Friday, January 27, 2006

Is this some kind of a sick joke, or a good idea?

The airlines are getting behind on the $100 million security fees being charged by TSA, adding more insult to injury at the financially-strapped carriers. Now a company called Luggage Express has a plan to “solve” that problem.

Basically, the plan boils down to this: You ship your bags LugEx the same way you ship via UPS or FedEx, and the bags are waiting for you at the airport when you deplane. LugEx says the airlines save by becoming people carriers, not freight haulers, saving them money while quickening turn times and reducing the cost of gate monkeys.

LugEx (Actually Universal Express) CEO Richard Altomare said this today:
"Universal Express through its subsidiary Luggage Express offered to show how it can cover the security fee that airlines are balking at paying to the TSA (see articles below.) In exchange for the payment and security peace of mind, Luggage Express is asking that the movement of luggage be separated from the passenger. We can fund this security fee payment through the revenues gained from sales of shipping luggage.”
At first glance, I saw this as thinking that was so far out of the box, it wasn’t to be taken seriously. But on second inspection, I began to visualize the big Fuschia (or whatever color they choose) LugEx truck pulling up in the driveway and the happy LugEx girl in Fuschia shorts taking my bags away for their overnight flight to my destination.

So I get to the airport sans the luggage trolley I travel with, skip happily through security, and slide fast out the gate because XYZ Airlines didn’t have to hold short while the gate guys abuse my American Touristers by cramming them into the belly of an RJ.

Maybe this thing has legs? Here is info on the web, and here is the Bizwire story for more 411.