"Imagine that next time you drive to the airport, you don't have to pay for parking and at the end of your trip your car will be returned to you freshly cleaned." FlightCar CEO Rujul Zaparde sure got my attention when he posed that travel scenario to me the other day.
If you’re like me, one of the most stressful parts of air travel is the drive to the airport, the hassle of finding long-term parking, the inevitable-yet-somehow-always-shocking expense, and the prospect of having to do the whole thing again after the return trip. FlightCar, launched by Zaparde in 2013, is taking the sting out of airport parking and sweetening the prospect of renting a car (when was the last time you actually looked forward to picking up a rental car?).
Inspired in part by sharing-economy models such as Airbnb, FlightCar makes sharing cars more convenient than you might have thought possible, adding up to a win-win for both car owners and car renters:
Car owners save on parking fees and even make a little extra money. Instead of parking your car at the airport when you fly, FlightCar allows you to list your car online in advance of an upcoming trip. Travelers planning to visit your town can browse listings and book your car. Instead of parking at the airport, you drop off your car at a FlightCar station, where staff shuttle you on a quick ride to the airport. For each day that a visitor to your town rents your car, you’ll receive some money. At the end of your trip, you’ll return to a clean car with a full tank of gas.
Car renters get a way cooler set of wheels. Prospective car renters can see what type of vehicles are available that match their dates of travel and their needs, and they enjoy a unique car for their visit. Renters can contact FlightCar at any point for assistance, and when it's time to return the car to a FlightCar station before the flight home, renters get a quick shuttle ride to the airport.
On top of the potential savings, I’m impressed by how FlightCar has been relentlessly improving its already efficient and enjoyable customer experience by building a sharing community online, taking customer questions and suggestions seriously, and offering clear and transparent information on pricing, insurance, and rental policies. And the FlightCar app, available for iOS and Android, offers its own seamless, intuitive experience.
FlightCar is currently available at 12 major U.S. airports, including Newark, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, and others, with more coming soon.
Learn more (and take the FlightCar app for a spin!) at FlightCar.com.