Courier Flights: Yea or nay?

Sep 5th, 2001, 10:07 AM
  #1  
ALW
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Courier Flights: Yea or nay?

Has anyone here flown as a courier? I tried a few years ago and was balked by a American's strike, but there are some astounding deals out there ($200 [I'm assuming round trip] New York to Hong Kong; GBP499 round trip, London to Sydney; etc.).

So, experiences? Cautions? Endorsements (of the general practice, not necessarily specific companies)?

Thanks in advance to all who answer.
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 06:28 PM
  #2  
Joe
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In 1991, I flew as a courier from Miami to London through Halbert. It went well. They met me at the airport and gave me a ticket. I was allowed 1 carry on bag and I traveled on a major airline. No problems. In fact, I only served as a courier on the flight over and not on the return. I can't remember what I paid, but it was very reasonable at the time.
 
Sep 5th, 2001, 08:12 PM
  #3  
ALW
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Thanks for your reply, Joe -- I'm a bit worried about the uncertainty of it all, but those prices make my mouth water!
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 05:39 AM
  #4  
ALW
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Anybody else?
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 04:50 PM
  #5  
Joe
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I'm not sure what you are worried about. You will have a definite reservation on an airline. You are only limited in the amount of luggage you can carry on. These are legitimate operations. The company needs a representative on the plane when they ship documents overseas.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 10:59 AM
  #6  
Christina
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I don't have any info on this at all, sorry, but since Joe's done this and seems to know about the business, I have always wondered why this situation exists. Actually, I thought it probably didn't any more because (and this is my question) now that Fedex, DHL, etc has delivery worldwide within days, what is the point of courier service? I'm just curious as to why a company does this as it would be more expensive than paying Fedex, wouldn't it? I could maybe understand it if a person had to hand-deliver something, but as I understand this, the thing is just on the plane and then given to someone on landing at the airport. Is it something so valuable that they think that is safer than hiring Fedex? If so, why do they hire strangers off the street? Anyway, those are just things I wondered as I can't think of a good reason for this practice. How about it Joe?
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 11:56 AM
  #7  
Beth
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Hi,
Though I have not personally flown as a courier, my well-traveled cousin has in the past and she had all good experiences. One of her friends, who had good experiences traveling as a courier, recommended it to her. Her advice to me was, go for it (I just haven't had the need yet, as I often fly on airline awards due to business travel). Just thought I'd pass on that recommendation, albeit second-hand.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 01:13 PM
  #8  
ALW
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Thanks, everybody, for all your information! As for Christina's questions, I think it's just an alternative to FedEx -- my impression is that these aren't little companies buying individual flights, but actual shipping companies (for example, I can't begin to imagine how much it would cost to ship a big order from New York to Hong Kong from the US with FedEx, but I'd be willing to belive that a littler company could do it for less -- especially as they try to get about 50% of the airfare back from the courier/passanger).

Joe, I guess I was pretty turned off by the first experience I had -- I called the day before I flew out to confirm where I was meeting the rep at the airport, and it was only then that I was told that I didn't have a flight. That was a rather unpleasant shock to the system!
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 03:14 PM
  #9  
Christina
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ALW thanks for the speculation, I was curious. I guess I envisioned this as some small company sending one document or package to a colleague in Europe or something. So you think it's just part of a regular shipping company's method to get stuff there? huh -- so you mean that Fedex plane in Castaway with Tom Hanks on it was bogus?
 
Sep 8th, 2001, 04:08 PM
  #10  
lo
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I work for DHL as a manager and we no longer use on board couriers. In the early days we used them as a way to guarantee space for docs and even packages. That was way back when the loads were light. These days there are afew companies that can sometimes get important packages there quicker by traveling with an "on board courier". Having a person on the plane ensures that the luggage(shipments in your case) do not get bumped by the airline. Also, the on board courier can walk goods through customs and clear them, faster than DHL (or Fedex) can. ( Fed ex despite their advertising does not have their own operations in many countries. They really are still primarily a US company. )
Sending goods via an on board courier is a very expensive way to go but when a factory is shut down or a plane is on the ground awaiting a part money is not an issue. Anyway, hope that explanation helps. I've never done it myself but if the company is reputable you should be fine. Have fun.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 07:17 AM
  #11  
Jim
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The problem with Fedex and the like is that they do not guarantee overnight delivery to Europe (customs often gets in the way). So if something absolutely positively has to be there over night, a courier is the way to go.
 
Sep 10th, 2001, 10:56 AM
  #12  
ALW
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Thanks again to all who replied. This week they're offering New York to Sao Paulo on November 29 for $300...I'm waiting to see what I can get to NZ, and when...
 
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:14 AM
  #13  
 
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By finding this info I have answered my own question from a previous post.

I am now wondering if anyone has a webpage address for the listing of courier flights.

Thanks
Winnepeg is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 09:25 AM
  #14  
 
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This page may direct you to what you're looking for:

www.courier.org
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jan 6th, 2004, 10:37 AM
  #15  
JonJon
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Even though Christina cannot quite "understand" why someone would rather have someone they hired HAND CARRY an item rather than throwing it into a FedEx or DHL container and HOPE it gets there...duh!!!! I wish I had the oportunity to act as a courier, at elast once. The price can't be beat and I think I could learn to stuff everything into a carry-on bag.
Hey, GO for it!!!
 

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