UPS offers special luggage boxes to replace bags

Only days after federal officials
announced that the nation’s airlines had collected 33 per cent more revenue
this year from checked luggage fees, UPS offered its alternative to the hassle and
expense of lugging a suitcase through an airport.

The world’s largest package
delivery service has announced that it was selling specially designed boxes
that resemble suitcases. Passengers can ship the ‘luggage boxes’ to their final
destination to avoid the airlines’ check-in lines and luggage fees.

The new UPS boxes include carrying
handles and come in two sizes.

The UPS announcement came a few
days after the US Department of Transportation reported that the nation’s 10
largest airlines collected nearly $770 million in checked baggage fees in the
first three months of the year, a 33 per cent increase over the same period
last year.

The new luggage boxes are also
hitting the market as demand for airline seats begins to rebound from a
two-year slump.

UPS officials said they created the
new boxes simply to make life easier for frustrated travellers.

“It’s meant to be a convenience,”
said UPS spokeswoman Susan Rosenberg.

She conceded that airlines can
usually deliver luggage faster than UPS but said luggage shipped by UPS can
cost $30 to $80 less per package, depending on the route and the weight of the

Ms Rosenberg noted another
advantage to the UPS luggage box: a tracking number lets passengers know its
exact location.

That’s something airlines don’t offer.