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Jul 16, 2018 1:23 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Startup Luggage Courier Service Partners With Blade To Transport Bags

Danielle Candela, the owner of Tote Taxi, recently struck a deal with Blade to transport luggage from Manhattan to the East End by way of helicopter.   DANA SHAW
Jul 17, 2018 3:13 PM

A young entrepreneur is offering a luggage delivery service to transport bags and belongings from Manhattan to the Hamptons, for those seeking the swag lifestyle of the East End without having to worry about something so pedestrian as luggage.

The service began six weeks ago and, since then, a deal has been made to transport heavier luggage to the East End for those limited by weight when flying by helicopter.

The founder of Tote Taxi, Danielle Candela, 28, of Southampton Village, recently struck a deal with Blade, a New York City-based company that offers helicopter service between Manhattan and the Hamptons, to carry a passenger's luggage for $149. The catch: The service has to be set up at the time the flight is booked.

The fee allows customers to bump the allowable baggage weight from 20 pounds to 75. Though the bags would not be permitted on the helicopter, they get picked up from the customer’s residence and dropped off at their final destination on the East End. Ultimately, the customer flies without the bags and would not have to worry about carrying them to their destination.

“It’s an add-on service, and we’re on their app,” Ms. Candela said. “Clients can book their flights and add Tote Taxi.”

Ms. Candela, who grew up in East Quogue, presented her business plan to a “Shark Tank”-like panel in the fall during a competition called “Rip Tide: Sink or Swim” in Southampton Village. The competition was hosted by i-Hamptons, a community organization that provides resources and support to local innovators and entrepreneurs. Out of 20 contestants, Ms. Candela won the top prize of $15,000 for her vision of a luggage delivery service.

After winning Sink or Swim, Ms. Candela launched her business in the spring and has averaged 50 bags per week transported from the city to the East End.

“We’ve carried pro golfers’ bags—[they] played in the U.S. Open—a Victoria’s Secret model’s suitcase, flea market patio chairs, [and] baby equipment,” Ms. Candela said. “Basically, in the short six weeks, we’ve done a lot. Everyone has some sort of need to have their belongings transferred from the city to the Hamptons.”

On top of partnering with Blade, Ms. Candela said she also worked a deal with Surf Lodge in Montauk. Visitors who check out but remain in Montauk until their transportation arrives can now check their bags with Tote Taxi for $5—sort of like a coat check-in service.

Candela’s company also will transport those bags back to Manhattan for a client, using a brand-new Mercedes Sprinter van that she purchased with her Sink or Swim winnings, but for a separate fee that ranges from $39 to $69.

Ms. Candela admits purchasing the van might not have been her best decision during her first year in business, but argues that the purchase demonstrates her commitment to the longevity of the company—and she said she is glad she did.

“I’m having the time of my life—every day is an adventure,” Ms. Candela said. “I’m a truck driver, a messenger, a dispatcher, customer service rep, accountant … you name it.”

She added that she “never thought I’d get into the trucking and logistics industry.”

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Hahahah oh boy...the anti airport people are going to LOVE this .......
By Sturgis (442), Southampton on Jul 17, 18 9:38 AM
Sounds like a good business model. To bad she can’t make helicopters quieter.
By Fred s (933), Southampton on Jul 17, 18 9:49 AM
First world problems...
By Mr. Z (10410), North Sea on Jul 17, 18 9:24 PM
So twice as much air pollution to transport Biffys luggage , as well as traffic. Gotta wash that down with a cold bottle of Hamptons Fresh Water
By toes in the water (673), southampton on Jul 18, 18 7:10 AM
If your baggage is over your allowable weight limit just buy another seat or two or charter the whole dayum helicopter.
By Hobie58148 (13), East Hampton on Jul 18, 18 6:17 PM
harbor hot tubs,