ACRA Letter to DOT Discusses Recovery Commission for Airport Concessionaries

Air travel is coming back. ACRA would like a representative from the car rental industry be included in the membership of a possible Aviation Recovery Commission.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons/Lufthansa 737 interior.

The American Car Rental Association (ACRA)’s President Sharky Laguana sent a letter to Department of Transportation’s Secretary Pete Buttigieg regarding DOT’s consideration to assemble an “Aviation Recovery Commission.”

This commission would look at methods to help with the recovery of the entire airport ecosystem (airlines, airports, and concessionaries like car rental companies) from the travel downturn caused by the Covid pandemic. ACRA requested that a representative from the car rental industry be included in the membership of this type of commission.

Laguana highlighted some statistics that illustrate the impact of the pandemic on the car rental industry. According to data by the Federal Aviation Administration, car rental company concession fees paid to airports were down 66% in 2020 ($1.97 billion in 2019, $654 million in 2020). Car rentals at airport locations were down 50% and 90% in 2020, depending on the location. ACRA members laid off or furloughed approximately 60,000 individuals in 2020.

In state news, ACRA is working with a consulting firm in California to study the likely effects of removing the statutory price caps on loss damage waiver (LDW). California is one of three remaining states (as well as New York and Nevada) that limits the price of this product. This study is part of a strategy to pass legislation to remove the price cap. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed legislation that repeals the long-term rental tax of 1.5%. This tax was applied to a rental of 30 days or more.

In other ACRA news, the association welcomes two new regular ACRA members: SLOCAL, Inc. (dba Hertz Rent A Car) in San Luis Obispo, Calif; and Gateway Rent A Car in Downey, Calif. Renewing associate ACRA members include Driverge, Bluebird, and Insurance Auto Auctions, Inc. 

Despite the opportunity to “skip” a year of paying membership dues, 35-plus ACRA Regular Members have renewed their membership in 2021 and paid their 2021 dues.

“ACRA thanks all our rental car operators who have graciously renewed their ACRA membership at a time when the pandemic has caused so many hardships for small businesses. Your support is greatly appreciated.”

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