it when she flies twice a year from Chicago to Nevada.

  6. jo seno: When people send them, do they send just the suitcase as it is, or do they box them?

  7. MargaretMN says:

    Done it multiple times. The only time it was a problem was shipping it from overseas. Handle got broken, frame got bent and the suitcase was a total loss (contents were fine). Also I had to go through US customs with the suitcase.

  8. Lucas says:

    I’ve had them come across my path several times and they’ve always been shipped as is and not in a box.

  9. TomB says:

    Probably cheaper than checking them by now.

  10. dmwallace says:

    When I left the seminary (Gricigliano) my oversized, overstuffed suitcase was shipped (Poste Italiane, I think) back to me in the U.S. It was shipped as is, not in a box. It arrived just fine. My boxes of books, however, were lost to the four winds. :(

  11. mcford1 says:

    Cyclists do it all the time–passing a bike (in a hard case) through as luggage costs up to $150 extra, depending on the airline, while UPS averages about $75.

  12. Bthompson says:

    I shipped my stuff Fedex to school once in bare suitcases (domestic, but it was West coast to East Coast). It worked out very well. My only qualm was that something hard got smooshed, but that was more my bad packing.

  13. Emilio III says:

    I guess this explains the silly baggage-handler Southwest Airlines TV ads.

  14. Catholic Dad says:

    I just did it this Christmas. I shipped a box of gifts via UPS a week ahead of my trip, and we both arrived at our destination the 23rd of December. Perfect. It was much easier than checking and paying for a second piece of luggage.

  15. jo seno says:

    Fr. Z – you don’t have to put it in a box. Most people don’t. If you’re not going to box it, just make sure anything breakable is packed well. Actually, I would box it if you have breakable things in it.

  16. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    I looked into this for a expensive.recent trip to the UK. Prohibitively

  17. Agnes says:

    Does anyone have experience in Fed-exing or UPSing oneself to go to Hawaii instead of buying an airline seat? It’s -15 here. I’m just wondering.

  18. Frank H says:

    Agnes – great idea!

  19. markomalley says:

    My mother does that every time she travels and never has reported any problems whatsoever. The one thing she does is call the hotel she is staying at and confirms they will accept the delivery when it gets there. (I don’t have any experience in doing so…when I fly for business, I normally only take a carry-on bag, so no need)

    The one thing to keep in mind is the transit time of the bag. Ground transport is comparable to the checked bag charge. Guaranteed delivery (24,48,72 hours) would be significantly more expensive. If you ever travel from Point A to Point B to Point C or have two trips that are close to back-to-back, UPS/Fedex shipment of the bag might not be practical.

  20. I hate to say it, but there is probably less risk to ship something than to put it in the belly of the plan you are on.

    My mother and I discovered the hard way one time, that one airline set aside the luggage of many passengers, including ours, to take paid shipments. The airline then hired a third party to deliver our luggage back home. We were told it was on another plane and we would have it delivered for free the next day.

    So, we got home around 2:00am on a red-eye flight, and had some guy banging on our door at 8:00am with our luggage.

    I say ship it if you can, and insure it.

  21. oh – and the guy who dropped off our luggage the next morning told us that this was a common practice and that his primary job was to deliver this luggage on a regular basis. He set up a side business around it.

  22. PatrickV says:

    Happy New Year All!!

    Yes Father, I have shipped suitcases before, it always goes well. I usually keep a smaller bag with the necessities for the next day and ship the bulk the day before I actually leave for the destination.

    It has worked well sending things home, and to a travel destination.

    There is nothing like an unencumbered feeling at the air terminal.

    And no bag carousels.

  23. MaryJeanne says:

    Yes, we do this all the time….so we just walk on the plane with no worries about lost luggage…never had a problem. For us, it’s the absolute best way…

  24. isabella says:

    Every time I fly. When is the last time FEDEX lost something important?

    PS — FWIW, depending upon where you are flying, keep the FEDEX, UPS, whatever slip with you, because sometimes people without baggage get singled out for security attention. Then just tell the truth – I didn’t want my luggage lost.

  25. MarieSiobhanGallagher says:

    Yes, I shipped a box full of camping gear and food to take from NY to CA on a several week long hike in Yosemite. It was an excellent way to go, since it forced me to plan carefully, rid myself of needless packaging, and it afforded me time to realize if I had forgotten anything. My stuff arrived at my friends’ in San Francisco before I did.

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