Another indication emerged today of a shrinking economy: cutbacks on rental cars.
Ken Buchanan, the executive vice president of revenue management at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, told airport board members this morning that for the first three months of the fiscal year (which started in October), revenue from rental cars is $700,000 less (-8.7%) than budget. And for the month of December, it's $100,000 less (-1%) than than the same period in 2006.
The airport budgeted for travelers to spend an average of $54 a day on rental cars. But they instead spent $46 a day, he said.
Traffic is still robust. So, while travelers are not cutting back on rentals entirely, they are downsizing, Buchanan said.
"During this economic environment, people are not renting as many luxury cars as they could, or renting more of the mid-size and the economy-sized cars," he told board members. "So, this is a business we're watching extremely closely."