January Airport Rates Continue Downward Trend

With the help of Jim Tennant of The Tennant Group and Michael Meyer of Rate-Highway Inc., we are conducting rate surveys on a weekly basis and providing analysis and comments where appropriate. We publish this monthly recap in our electronic edition and more comprehensive looks in the print editions.

After an upward spike in rate quotes in August and September, January 2017 continued the flattening downtrend we have seen since those two promising months. January was down $3.87 from a year ago, which doesn’t give cause for optimism in the first quarter. The Southeast region was up $1.61 while the other four regions were down — with the Northwest down $8.06 compared to a year ago.

Last month, we looked at full-year results nationwide. This month, we are looking at individual brand pricing to see if the industry turmoil has led to any visible changes in pricing strategy.

The table above shows each of the eight major brands’ average rate quotes over the last three years, each company’s rank within the eight brands, and the number of weeks with the highest average quote for the top three brands. According to the chart, Avis has moved from No. 1 three years ago to No. 3 while Enterprise Holdings has established National firmly in the No. 1 position in the last year.

Although Hertz had the highest average quote two years ago, it was only No. 1 for 18 of the 52 weeks, so it must have had a higher spread over Avis and National when it was in the top spot.

Avis shows similar statistics when it was No. 1 three years ago. Traditional rate management thinking is that among similar brands — which the top three are — rank is more important than the spread, so a rate manager would normally try to be under his rival by as little as possible. One wonders what strategy would allow Hertz and Avis to have an apparently larger than normal spread over the others.

Among the other five brands, the only movement was a switch between Dollar and Thrifty for the No. 8 spot. Under DTG ownership, Dollar was always lowest, but Hertz has made Thrifty the lowest.

Rate data provided by Rate-Highway, a leading provider of revenue management services for the auto rental industry. Rates are an average of aggregator/OTA rates for all vendors present in the markets listed on the date of the survey. These tables and graph show the average of all base rate quotes per day for an ICAR at the six or 50 airports shown, for arrivals 15 to 21 days ahead of the date of the survey, for two- and seven-day rentals.
Rate data provided by Rate-Highway, a leading provider of revenue management services for the auto rental industry. Rates are an average of aggregator/OTA rates for all vendors present in the markets listed on the date of the survey. These tables and graph show the average of all base rate quotes per day for an ICAR at the six or 50 airports shown, for arrivals 15 to 21 days ahead of the date of the survey, for two- and seven-day rentals.

Comments

  1. Heather [ February 6, 2017 @ 11:39AM ]

    I wonder how much these rankings would change if total pricing was used instead of average rate. As average rate only usually makes up less than 60% of the total cost. That leaves the rest of the taxes( which should be equal among companies) and fees which are all over the place. I've see energy recovery fees of $5-7 a day on my final bill from some companies A/C fees of $2-3. When I rent from another company at the same airport I'm not charged these fees. So if you take the example of Budgets avg rate of $46.60 add $7 for energy recovery fee and your over $53. Total pricing would be a much more accurate pricing as it is easy to sneak in extra rate. I assume this is why some companies charge nonsense fees so when it comes up in an average daily rate search on anyone of the plethora of websites they look to be the lowest and the consumer never has a clue because they assume all companies charge the same "fees"

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