Travel start-up flymy.co.uk is hoping to persuade online travel agents to add a baggage courier service to their sites to help clients avoid extortionate airline charges.
The new business has been established by Colin Gilmour, whose background is in logistics, after he encountered problems when travelling with his family from Newcastle with a budget carrier.
It offers a door-to-door baggage courier service with full tracking and is offering negotiable commission rates to OTAs and traditional travel agents.
“I just had a light bulb moment. I thought, there must be an easier way than this,” Gilmour said.
Flymy.co.uk has tied up with DHL to offer a courier service that in terms of cost is at least on a par with many airlines but which it claims is far more convenient for travellers.
The service covers 270 countries worldwide and prices lead in at £39.98 for short-haul European flights. Ryanair charges £40 and has a more restrictive policy on weight allowance.
Gilmour said there were additional benefits from using the service. “It means you don’t have to wait at check-in queues, or for your luggage off the carousel.
“It’s great for families because it means you can travel only with hand luggage, plus it makes it less likely your luggage will be lost.”
As well as families Flymy.co.uk will also target skiers and golfers. “You might have four people in a golf group and if each has a set of clubs that probably means hiring a bigger car,” Gilmour said.
For OTAs wanting to integrate the service into their sites flymy.co.uk has developed a XML API and Gilmour said he is also looking into developing a white-label solution.
He admitted the main challenge will be to convince travellers to travel without their luggage. In Europe customers will have to allow a two- to three-day delivery time.
However he believes it could take off as more and more holidaymakers become angered by how airlines levy baggage charges.
And he believes it could be something that high-volume web players will help him establish.
“Margins in travel generally are small and even high-volume players are looking at how they can make extra out of every customer.
“They can do this with flymy.co.uk by pitching it as an ancillary service which is adding value.”