If the offer by Ryanair and Flybe to charge you for the privilege of putting your baggage in the hold of their aircraft leaves you underwhelmed, maybe First Luggage can get your pulse racing.
This company, set up in 2004, enables you to send your luggage separately, delivering it directly to your destination before you get there and sending you a text message to confirm its safe arrival. As the luggage is scanned at several points during its journey it can be tracked in real time online.
Orders are placed with First Luggage, either via their website at www.firstluggage.com or by phone. The item of baggage is then collected prior to the day of travel and effectively couriered by FedEx.
Charges are per item regardless of weight and prices start at ｣49 ($85) for a single journey within Europe. The service was first introduced in Europe but has now been extended as well-heeled travellers head for winter sunshine in the USA and the Caribbean. First Luggage counts actress Joan Collins and veteran travel broadcaster Alan Whicker among its customers.