FlightCar, a relatively new startup company that offers free parking to people willing to rent their cars, seems to be tackling multiple problems at once.
How does the service work? Air travelers who wish to gain free parking at certain airports are allowed to leave their vehicles in designated parking lots. In exchange for the free space, the vehicle is rented by pre-screened drivers. The owners of the car gain a town car ride to the airport, a car wash and per-mile payment in return.
“Everyone goes to the airport, everyone has trouble parking, so it just make sense,” said Kevin Petrovic, president and co-founder of FlightCar.
For now, it’s sticking to airport parking lots. It already operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle. But it just opened its services to Washington’s Dulles airport, and will soon add Philadelphia and Dallas to its outreach.
FlightCar's entrance into the market highlights the growing concept of a shared economy, where people’s needs are met through the agreement of shared resources. So, clearly there is a rising appeal for sharing, as opposed to owning, investments. As stated by one of FlightCar’s customer who was more than satisfied with the prices, “I might sell my car and just rent,” said "Juan D." on the company’s website.
For the tech-savvy millennial population, the idea comes at the right time. “[The] car was super clean and web experience was very easy. Free airport parking is a great deal and I was pleasantly surprised to get a $30 check” said another user, "Andy S."
The only foreseeable problem is of regulation. FlightCar offers insurance to car owners that go up to $1 million. Furthermore, they screen renters by going through their driving records, which would make people comfortable with the idea of letting strangers use their cars. Given that this is a new company, as it grows it will have to ensure its users completely reliability.
Although this is not the first of its kind – RelayRides launched in 2010 catering to the car-sharing marketplace – this is the first service that tackles the hassle of finding parking at airports.