In 1946, when Mr. Avis opened his first Avis Airlines Rent-A-Car in Florida and Michigan, all his rival companies were in downtown garages. So Mr. Avis, a former major in the Army Air Force who spent a great deal of time at airline terminals, decided to open rental centers at airports, where he reasoned thousands of airline passengers would need a ride. "Nobody thought it would work," Mr. Avis said in a 1987 interview. "There was incredible trouble. You had to get all the airlines to cooperate. Where did you put the cars?" But it did work. Avis employees parked the cars outside airport terminals, and customers, who were at first confused, soon figured out the new system. Within a decade, Avis was second in size only to Hertz[.]
Jason Zengerle