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Flight travellers could soon sell their unused luggage space through two new apps

Two new mobile apps have been launched that allow passengers to sell their unused luggage space to others. The apps from Airmule and Grabr let travellers match their itineraries to customers who are looking to ship goods in a cost-effective way, and enable travellers to make money at the same time. Both shipper and passengers must be verified and have a rating system to rank their reliability.

Flight travellers could soon sell their unused luggage space through two new apps

Passengers could soon be making money out of their unused luggage allowance during flights, thanks to two new apps that have been launched. Airmule and Grabr allow passengers to match their forthcoming journeys with customers who are looking to ship products overseas in a more affordable way.

Security must come first with app users and both parties are verified and are part of a rating system that ranks their reliability. The Airmule app allows passengers to post details of their open space in their luggage allocations and shipping customers will then pay for each pound of luggage they require.

Grabr lets customers post specific items such as a pair of shoes and focuses on travellers pitching for the product that will then be delivered by hand. Grant Martin, author of the article about the apps for Forbes, explained how passengers can make money from the services. Mr Martin wrote:

“One traveling from New York to London with a 50 lb allocation over three checked bags, for example, could post 150 lbs of shipping available at $4 per lb, generating a potential income of $600. In both cases, traveller and shipper need to coordinate the property exchange.”

Both apps have their pro and cons. While passengers can make money from the service, and customers get a more affordable way to transport their goods, airline security issues are still a concern.

Many travellers are not comfortable with shipping unfamiliar items, but Grabr says that with their service it’s up to the passengers to purchase the items and package them, and passengers can also state they will only transport certain types of goods, i.e. clothes, shoes. Airmule, on the other hand, says customers/ senders must upload photos of their items and provide a paper trail for the whole transaction.

While airlines have yet to comment on if they will be supporting the service, a spokesperson form the U.S Transportation Security Agency confirmed that the agency is reviewing the applications. Just like car sharing services and personal holiday rentals like Air BnB, where an element of trust in involved, the luggage apps are likely to be supported by third parties to ensure that security comes first.

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