Imagine along with me for a moment. You’ve just spent an amazing week touring around Iceland. But now it’s time to head back home; your flight from Keflavik airport leaves this afternoon.
Maybe it would be nice for someone to come pick up your checked luggage in the morning, so you wouldn’t have to take it in and out of your rental car (or a bus like the Icelandic Flybus service, which would be even more of a hassle?) And wouldn’t it be nice to not have to drag your luggage to the airline counter and wait in line to check it in? Why not have someone else take your luggage to the airport for you?
My first thought, and the thought you may be having right now, was … what? No! Um, no thanks. Absolutely not. Who is this courier who’s taking my bag? And why should I trust them to get my suitcase safely to the airport and onto the plane? I’ll take it myself, thank you very much.
If, on the other hand, you’re already completely sold on this idea, then just head to Bagbee.is and use code STEPBYSTEP to save 5%. Otherwise, read on.
The CEO of Bagbee asked to meet with me at a travel conference in Iceland, and I almost said no. But I took the meeting, and I pretty quickly realized that this new service wasn’t at all what I thought it was. It was so, so much better.
How does Bagbee work in Iceland?
Here’s the key point: Bagbee is an Icelandic company, and they have partnered with both Icelandair and Play Airlines. (If you’re flying another airline, you’re out of luck for right now.) And this partnership is fully integrated with the airlines’ technology systems. When you meet the Bagbee driver at your hotel, they will print your official airline luggage tag for you, right there in your hotel lobby.
This luggage tag is indistinguishable from the tag you would get at the airport. Okay, I guess that’s not technically true, since the portable printer uses paper that’s slightly thinner than the printer at the airport. But it’s still an official Icelandair or Playair luggage tag. It’s the same one you would get at the airport. It’s linked to your plane ticket, and you’ll get an official little sticker for your records, just like you would at the airport.
All of these pictures are from when I tried the service out in October of 2023. Everything was flawless.
Every detail of this process is very very well thought out. How do you know when to meet your driver at your hotel? (Or from your rental apartment or Airbnb.) There’s a tracking page for that:
How do you know your bag won’t be tampered with? They put a little plastic loop around the zippers, and show you that this is still intact when your bag is sent away to the luggage processing area at the airport:
How does Bagbee know what flight I’m on? Bagbee has the full flight schedule for Icelandair and Play. When you make a reservation for them to handle your bag, you’ll select your flight number on their site:
Then when they pick up your bags, they will scan your boarding pass to match your bags to your tickets.
How much does Bagbee cost?
Bagbee charges approximately $50 for the first bag in your group, and $10 for each additional bag (converted from Icelandic Krona.) Plus, the coupon code STEPBYSTEP gives you 5% off of your total order. As an example, if your group has 4 suitcases, the cost would be $76 total after the 5% discount, or $19 per bag.
What are the downsides of Bagbee?
If you’re willing to spend the extra money, I don’t see a lot of downsides. But here are a couple of things to consider:
- For a morning flight you have to choose a pickup the night before. This can be annoying to not have your suitcase with you that last morning as you’re getting ready. (Of course, you’d still have your carry-ons with you.)
You are able to see your pickup time options before you have to submit payment information:
For afternoon flights you will have a choice of morning pickup windows:
- If you are doing a VAT tax refund in Iceland, you are supposed to show the items you purchased to the staff when you had in your refund application. If your bags are already at the airport, you will need to have your items with you in your carry-on in case you are asked to present them.
- Right now, you can only use the service when you are heading home, not when you are arriving to Iceland. And only if you are flying an Icelandic airline, Icelandair or Play.
Is Bagbee worth the price?
You’ll have to decide if Bagbee is worth the extra expense. If you plan to explore Reykjavik for the morning before heading to the airport, this may be a nice option to not have to worry about your luggage. If you are disembarking from a cruise ship and spending some time in Reykjavik, this may be a no-brainer way to store and transfer your luggage. (A luggage locker in Reykjavik can cost $15-$20 per locker!)
Bagbee converted me from a cynic to a strong supporter. Think about your departure day at the end of your Iceland trip. If that day would be easier without lugging your checked bags around with you, give Bagbee a try.