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View Full Version : Courier Travel And Which Company To Choose?


jarradm
07-25-2005, 01:26 PM
Hey guys, I am thinking about joing an air courier broker to get all those discounts (and possibly free flights). Has anyone had any experiences with these companies or flying as a courier? I am very interested in the free flights, but I dont want to pay the membership fee if its not going be significantly cheaper than say, hotwire. Suggestions, comments, complaints and queries welcome. thanks
Jarrad

bach
07-27-2005, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by jarradm@Jul 25 2005, 01:26 PM
Hey guys, I am thinking about joing an air courier broker to get all those discounts (and possibly free flights). .....5392


I flew as a courier several times about 4-5 years ago to Europe and Asia.

All of my trips were "as advertised" and the cost was cheaper (by about $200) than I was able to find on my own. I was a member of IAATC and they provided leads on courier companies that made it easy to follow up. I was able to schedule my trips several weeks in advance. The duties of the courier are simple, straight forward and totally legit.

Once or twice I was offered free flights, sometimes to places I did not really want to fly to. The other times, it was not convenient to my schedule so I never flew for free. I stopped flying as a courier because I wanted to be more flexible in my vacations and not have to return after 7 days or 14 days or whatever the courier company wanted me to return.

bach1944
07-28-2005, 01:09 AM
More thoughts on being a courier:

There was a security deposit required by the courier company which you would forfeit if you didn't show up for your flight/return flight. I recall it was about $500 and paid when you made your reservations with the courier company. Several weeks after your courier trip was complete, your money was sent back to you if you did your duties.

Most courier flights are for overseas travel and what you are doing is accompanying only paperwork in most cases. By having a live person do this, the papers will clear customs much quicker.

I never had to carry anything except a piece of paper to id myself to the courier rep at the destination. Everything from the courier company was shipped in luggage and I was able to check 2 bags. However, note that some of the companies will not allow you to check any luggage.

Not all courier companies fly to overseas destinations. Also not all fly to the same destinations. Some go to London, some to Bangkok, some to Japan, some to Singapore, etc. The nice thing about belonging to a company that encourages courier flying (such as IAATC) is they have all the information in one spot about who flies where with contact info. I would say that is worth the price they charge (used to be about $40 for membership per year).

WHen I flew to London, I received a healthy discount in a NYC hotel when I showed my courier membership card. When I flew to SE Asia (several times), I was given a "free" hotel night at a hotel near Narita airport because the flight schedules were not convenient to the courier schedule.

I was always concerned that turning over the courier paperwork would require a lot of time and cut into my vacation. Not the case as it usually only required 10-15 minutes after meeting the courier rep at the airport before I was on my way...

Good luck.

NewEnglander
07-28-2005, 10:20 PM
I flew as a courier for a company called Jupiter Air in 1987 (JFK-NRT-HKG), so apologies if my info is dated at all.

The company did require a deposit, as I recall. They had a rep waiting at the airport in New York when I got there. I got a fairly thick envelope full of paperwork to carry to Tokyo and turn over to the company rep there. The company gave me a sticker with their logo to wear on my shirt in Tokyo, so the rep would have some idea who to look for. It was extremely trouble-free -- in fact, I don't think I had to give up my luggage allowance (although I did travel very light). As it turned out, the paperwork was for a pretty large amount of cargo on the plane.

From Tokyo to Hong Kong, there was nothing for me to carry. Coming back, I had to call the office the day before departure. At the airport, I got a thin envelope in Hong Kong to deliver to JFK. (Unfortunately, there was some problem with United -- the flight from Narita to JFK was cancelled, as they announced after arriving in Tokyo.) But no problem there, either -- Jupiter had given me contact numbers for all of their offices, so I called the Tokyo office and they told me I just had receipts this time; no cargo. The company definitely seemed like it would take care of any alternate arrangements, if necessary. (For its part, UA got me back to JFK via LAX, with biz class for the first leg -- very nice!)

The R/T price was $250. The people at Jupiter were very nice to deal with all around, and I wholeheartedly recommend them based on my experiences.

oregtopher
08-02-2005, 09:44 AM
Originally posted by jarradm@Jul 25 2005, 01:26 PM
Hey guys, I am thinking about joing an air courier broker to get all those discounts (and possibly free flights). Has anyone had any experiences with these companies or flying as a courier? I am very interested in the free flights, but I dont want to pay the membership fee if its not going be significantly cheaper than say, hotwire. Suggestions, comments, complaints and queries welcome. thanks
Jarrad
5392

Hi, all. I too am interested in information about flying as a courier. So, anything you could tell me would be appreciated. Thanks,
Oregtopher