I had two packages lost in the past six months, both sent by Airsure from the UK to the US. In both cases the USPS agent I spoke with said they could not track this type of mail through our system after it enters the US; tracking is only updated when it reaches the destination (as with our delivery confirmation service, not as with our Registered Mail service). However, this is the Royal Mail blurb on Airsure; implies it can be tracked:
Airsure® can be up to one day faster than Airmail. Your item will receive priority handling at home and overseas and benefits from an online tracking facility so you can check your mail's progress along the way. We work closely with our international partners to ensure and maintain a high quality of service for our customers. For that reason, Airsure® is only available to selected destinations.
Airsure costs about twice as much to three times as much as regular mail (my packages are all small envelope sized). My question to my British (and other!) friends is, should I request Recorded Mail, or take a chance on the cheaper regular mail, which has never lost a shipment of similar sized packets?
The short answer is NO, not even close.
As of a couple years ago it seems that both the US & OZ no longer treat incoming international registered mail securely. I'd found a thread here at BS about lost registered mail with a few links to some other forums & found there's hundreds of complaints about both countries for just that (not to mention a slew about registered mail being dropped in the box without a sig).
Domestic registration is still treated securely, same as it always was, it's just the incoming stuff from elsewhere that isn't.
Someone mentioned that the big red "R" can be translated in Aussie as "steal me, I'm valuable". Ditto for American translation.
So I quit having it done from elsewhere when I order a pricey pack or collection, & just go 1st-class. But I used to love Airsure when I was in FL, I'd get a letter-size mailing faster from the UK than from someone in the US (at 1/3 the cost of USPS' In'tl Priority flat-rate envelope), usually within 3 days.