Sometimes, all people need to have a successful business is a good idea. Take the new car rental company FlightCar. Haven’t heard of it yet? Right now it is limited to just San Francisco. To be more accurate, it is just limited to a parking lot at San Francisco International Airport. Here, three teenagers have come together to change the face of the rental car industry. They don’t even need any capital to get started. All they need are travellers’ cars and some strangers to drive them.
The idea behind FlightCar is pretty simple. Travellers leave their keys with FlightCar, and the company rents them out to other people. So what does the owner of the car get in return? First, he enjoys free parking at the airport even if someone does not rent his car. Second, he gets a free car wash. Most importantly, he gets a cut of the money that his car makes as a rental. So if a traveller’s car gets rented a lot, he not only saves money on not having to pay for airport parking but also makes money while he travels.
Rujul Zaparde, who is the chief executive of FlightCar, said that he never understood why airports have parking lots full of cars that are not being used for anything. They just sit there, sometimes for weeks at a time. Hertz, on the other hand, has a parking lot full of cars, but this company makes a lot of money. So why not turn these other airport parking lots into money makers as well.
Despite the fact that this may sound like a good idea, FlightCar is having a lot of problems getting going. No, it isn’t having problems getting travellers to agree to this setup. It is having problems with government regulations. According to officials in San Francisco, and other car rental companies at the airport, FlightCar is undercutting the rental car industry at the airport. It is doing this by acting like a rental company. However, someone cannot just act like a rental company and ignore all of the regulations that govern it.
According to airport spokesman Doug Yakel, the airport has nothing against the idea on paper. In fact, he thinks it is a good idea. However, the airport wants to enforce a consistent standard with all of its services. These teens have set up a company in the airport’s parking lot, and they do not follow government regulations.
San Francisco has already filed its own lawsuit against FlightCar. The goal of this lawsuit is to shut the company down until it complies with all government regulations. This does include conducting all drop-offs and pick-ups in a designated area. On top of this, the group has to pay 10 percent of its gross profits to the airport. It will also have to pay $20 per rental transaction. After all, it is using the airport’s parking lot, but the airport is not receiving anything for it.