The Brilliant New Way to Avoid Checked Bag Fees

Jamie Ditaranto, October 21, 2015
Fares from Washington DC:

    When it comes to saving money, budget travelers are known to go to extremes. Maybe that's why Orion Travel Technology has devised a pretty extreme way to save money on bag fees.

    Orion's new idea may be a game changer. The company is offering to pay your bag fees for you. The catch? Your luggage will become a rolling advertisement for one of their partners.

    In exchange for toting company logos around the world with you, Orion will send you two customizable suitcases (one 21" carry-on and one 29" bag) and a gift card for $50 that can only be used at the airport ticket counter. The annual membership, which costs $19.99 after the first six months, covers your bag fees for up to six trips a year. To prevent anyone from using the gift card without using the luggage, the card will only work after scanning the UPC code on the branded suitcase.

    Related: How to Check a Bag for Free

    When you order your suitcases, you'll have the choice of personalizing the back of the luggage with your favorite movie character or sports team. But this is not the advertisement. The front of the suitcase is left blank for you to stick the easy-to-remove logo skins Orion sends you each time you travel.

    Though the program is not scheduled to be implemented until February 2016 and the companies Orion will be working with are not yet clear, this could be an indispensable new service to travelers with very tight budgets. Not only can you save on bag fees, but the bags are also included in the membership, which could be helpful if you're looking to replace your luggage.

    Though it's impossible to tell how smoothly the system will work once it gets going, it shouldn't be hard for Orion to find people willing to test it out. There are people out there willing to sell the advertising space on their foreheads, so what's a few ads on your suitcase compared to saving hundreds on bag fees?

    Readers, would you use this service? Sound off in the comments below!

    (Photo: Orion Travel Tech)

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    Read the original story: The Brilliant New Way to Avoid Checked Bag Fees by Jamie Ditaranto, who is a contributor to SmarterTravel.