European low-fare carrier easyJet is boosting its ancillary offering at its main operational base at Gatwick Airport through a new partnership with home bag drop service AirPortr, giving passengers travelling from the London airport the option to check their luggage in online and then have it collected from their doorstep and taken directly to the airport.
- easyJet enters partnership with home bag drop service AirPortr at London Gatwick Airport, its biggest network point;
- New service will offer travellers opportunity to check their luggage in online and then have it collected from their doorstep and taken directly to the airport;
- easyJet says research shows over three quarters of travellers would prefer to be luggage free for the day of their flight;
- The premium product allows passengers to check in a piece of luggage and choose a one hour pick-up time slot for as little as GBP30.
The service allows easyJet passengers to travel luggage free, with AirPortr staff picking up checked bags from the passenger’s doorstep and delivering them to easyJet’s bag drop at Gatwick Airport. The airline says research shows that over three quarters of travellers would prefer to be luggage free for the day of their flight. After the collection of bags from their home or hotel, passengers then collect them as per normal from the baggage belt at the arrival destination.
Since 2016, AirPortr have collected over 69,000 bags, skis and bikes which have been checked-in and delivered to more than 320 destination airport baggage reclaims around the world with their other airline partners. easyJet says it is confident this new service will help make travelling even easier for its own passengers.
Andrew Middleton, director of ancillary revenue at easyJet, says that whether a flight is for business or leisure, it believes the home bag drop service “is a fantastic initiative to improve a traveller’s experience”.
The service is available for flights to any of easyJet’s destinations across Europe from London Gatwick. The premium product allows passengers to check in a piece of luggage and choose a one hour pick-up time slot for as little as GBP30. Alternatively, a GBP40 product permits the collection of up to four pieces of luggage within a three hour window.
Randel Darby, CEO of AirPortr, says its offer has obvious benefits particularly for passengers flying short-haul with hold luggage and where a disproportionate amount of journey time can be spent on the ground getting to and through the airport. “We’re proud to be working with an airline with a start-up mentality but Europe-wide scale, as we continue to lead the development of at-home bag check-in services,” he explains.
There are obviously security implications when you allow others to take responsibility of your own luggage, but these have all been taken into account among the increasing number of companies now offering secure baggage delivery services. AirPortr confirms bags are sealed on the doorstep with Tamper Aware Seals and remain sealed until put on the plane; all staff are background checked and vetted; bags are held in a secure CCTV monitored area between screening and delivery and vehicles remain locked at all times when in use.
AirPortr was set up by three frequent flyers in 2012. “We’d seen travel change a lot over the years. High street Travel Agents were replaced by lastminute.com. Check-in desks and boarding passes moved to mobile phones. But no one had made travelling with luggage any simpler,” they explain. “Tired of organising our days around suitcases. And arriving at the airport two hours early to queue. So we decided to change things.”
The travel technology scale-up is already partnered with Gatwick and Heathrow airports in London and the service is offered to British Airways customers via its online channels and mobile app. It first launched its standard delivery service in May 2014 at London City Airport, at London Gatwick from July 2015 and London Heathrow in December 2015 and is the first in the world to be integrated into airline booking systems. Last year UK transport specialist Stobart Group invested GBP2 million in the business to deliver further flexible and efficient luggage transportation solutions for airlines and airports.