““When I made the film The Invention of Lying, they gave me a private jet for getting back and forth between New York and London. I thought, ‘I will never use it’ but I ended up using it every weekend. You turn up, right, and the airport is completely empty. I mean, there’s just someone at the desk and then the pilot, who says, ‘Are you ready to go?’ and you say, ‘Don’t you want to see my passport?’ and he goes, ‘Oh yeah, I suppose I’d better.’” ”
An end to luggage lugging
Want to avoid the time and trouble of packing for trips and carrying suitcases to and from airports? For a fee, Reston, Va.-based Flylite will take the job-and bags-off your hands.
Here's how the deal works. You visit
www.flylite.com and indicate what you need to pack for trips. Flylite then sends you appropriately sized luggage, which you fill and return. The company stores your items and catalogs them online.
At least 48 hours before traveling, you access your online "iCloset" with a password, pick what you need for that particular trip, drag and drop the items into a virtual suitcase and provide the address of the hotel or other destination to which they are to be sent. Flylite packs and ships your things in time to have them waiting for you when you arrive.
At the end of the trip, toss your stuff back into the suitcase and call Flylite. The company picks up the bag, cleans the contents and stores everything until your next trip. It also replaces consumables such as toothpaste, shaving accessories and shampoo.
The setup cost for the service is $500. The fee thereafter ranges from $100 to $200 per round trip, plus the price of laundering and dry cleaning, for shipments to "in zone" cities, which include New York; Washington, D.C.; Boston; and Philadelphia. Shipments to other cities in the continental U.S. are available for higher fees. Flylite expects to add Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas to the "in-zone" list shortly and to add international cities within 18 months.
The company is bonded and its employees undergo background checks. Stored items are insured for up to $20,000, while individual shipments are covered for up to $5,000. Higher coverage limits are available for an additional fee.
Flylite CEO Steve Zilinek founded the business after he got tired of dealing with his own luggage and hired an assistant to do for him what his company now does for clients.