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Lightening the Car

Why this trick for saving money on a condo vehicle won’t work anymore

Why this trick for saving money on a condo vehicle won't work anymore 1

It used to be one of the most reliable cash-saving tricks while renting a vehicle: Reserve a car at an off-airport region and take an Uber or taxi. You can effortlessly knock off 10 percent or extra in airport charges.

But that loophole is ultimate.

Car-condominium customers report paying concession charges to U.S. Airports even though they didn’t use an airport apartment area. The costs have been quietly imposed through municipalities in an obvious effort to boost revenue. In the process, airports are curbing an approach for saving a few dollars on a vehicle apartment — unless you’re organized to lie approximately your itinerary. Consider what occurred to Art Kraus in Salt Lake City these days. When he arrived at a downtown area to select an apartment automobile, an Enterprise representative stated he might have to claim whether he’d flown into Salt Lake City. If he responded, sure, he’d pay an 11 percent fee, similar to the $322 condo price.


What’s going on right here?

Kraus, a retired federal employee, says the Enterprise worker told him that the city followed the charge coverage “to save you human beings from avoiding airport condo prices using flying in and then renting off-airport.” Laura Bryant, a spokeswoman for Enterprise, also attributes the airport fee, which has come to be not unusual for off-airport places, to neighborhood governments, which don’t want clients dodging airport costs. “When you pick up an automobile, you have to show your motive force’s license,” Bryant says. “If they see an out-of-nation license, they’ll ask if you flew in. If you flew in, you need to pay the airport rate.”

Even in case you didn’t get there in an airport courtesy van? “Even then,” Bryant says. There’s no quick and smooth way of discovering the airports at which nearby authorities seek to prevent price dodging or how they’re doing it. Salt Lake City International Airport confirmed that it assesses the airport concession fee for off-airport condo vehicle organizations connecting with their customers.

“These groups will normally use a go back and forth van or bus to pick out up or drop off their customers at the airport’s rental car center and feature signed concession agreements with the Salt Lake City Department of Airports,” stated Nancy Volmer, an airport spokeswoman. She introduced that this association has been a general exercise in Salt Lake City for over a decade and is codified in its concession agreement.

The Salt Lake City settlement prohibits an automobile-condominium employer from intentionally diverting “thru direct or indirect approach” any rental car or associated commercial Enterprise with the airport’s customers without together with such transactions within the concession’s gross revenue.

“The motive of the clause in the settlement is to prevent vehicle-apartment businesses from diverting clients to off-airport places,” Volmer says, including those car-condo organizations at airports that asked for the clause to shield their organizations. Similar clauses are located within the concession agreements for airport vehicle leases in Broward County, Fla.; Fresno, Calif.; Philadelphia; and San Francisco. Andy Podolsky, a retired consultant from Washington, D.C., says he saw a signal at an Avis area in San Diego warning that an airport concession charge could be accumulated “for clients who had flown in inside 12 hours of automobile pickup.”

“There was no mention of the potential fee while making my reservation on Avis.Com or inside the affirmation I obtained with the aid of electronic mail, and the clerk did no longer ask how or after I arrived in San Diego,” Podolsky says. That’s a transfer from the old policy, at least in San Diego. Andy Abramson, a communications representative from Los Angeles, used to hire cars in San Diego often. “Back then, the charges simplest applied to leases close to the airport where they picked up and dropped off at the airport,” Abramson says. “On the alternative hand, automobile-apartment organization locations that didn’t offer pickup and drop-off at the airport didn’t fee the fee. I assume the pickup and drop-off became the important figuring out the element.”