"Even though UPS and FedEx have raised their shipping charges somewhat, the airlines haven't been asleep either. US Airways recently raised their fees for oversized and overweight bags as well. And more fees may be on the way. Even if the cost of shipping vs. checking is virtually the same -- and it's usually less to ship, especially if the bag is heavy or you're traveling over shorter distances--you'll save time by not waiting in line to check in or pick up your bags at the carousel. And UPS and FedEx are much better at tracking shipments than the airlines are at tracking lost bags."