Startup Plans to Eliminate the Hassle of Dealing With Luggage


Airportr Kiosk Desk_CL

Struggling with your luggage while on a trip could soon be a thing of the past.

One British startup is looking to handle your luggage from your door to the airport without you having to lift a finger.

U.K.-based AirPortr is a service you can book online which will collect your bags from an office, hotel or home and drops it at the airport. Then at the airport you pick it up and check it in. The service also works the other way around, where you can have your baggage collected at the airport and dropped to where you are staying.

“I was flying in and out of London a lot and I became frustrated by the whole process of getting to the airport, having all your bags and getting on the train,” Randel Darby, co-founder of AirPortr told CNBC by phone.

Darby gave the example of a business traveler who comes off a plane and has to go straight to meetings with their luggage as an example where AirPortr would come in handy.

Currently the service costs £25 ($39) for the first bag and £5 extra for each bag after that. At the moment it is also only running at London’s Gatwick Airport and London City Airport. Darby said the service will soon be offered at one more airport in the U.K. capital, but could not name it as the talks are still ongoing.

Totally luggage free?

Unfortunately, travelling won’t be quite baggage free just yet. Customers still have to check in their own baggage.

But fresh off the back of a £3.3 million funding round led by London fund manager Hargreave Hale, Darby has ambitions to take luggage out of the travelling equation. AirPortr launched a service from London City airport for British Airways customers where someone will pick your bag off the carousel and drop it off to where you are staying.

As well as expanding into different airports, AirPortr is looking to expand its services with the ambition of one day taking the whole check-in and deliver process of baggage out of the hands of customers. Darby was tight-lipped on the plans but said the company was looking at “pain points” for customers.

“We are of course looking at the pain points of the passenger journey on the arrival and departure side and working with partners like British Airways to remove those,” Darby told CNBC.

International expansion

AirPortr is not the first service of its kind. In 2011, Emirates airline launched a service to deliver luggage for tourists landing in Dubai. There are also a number of companies that offer to ship bags separately to your destination while passengers fly. But Darby said those services felt “broken up” and “complicated”.

With the funding round, Darby is looking at international expansion to offer this service in other countries.

“Once we have completed our roll out in the U.K. then it’s looking for those important next steps internationally. Not this year, but something we would look at mid-next year,” Darby told CNBC.

Reprinted by permission.

Image Credit: CC by AirPortr

About the author: Arjun Kharpal

Arjun Kharpal is a News Assistant for CNBC in London. He took on the role after interning at the company for three months. Arjun has previously written for the Times, the Telegraph, the Guardian and the Mirror in London.

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