traveling with other people's luggage / baggage internationally; practical or smart?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by MalcoveMagnesia, Sep 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. MalcoveMagnesia
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    MalcoveMagnesia Silver Member

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    I'm doing one of those Delta Singapore mileage runs just over a month and since I expect to be changing planes pretty often, I figured I would just use a smaller carry-on bag for the clothes I'd need to take on my trip.

    Which means I'd likely be checking in nothing on my own.

    But why not carry bags or boxes for somebody else across the pond?

    I was thinking of posting something to CraigsList saying "need something transported from airport A to airport B?" for some reasonable amount, with the caveat that I get to thoroughly inspect what's in the box before sealing it and taking it to the check-in counter.

    Now the chances of me actually doing this are super slim - since I'm guessing there are still security concerns, most people won't trust strangers to actually vouch for their baggage and of course if I sense there's anything sketchy about the people I'm talking to I wouldn't end up checking their bags/boxes in either. But I remember those "be a courier!" ads from when I was younger and thought it might be a bit of a possibility.

    What do you think?

    Completely stupid or a (very slim) possible way to cut the cost of a mileage run a bit?
     
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  2. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    I suspect that the odds of making the logistics work as a freelance courier are very low, and the liability risk is nonzero. Also, you lose the benefit of traveling light, which is why you have the unused baggage allowance in the first place.
     
  3. MalcoveMagnesia
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    MalcoveMagnesia Silver Member

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    Thanks for responding fast.

    That's why I was saying "airport to airport". I wasn't expecting to physically carry the stuff outside of the airport.
     
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  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Please do not be offended, but I would agree with the idea of completely stupid. In todays day and age, there could be residue from gunpowder, drugs or other items you might not find, and the problems that you would encounter would greatly outweigh the small amount of compensation you might receive.

    I am of course being extreme, however I truly think doing what you propose is not wise.

    If you are working through a legitimate courier service, that is one thing. Dealing with someone you know nothing about is just too risky today.
     
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  5. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Let's say I contact you and give you a box with a bunch of clothes and a transistor radio (remember those?)... what would you do? Take the radio apart?
     
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  6. flydonkey

    flydonkey Silver Member

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    I would be very, very afraid to take a stranger's bag to Singapore, which has draconian drug trafficking laws. Don't assume that you would be able to detect "sketchiness".

     
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  7. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    Pardon my bluntness, but it would be borderline insane to solicit luggage from strangers and take responsibility for it yourself. Especially to Singapore, and god help you if you land in Malaysia for any reason.
     
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  8. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I can just imagine hearing this on tv. FREQUENT TRAVELER EXECUTED FOR DRUG SUMGGLING IN MALAYSIA. NEWS AT ELEVEN
     
  9. MalcoveMagnesia
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    MalcoveMagnesia Silver Member

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    Heh. Okay everyone. I hear you. I haven't heard a single comment positively towards my dumb idea.
     
  10. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    Sure, but even leaving the risks everyone has been addressing aside, you still have to deal with all of the inconveniences of checking a bag - waiting at baggage claim, risks of misconnect and lost bags, etc. - if you wanted to do these things then you'd be open to checking your own bag in the first place.
     
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  11. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah the lost bag would be the other concern... Even assuming everything is legit and there's nothing illicit in the bag, anything worth shipping is worth something to the shipper, so if you arrange to take a parcel from point A to point B and it gets lost along the way, then what?

    And if you're on some crazy mileage run it's not like you can stick around and deal with the logistics of having them find the bag for you and sending it to your hotel or something.
     
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  12. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I applaud thinking outside the box, but it really is more trouble than it's worth. Especially, if someone is trying to smuggle in chewing gum. :D
     
  13. daemon14

    daemon14 Gold Member

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    I would only do this if it were a a known family/friend asking me to do so, and if I knew what I was transporting.

    In fact, I often have to do this when family members find out I get 2-3 bags free on most trips.
     
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  14. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    exactly I always go with one luggage for me; one for family. And same thing on my way back.
     
  15. Bluto
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    Bluto Silver Member

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    Instead, why not buy something in the US that is hard to get in Singapore, sell it there? Then, do the reverse on the way back. This has to be as profitable as your idea, but with way lower risk, and the same amount of hassle.
     
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  16. MiamiTed
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    MiamiTed Silver Member

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    You can be a star in the National Geographic TV series "Locked Up Abroad" :)
     
  17. bananajax

    bananajax Silver Member

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    Ive been waiting for new episodes of that show!
     
  18. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    So maybe you should take up the OP's idea, take one for the team.
     
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