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Interview with Luggage Forward Co-Founder, Aaron Kirley
July 14, 2014
I've read that luggage shipping makes traveling much easier and hassle-free. Is that why you started the company?
Yes, that definitely played a large role in creating our vision for the company. The idea for Luggage Forward was born from the fact that hauling luggage to the airport, checking it on the airplane and waiting at the baggage carousel is not a pleasant experience. It's the worst part of every trip. From the moment you pack your suitcase to the second you tow it up to your room, it is a burden to you.
We -- my business partner and I -- believed that a large amount of travelers would find an alternative to this way of traveling valuable and would welcome the innovation. When airlines started to lose more and more luggage every year, we started seeing more travelers interested in this service. We guarantee your luggage will make it to your destination for the start of your vacation whether that is a river cruise through Europe, an African safari, a tour through the Outback, or domestic travel to a rental home, we can ship to more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.
Do you ship anything else outside of luggage?
We do! We also ship sports equipment such as golf clubs, skis, snowboards and bikes. As airlines change the policies regarding these items, travelers are discouraged from checking sports equipment but many people enjoy skiing, biking or golfing while on vacation. Previously there was no easy way to bring this stuff with you and if the airline lost your equipment, it severely impacted your trip.
Imagine trying to get your skis or golf clubs to the airport if you live in the city and don't have a car. Many of our clients live in places like New York City and have this problem. We set out to create a convenient solution to this and now travelers can ship their personal equipment with them on vacation and do bike tours through Italy, golf in Scotland or ski in Switzerland.
What type of travelers use your service?
The majority of our client base is luxury leisure travelers taking seven-plus day trips. Our clients don't just live in the States either, but are from all over the globe. In fact, we have actually shipped luggage between more than 900 unique country pairs throughout the years. Our clients are looking for a service that is convenient and that saves them time, and we provide that for them. If they are heading to a five star hotel or a private villa, they can walk off the plane and head directly to their destination where their bags will be waiting for them.
How does luggage shipping work?
It's a simple process and we made the booking to be hassle-free so travelers can get on their way quickly and easily. Our mobile-friendly website allows booking via a tablet or smartphone as well as traditional ways such as a desktop or over the phone.
All you have to do is tell us where and when you want your luggage or sports equipment picked up, where you want it to go and the number and type of bags. We then arrange for them to be picked up from your home, office, cruise ship, golf course, etc. and deliver them to your destination. Once it is picked up, we use a combination of algorithms and trained personnel to monitor your luggage and ensure that it makes it to your final destination on time.
How is it priced? Is it all-inclusive?
Yes, we don't believe in fees so we have made our pricing model to be all inclusive. We have created our pricing to be as straightforward and predictable as possible. We have created simple bag categories and our prices are based on the type and number of bags you are shipping as well as the speed at which you want your bags delivered. There are no taxes or pick-up, handling or fuel surcharges.
We are also the only luggage shipping service that includes a money back plus five hundred dollars on-time guarantee for each bag on all services worldwide.
Since you are a global service and most of your shipments are international, how do you handle Customs?
During the booking process, information is collected about the client's trip and luggage. Our team of international shipping specialists will then use this information to identify and complete all country-specific Customs documentation and work to ensure each shipment is cleared quickly and duties are minimized.
Which locations are the most popular among your clients?
Overall, we are always shipping luggage around the world at all times. We have shipped to some obscure locations, but we definitely see trends throughout the year.
Spring: Cruises to Alaska and golf vacations to Ireland and Scotland.
Summer: Cruises and vacations to Europe and other popular destinations include Australia and New Zealand.
Fall: Vacations to spas and resorts.
Winter: Skiing in the Rockies and Europe, vacations to Hawaii and the Caribbean and golf vacations in Florida and Arizona.
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