FlightCar sued by San Francisco airport

A company that rents out the cars of airport passengers while they are out of town is facing a legal challenge in San Francisco that may affect its operations in Boston.

FlightCar, a peer-to-peer car sharing business that launched at Logan International Airport last month, is being sued by the city of San Francisco for refusing to pay fees required of other rental car companies at San Francisco International Airport. FlightCar owners say they are not subject to these fees because they are not based on airport property, they use an airport-authorized car service to drive customers to the terminals, and don’t rely solely on the airport for customers.


FlightCar, of Santa Clara, Calif., says it is working with the airport to come up with payments that fit the company’s car sharing/car service/parking lot business model.

As in San Francisco, FlightCar does not have a permit to operate at Logan Airport. The company keeps departing airline passengers’ cars at an East Boston parking lot and gives them a cut of the earnings if someone rents their car.

Massachusetts Port Authority, which runs Logan, said it is following the San Francisco suit closely.

“Massport does not have an operating agreement with the company,’’ Massport spokesman Matthew Brelis said in a statement, “and therefore we cannot ascertain if they provide the levels of safety, security and customer service that we expect from companies that do business at Logan Airport.’’

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