Aside from SEA FREIGHT OR SEA SHIPPING, expats/diplomats can be given a UAB allowance. Unlike SEA FREIGHT, this goes on a plane & is much quicker than SEA SHIPPING (est. 2-3mos). But please take note that this is not the same as the luggage you bring on the plane. That’s why it’s called UNACCOMPANIED AIR BAGGAGE.
Once it leaves Manila by plane, will only take 2-3 days depending on how fast customs clears.
You can pack it yourself, but we learned from experience that it is much better & more convenient if it is packed & processed by a THE SAME MOVER.
We asked the CROWN RELOCATIONS the same mover handling our SEA SHIPMENT to simplify our lives. We were already living in an empty apartment & subsisting on borrowed things because a sudden lockdown delayed our departure for our 3 weeks.
The pictures you will see is the reality of moving. MOVING IS SUPE MESSY, but hiring the right people to help you will reduce your stress by a lot.
What are the advantages of asking your SEA FREIGHT mover to process your UAB for you? You can see 7 reasons below!
7 REASONS TO USE CROWN RELOCATIONS FOR YOUR UAB
- They will provide their special super sturdy boxes with their branding on it & environmentally friendly packing materials, so no need to stress yourself out buying enough. The boxes you find sometimes can be flimsier.
- They will check with the AIRLINE & DESTINATION COUNTRY, what is allowed & not allowed in the UAB. If you do not know this, many of what you pack can be confiscated before it leaves the country, & you will just be dismayed when your UAB arrives & stuff are missing.
- They will pack the items for you. A few days before our flight they came over. This time we packed one of our TVs in UAB & it was convenient that they dismantled & packed it for us.
- They will weight & measure the volumentric weight for you so you do not exceed your UAB allowance.
- They picked up the items from our home. Imagine if you are about to fly & you still have to bring your DIY packed boxes to a courier?
- They will also UNPACK the items for you when they deliver. They removed our TV & assembled it for us.
- They will also TAKE AWAY THE BOXES & PACKAGING for FREE. This is super convenient in places like Germany & Vaud where you will need to have a car to take your waste to the recycling centers & may have to pay for recycling.
Weighing scale for boxes
We were given a 150kg allowance – whichever is higher volumetric or actual weight – by the DFA. This limit is totally dependent on your company or Foreign Service.
Some don’t have this benefit. We are really lucky to have this because we can place some clothes & things that we need immediately, that would be too expensive if we had to pay for overweight luggage in the plane.
CROWN packed it for us with as much love as they packed our sea shipping. Team Leader Beng helped us MAXIMIZED our allowance while making sure things were SAFELY packed.
WHAT WE INCLUDED IN OUR UAB TO SWITZERLAND
- STOKKE Tripp Trapp chair
- Extra clothes that are too bulky to go into our airplane luggage
- Velvet Hangers
- Cutlery or flatware except knives
- Small kitchen appliances
- Coffee maker
- Silicone glasses
- A pot & pan
- Vitamins & supplements
- Some snack foods
- Dog food
- Sewing kit – minus sharp objects
WHAT IS NOT ALLOWED IN THE UAB TO GENEVA
Please note that this list VARIES according to the airline you are using & destination country. We were informed by CROWN RELOCATIONS that these were not allowed:
- Anything sharp like needles. scissors, knives
- Anything with a battery i.e. AA battery, rechargeable vacuum
- Toolkit with screwdrivers, etc.
- Liquids like toiletries & sanitizers
- iMac – I was really sad about this!
Having done the UAB packing list for a Move Coaching client, I know that it’s not the same for all destinations/shippers/planes so it’s better to TRIPLE CHECK so nothing gets confiscated.
My Move Coaching client from the US Embassy was able to bring a good set of knives & tools to help them settle down faster. This is how I know that it’s not the same for all moves. Very important to check with your MOBILITY ADVISOR.
The great thing about using CROWN is that they are super responsive to all our questions. So we were able to pack accordingly.
WHAT I WISH WE COULD HAVE INCLUDED IN OUR UAB
I really wanted to bring my toolkit with all the screws & tools that I would need to settle down, a set of good knives,liquid toiletries, dog shampoo & conditioner. But this is not dependent on CROWN. Rather they are the rules that are set by the airline & destination country.
I was a bit sad when the CROWN RELOCATIONS team was done packing & loading our UAB because they were such a great crew who were so capable & handles our things with love. You could tell that they love their jobs & have been with the company a while. I am forever grateful to Beng & his team together with Robin, Rea & Abigail.
Once you experience CROWN RELOCATIONS‘ service, it’s hard to imagine going backwards.
I made a mistake coz I thought an item was not battery operated BUT IT WAS & sure enough it was confiscated. Totally my fault for not really inspecting the product. I thought it had a base that helped create the sanitizer then the spray was manual, but apparently the base was connected to the spray so it was battery operated.
I was just so tired and also managing to sell/dispose the items that we couldn’t bring that I had one of those #mommybrain moments! I was really sad about my mistake because I was so looking forward to using it! Sigh.
But I am happy that CROWN RELOCATIONS informed us of what happened. It did not just disappeared without us knowing. That’s excellent support & coordination with a client!
If you are doing UAB, is to make sure that the quote given to you is ALL-IN DOOR TO DOOR, because some extra charges might pop up.
OUR UAB SCHEDULE
We try to schedule UAB PICK UP it close to the date so that we only have to 1 or 2 nights to worry about where we will have no basic necessities. We do not get hotel allowance for this so usually we either stay with lovely friends/colleagues or luckily in Manila we had family, so we stayed with my in-laws between 15 to 17 April!
- 15 April 2021 – UAB pick up from our Manila home
- 17 April 2021 – Flight to Geneva
- We asked them to store while looking for a flat (see below)
- 11 May 2021 – A few days after we gave our address, they delivered it
SAFE & FREE STORAGE
We did not know how long it would take us to find a flat in Geneva. Geneva is notorious for how hard it is to find a flat. It took my BIL 4 months & I see some people in the Geneva Expat groups who still haven’t been accepted for a flat 6 most after they arrive.
We were so so lucky that we loved & applied for the first home we viewed & 2 weeks later we were accepted. Though we could not move in yet, because it was under construction.
Once we signed, had an address to ship to & an estimate date for move in, TD informed CROWN & they scheduled shipping.
ARRIVAL OF OUR UAB IN GENEVA
On 11 May 2021, CROWN SWITZERLAND delivered the UAB to our 1st floor flat. Here in Switzerland like in Germany, one floor up is called the 1st floor – unlike for us in the Philippines (or USA) where it is called the 2nd floor.
GOOD TO KNOW: Each time we lived in Europe we always make sure to live on the 2nd floor or 1 floor on top of the ground coz we know that this level this is free & included in the moving delivery fee. If you live on a higher without an elevator that can carry your furniture, you will most likely be charged extra. In the DFA, we would have to personally cover these extra charges.
COVERAGE OF UAB DELIVERY
I get asked this a lot. Do the movers bring up items? Do they deliver to your door or inside the home? Do they unpack for you? Here’s the low down:
- CROWN SWITZERLAND delivered the items to the CORRECT ROOMS
- They REMOVED our items from the boxes
- They ASSEMBLED the same items that they dismantled for us in the Philippines like our flatscreen TV and @diplobaby’s Stokke Baby TRIPPTRAPP high chair
- They then took the BOXES/PACKAGING with them to bring to the recycling center
It was done very quickly and professionally! We are always so amazed at how fast professionals do it compared to us!
Imagine if they didn’t take away the packaging, we would need a huge car & numerous trips to the deccheterie (garbage dump) to get rid of them. At that time we didn’t have a car yet so this part of the service was essential.
I hope these details are interesting for you or help with a future move!
How about you, have you done UAB and what was your experience like? Do you have any tips or tricks you like to follow for UAB?
Moving is one of the most stressful things we will do in life, but doing it during a pandemic is so much more complicated so I’ve been wanting to document this unique time in history and also my experience with CROWN RELOCATIONS. So far I’ve written:
13 TIPS ON HOW TO CHOOSE A MOVER DURING A PANDEMIC
CROWN RELOCATIONS’ PRE-MOVE CUSTOMER SUPPORT
PACKING UP OUR HOME DURING A PANDEMIC
So please check out these super informative posts!
OTHER MOVING RELATED POSTS:
Delivery of Our Shipment & Unpacking Our Lives
The Importance of Getting Transit Insurance #CrownCare
What is a Mobility Advisor?
+63 28 822 1123 • firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon – Fri 8:00am – 5:30pm • Sat 9:00am – 1:00pm
Lot 5 Block1, Phase 7-A,
Laguna Technopark – Special Economic Zone, Binan, 4024 Laguna,Philippines
+63 32 520 7206 • email@example.com
Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm
Warehouse 9 Forestview Realty Development, Kapaz Road, Brgy. Catarman, Liloan, Cebu
I hope you find this post helpful for your future moves! Please feel free to share it on Social Media & with friends who might need to read this too!