I don’t do a great job of packing my luggage. Usually, I am gone for 3-4 nights. That means that I usually have a little bit too much stuff for a carry on. However, I *hate* waiting at the baggage carousel for my stuff to come out. American and United offer baggage delivery service with Bags VIP. I tried it recently on two flights– one with each airline. The service is good, but not great. Whether I use it again will depend a lot on the circumstances. It certainly wouldn’t be worth it if you already have a shuttle waiting to take you to your pre-cruise hotel.
I flew on American in December 2018 on a business trip to San Diego. In January 2019, I went on vacation to Las Vegas via United. Both airlines use the same service provider. It was $29.95 each time to have one bag delivered. The price has since changed to $39.95, although that includes two bags. There is a lot to recommend the service.
First, the process is incredibly easy. You make reservations online and receive an email confirmation. When you go to the airport, simply check the bags in as normal. Both times I went straight from my plane to an Uber. Both times, all of my stuff showed up in my hotel. Nothing was missing, and my bags were well tended. I saved 30 minutes to an hour each time by not waiting at the luggage carousel.
The downside of a baggage delivery service is that they– of course– are not just delivering your bag. That means it may take a while. For the San Diego trip, it was a couple of hours after the stated time frame. Happily, I was already wearing clothes suitable for waiting in the bar. For the San Diego trip, I had to go downstairs to the bell desk to get my stuff. For the Las Vegas trip, the bell desk delivered it. The hotel wanted me to wait in my room. That was better than waiting in the airport, but still not ideal.
On balance, I will consider using the service again. It was great to get to my destination more quickly. However, in both cases I went several hours without my stuff. There were also inconveniences once I got to my hotel. There are circumstances where I will use the service again, but I will usually just save my forty dollars.