Sokmey Ty was tired of facing hefty fees for checking in luggage a few kilogrammes overweight at airports, especially knowing that many of her fellow travellers probably had swathes of empty space in their suitcase.
That led Sokmey and her friend Daneth Reasmey to brainstorm at how they could provide plane passengers with a way to share their luggage allowance.
“We started thinking, what if these two people could meet each other and share their baggage allowance together to save, and earn money?” said the 24-year-old Cambodian entrepreneur.
The result is SidesBag, an innovative online marketplace that enables airline travellers to buy and sell baggage weight allowance from fellow passengers. The company recently launched its first prototype in the form of a basic website.
Although the site is still in its infancy, visitors will be able to view a list of flights along with luggage weights that were being sold, as well as buyers looking for extra allowance. Travellers can then fill in their flight details and the baggage weight they are looking to buy or sell. There will also be a search option to find fellow travellers headed to the same destination.
“Our ultimate vision is to transfer passengers’ baggage weight through our platform, seamlessly,” said Sokmey, now SidesBag’s CEO and head of marketing.
Slated to launch early next year, SidesBag is currently building partnerships with relevant businesses and is in talks with travel agencies and regional transportation booking companies to get them on board.
“We want them to include our services on their booking platforms,” said Sokmey. “It’s the biggest milestone we have reached so far.”
To ensure safety, passengers exchanging luggage allowance are not expected to carry goods on the other person’s behalf. Instead, the two parties must check in together, and ask for the luggage allowance to be spread at the counter.
The next phase of SidesBag will see the company partner with airlines to allow luggage pooling without this step.
“We expect many more airlines and businesses involved in air travel will join us to solve this real pain,” added Sokmey.