A San Diego-based startup that serves as a “nanny” for luggage belonging to travelers heading in and out of the San Diego International Airport is now up and running at Terminal 1, with plans to land in other cities, too.
“Baggage Nanny” is an on-demand baggage pickup, storage and delivery service that aims to help travelers enjoy every minute of their vacation – even if a traveler lands early or experiences delays. The company essentially babysits your bags so you don’t have to lug them around with you.
“So, if you’re flying into town in the morning and you can’t check into your lodging until later in the day, you can drop your baggage here with us, and we’ll store them and deliver them to you when you’re ready to check in,” explained Crystal Browning, CEO and founder of Baggage Nanny.
Here’s how it works: a traveler makes a reservation via the company’s website or at the Baggage Nanny kiosk at the San Diego International Airport. At the kiosk, they drop off their bags for the company to store safely. Later, a Baggage Nanny employee delivers the bags to the traveler’s destination of choice, at the time specified in the reservation.
“And then you go enjoy your day and our driver comes through and picks up your bags, and we deliver them to you at your pre-arranged time,” Browning explained.
Baggage Nanny can drop off the bags at the traveler’s hotel, rental property, or home. The company charges a fee of $20 per bag, no matter the size. The service can also pick up bags from hotels or homes and store them at the requested terminal for the traveler ahead of their departure from the San Diego International Airport.
Browning said her company labels each piece of luggage with the traveler’s information – just like an airline does – and adds a tamper-proof seal so customers can be assured their belongings will be safe.
Each bag is insured and guaranteed to be delivered on time.
She said that while many hotels will hold a traveler’s bags for them before or after check-in, the customer must go back to pick up those bags themselves before heading to the airport. The delivery part of her business, she hopes, relieves that stress.
Baggage Nanny launched its first kiosk this week in Baggage Claim 1 at Terminal 1 at SAN. By the end of the month, they will open a second kiosk in Baggage Claim 2. Browning said the service is available within 15 miles of the San Diego International Airport, up to Del Mar in North County, La Mesa in East County, and National City in South Bay.
She said she’s had a handful of requests for the service a bit further north, including Escondido and Carlsbad. The company can help in those cases, too, but for an extra service fee, Browning said.
So far, Browning said a big chunk of her customer base has been from travelers coming off cruise ships at the Port of San Diego bright and early. Many of those travelers can’t check into their lodging until the afternoon, and they want to enjoy the city without their baggage.
Browning told NBC 7 she created the startup in March 2018, on a much smaller scale, offering the Baggage Nanny service to customers in conjunction with rental properties she managed around San Diego County.
She wanted to expand her company to operate at the San Diego International Airport, so she asked the airport if that was a possibility.
The airport invited Browning to join its Innovation Lab, a program that offers companies the chance to test their innovative concepts and prototypes in the airport setting. Browning joined the program in August 2018 and graduated from the lab with flying colors.
Baggage Nanny was chosen to enter into contract negotiations with the airport and operate at SAN. It was the first graduate of the Innovation Lab program and the first company to land a contract.
“This wouldn’t be possible without the forward-thinkers of the Innovation Lab at the airport,” Browning said.
Browning has big dreams for Baggage Nanny.
She told NBC 7 she’d like to open kiosks at airports in five more cities across the U.S. within the next few months. She said Portland is next. After that, she hopes to expand to Nashville and Austin, and then either New Orleans or Orlando.
Browning also plans to roll out a mobile app for Baggage Nanny in the coming months to make the process even easier for travelers.