Avis apologizes for refusing to rent car over businessman’s Israeli identity

An Avis rental car. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

(JNS.org) The Avis car rental agency apologized for refused to provide an Israeli businessman with a rental vehicle because of his Israeli identity, following a report on the incident by the New York Observer on Sunday.

Dov Bergwerk, a senior executive at Israeli pharmaceutical giant Teva, said that on Friday he and his wife arrived at the Avis branch on West 76th Street and Broadway in New York City and were planning to join friends for dinner in Westchester.

Bergwerk told the Observer he has rented from Avis dozens of times before—but when he handed the agent his driver’s license, reservation number, and Wizard loyalty card, the unforeseen trouble started.

According to the Observer, a reservation agent named Angelline said it was company policy not to recognize Israeli documents. The branch manager, named Shamoura, sided with her reservation agent and refused to honor the reservation or recognize Bergwerk’s documents.

Avis said Tuesday on Facebook, “We have investigated the denial of a rental that recently occurred in Manhattan. We have found that we have been inconsistent in applying our policies with respect to documentation requirements with this customer, who has rented from us in the past without providing a second form of identification. We are committed to providing an outstanding car rental experience to our customers and believe that we should have done better here. We have spoken with the customer and apologized for the misunderstanding that occurred as a result of this inconsistency in applying our documentation policy, and the customer has accepted our apology.”

Posted on November 23, 2015 .