Why are car rental companies getting a pass on making their rates more transparent when it is very difficult to compare them on an apples to apples basis?
There’s so much talk about airline fees, you might forget about the car-rental industry, which is cashing in, as well.
The Global Business Travel Forecast 2013 from American Express Global Business Travel predicts that although increased car-rental competition in North America in 2013 will drive down base rates, average daily rates will “rise slightly” next year because of increases in ancillary fees.
And, these fees, which generally appear during the online booking process after you select a vehicle, may cover everything from GPS systems to insurance coverage and booster seats, in the unlikely event a kid is tagging along or you extend your trip.
The Amex business travel study forecasts that business-class airfares in North America will increase 1% to 3% for long- and short-haul routes. Factors contributing to the airfare increase include the U.S. presidential election, economic woes in Europe, and airlines controlling capacity.
Meanwhile, mid-range hotels in North America are expected to boost rates 2% to 7%, while increases would be 4% to 9% for more upscale hotels, the study says. A lack of new rooms couple with a moderate growth in occupancy are behind the rate increases, the study says.
The global forecast covers air, car and hotel rates in 29 countries, and points to expected price increases for business travel in specific countries within Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.
Here are other findings from the forecast:
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