What does PDX airport get when they up add two young entrepreneurs, several high-profile backers, and one simple idea?
The answer is free longterm airport parking and a chance to actually make money while traveling by renting out your unused vehicle through FlightCar.
Here’s how it works: departing travelers can leave their car in the FlightCar parking lot and get a free, six-minute ride to the airport terminal. While owners are away, FlightCar offers their vehicles to pre-screened members visiting Portland as rentals. Owners receive up to $0.40 per mile driven, depending on the type of car and how much it is used. The car gets a vacuum and wash whether or not someone rents it, and cars are insured for up to one million dollars.
According to FlightCar cofounder Kevin Petrovic, 20, the San Francisco-based startup began with a simple observation: “At the airport you often have this one parking lot with longterm parking for travelers, and you might have another lot right next to it with a bunch of rental cars,” Petrovic says. “So we were like ‘Hey, couldn't you just combine those two lots?’”
Since launching in 2012, FlightCar has expanded to 12 airports across the US, including DC, Austin, San Francisco, and LA and has gotten publicity help from Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky and Ashton Kutcher. So far Petrovic says the Portland location, which came online earlier this year, is doing well: “We’ve had a lot of happy customers, and as we go into the summer months and more people are traveling, especially on vacations, I think business will pick up for us even more.”