Rental car companies at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport will soon be able to charge customers 1 percent more to go toward the contractual payments they have had difficulty paying to the airport recently, according to the ArgusLeader.
After car rental revenues at the airport were down 23 percent in 2009, the airport authority began looking at possible relief solutions. Last year, four of the five companies didn't collect enough money to cover their annual fee. Rental car agencies have said the number of business travelers coming into Sioux Falls and renting cars has fallen.
The companies will be able to charge the increased amount to customers beginning June 1, and the authority will review the process in the fall to determine if other relief is needed.
The authority's Executive Director Dan Letellier said traffic at the airport in March was good for the first time in many months. But rental company revenues still are down 14 percent compared to last year.
This year, the rental car companies and the airport also will negotiate a new contract, which has been a multi-year contract in the past. Rental companies bid to get counter space at the airport by offering a minimum guaranteed payment to the airport. If business isn't strong enough for them to collect that amount during the year, the companies must pay the rest of the amount out of pocket.
Wendy Duval, director of airport properties and relations for Enterprise Holdings, which has the Enterprise car rental business and others, said the 1 percent increase in commission collection will help but is only a first step. She would prefer to also see a reduction in the minimum guaranteed payments.