I (finally) try AirPortr – why should I carry my own suitcase to the airport?!

This is our review of AirPortr’s luggage delivery service in London.

We’ve covered AirPortr on Head for Points before, ran a competition with them and they provided a prize for our raffle at the Christmas party. Nevertheless neither Rob nor I have ever tried their services – until now.

AirPortr launched in May 2014 at London City Airport, expanded to Gatwick in July 2015 and to Heathrow in December 2015.   At the end of October 2016 Airportr also added a ‘home to destination’ service exclusive to BA customers where your luggage will be picked up at your home, tagged and checked in for you.

AirPortr

As my flight back home for Christmas was in the evening, I decided to take advantage of a long standing offer from the company for us to have a free trial of its service to write a review.  AirPortr gave me a suitcase pick up so I could get to the HFP office at Moorgate luggage free and travel light to London City Airport after work.

Booking

The AirPortr booking process was very straightforward. Simply visit the website, choose where you are flying from, your airline and how many bags you have.

airportr to and from the airport luggage collection travel

If you are flying with British Airways, you can choose either luggage transfer or transfer + check in on the next page.

I was flying with BA, but decided to leave the bag check-in service for next time.  I’m always a bit funny with my suitcase and tend to do last minute packing changes once I get to the airport including getting rid of my jacket.

airportr airport transport luggage london city

One bag costs £20 and any additional bag £10. If you book a return, you get a 5% discount.  This really is very cheap given that they collect your case from your home or office and then deliver it to the airport.  If it means you don’t need to take a taxi to the airport it may actually save you money.

airportr luggage transfer suitcase airport

Collection

I chose a 1-hour pick up slot between 8am and 9am. At 8:10am the doorbell rang and the AirPortr driver tagged my bag and took it with him.

airportr-suitcase-pick-up

Right after he left I got a confirmation via text message:

airportr-text

I logged into my AirPortr account to check where my suitcase was at (I’m not sure about the hotel pin in Nigeria ……):

airportr status account

At the airport

The AirPortr desk at London City Airport is right outside the check in area. I logged into my account as I was approaching the aiport to confirm my immediate arrival and once I got to the desk my suitcase was already waiting for me.

aiportr-city-airport-london-pick-up

All ready to go:

img_4514

Conclusion

AirPortr is one of those services that definitely makes travelling a bit easier. Of course I could have taken my suitcase to the office on the tube and then onto a packed DLR train, but not having to drag it around all day was definitely a better option.  If I had wanted, AirPortr would even have checked in my case for me so there would have been no need to see it again until I landed.

If you are travelling after work, with lots of luggage or as a family with small children, I recommend giving AirPortr a try.

AirPortr services can be booked on this page of the AirPortr website. Prices start from £20 for the first bag and £10 for each additional bag for delivery within Central London.  The check-in service starts from £30 whilst airport collection, as I had, starts at £20.

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Comments

  1. Hingeless says:

    The HFP office?

    • Hingeless – HFP stands for “Head for Points” which is the name of this website. Anika is referring to Head for Point’s office which is situated at 2nd Floor, 1 Fore Street, Moorgate, London, EC2Y 9DT. as clearly stated on the Head for Points website.

    • You clearly don’t follow our Instagram feed!

  2. Rob what are your thoughts on safety? Most locks can be opened now days in seconds so whats to say someone doesn’t open your suitcase and make you into a mule? Unless you are going to repack at the airport I wouldn’t be inclined to use their service.

    • Axil23 – When AirPortr collect the bag, the operative uses a special form of tag to lock the luggage closed. This even includes ties that go through zips to stop them opening. Each tag is uniquely coded and the operative detaches an identifier and hands itbto the customer. Bar codes are used and everything must match at the other end before they return the bag. This system is pretty secure but I guess their could be a problem if the zips or clasps on the luggage are broken and prevent the operative from securing the bag when it is collected by AirPortr. I have used AirPortr several times and find it extremely satisfactory service which I would highly recommend to HFP readers.

    • Not much riskier than having a Heathrow baggage handler do the same.

      • Significantly riskier than a Heathrow baggage handler. The vast majority of baggage handlers work airside and pass through strict security controls so considerably harder for them to place prohibited articles is a passenger’s luggage. In comparison AirPortr relies on secure tags and its customers and operatives at the airport checking these have not been tampered with – I would not risk sending damaged bags with broken zips and let st of deep,pockets etc with Airportr but am happy to use their service with luggage in good condition which is hard r to tamper with.

        • Is it as hard as you think it is though? Most zips can be opened just using a ballpoint pen!

        • You sound like my ex-lodger, except he was talking about killing people!

  3. The pin near Nigeria is where the Greenwich. Meridian crosses the equator, 0 long / 0 lat. Lots of software defaults to using that position as the location of something when there is no other data stored.

  4. Devices such as this were available on Swiss rail 30 years ago and in Japan there have been services to move bags around the country at very reasonable prices for decades.
    Airporter sounds great but it’s not a service that would persuade me to switch back to BA. They will need to extend beyond the area inside the M25 and London Airways before I could utilise the service.

  5. We went on a big family holiday recently. My sister and her partner and young children met us at Heathrow. They are not frequent flyers and I vividly remember their faces as they emerged from their taxi… a thousand holidays would not clear that stress! And that was before they unloaded suitcase after suitcase and pushchairs and baby related stuff.

    I can think of no better service for them when we go again next year. Send off all your bags to be checked in and arrive light to the airport. In this instance it would be well worth the money.

  6. How do they answer the question “have you packed this bag personally ?” at security then ?

    They don’t know if you have a jar of face cream or a jar of semtex in it.

    You don’t know if they swapped your jar of face cream for a jar of semtex.

    • From their FAQ (I make no comment, just copied and pasted directly):

      ‘What happens when I get asked “could anyone have tampered with my bags”? ➖

      This question is actually no longer asked at the airport as all bags are scanned when entering the baggage system. However, we are an official partner of Heathrow, London City and Gatwick airports and as we scan bags before they enter the airport, AirPortr bags are recognised as being even more secure.’

    • the real harry says:

      (Talay) but it doesn’t really change anything. Anybody could pack a jar of semtex in their checked luggage.

      Airports essentially rely on you not killing yourself by travelling on the same plane as your semtex. I don’t think everything jar-like means at checked luggage Scan they open the bag to check.

      If you fail to show, the luggage is off-loaded.

  7. “has this bag been with you the entire time since you packed it?”

    This service would not satisfy the security requirements of any USA flight.

    There is no way I would trust a third party company with my bag.

    Have you asked them how they vet their staff and what security is in place to prevent tampering?

    • TGLoyalty says:

      When was the last time you were asked the first question?

      Anyway this should help http://about.airportr.com/faqs

    • They stopped asking that question at check-in while I still worked there, about 10 years ago.

      Of course, they might still ask if there’s a suspicion, and Customs may definitely ask. But it’s not part of the standard check-in process anymore.

      Also, even if they do ask at check-in, you just tell them the truth. An official courier service carried the bag from home to the airport. The worst that happens is they ask you to open it and make sure nothing has been added.

  8. If they do pick ups from main train stations, I could see it being better value than leaving a suitcase at left luggage at Euston and having to go back and pick it up after a day in London on the way to the airport. If they pick up (from the station) the day before, it would save having to take the main suitcase to a hotel for an overnight stay.

    • Funny I was thinking just that too – railway station depots would be a brilliant next step IMO.

    • TGLoyalty says:

      If they were to start that then I would probably use this and the train more to travel to the airports

      • For me, the issue is not getting to the airport via public transport, it’s getting home again after a trip. The price of a taxi home from the station on top of rail fares makes a meet & greet parking service cost effective! Waiting for buses, even when I don’t have luggage, is enough to raise my blood pressure. Last time I got a train home from London (the day after the HfP party), I could have driven home from LHR in the time I waited for a bus outside Northampton station.

  9. Did anyone experience http://www.sendmybag.com ? It is door to door for approx £30 in Europe