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CNN.com – Luggage Box an Alternative to Toting Bags

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Airline fees continue to increase and checked luggage charges are no exception.  An article on CNN.com addressed an innovative alternative to checked luggage.

Frustrated with the baggage fees airlines seem to be throwing at you left and right? UPS has introduced a new product that reminds travelers of an alternative to lugging bags.

Ship your luggage and have it waiting for you at your destination. UPS is selling new luggage boxes that allow travelers to skip the suitcase altogether.

The luggage box is one of the three options The UPS Store has to offer travelers who want to avoid airline baggage hassles such as lost luggage and time-consuming security checks.

Luggage can be shipped as is, placed in a traditional box or shipped sans suitcase in the new luggage box. Shipping does come at a price, and the new box is extra.

A small, carry-on sized box runs $12.95. A larger box is $17.65. The cost of shipping is determined by weight, distance traveled and the service selected. The boxes are reusable and cut down on shipping charges by dropping the weight of a traditional suitcase.

If a last-minute change of plan were to occur, the luggage boxes — which meet airline standards — can be taken aboard planes. The smaller box meets carry-on requirements, UPS said in a news release.

UPS does not recommend this alternative to checking bags for international travel, because of duties and taxes associated with international shipments.

Although shipping luggage via air is possible, the high cost is likely to trump convenience for most travelers. Shipping bags via UPS ground transportation is priced more competitively with airline baggage fees, although generally still more expensive.

Whether travelers check their luggage with the airlines or choose to ship their belongings to the destination, travel insurance can still protect their personal items during travel.  Baggage & personal items loss can reimburse travelers if their baggage is lost, damaged or stolen during the trip.

This benefit is typically secondary to any other available compensation, such as restitution from an airline, freight company or even a claim with homeowners or renters insurance.

In addition to the overall policy dollar limit, there is normally a per item limit and may even be a limit on specific items like watches or other jewelry.

Some plans only cover checked luggage under the baggage & personal items loss benefit.  This would mean that items a traveler ships to the destination would not be covered.

Always refer to the certificate of insurance for details.