Price Gouging: Denver Airport

A bad name for a practice in basic economics where prices are unaccountably inflated for some items.  When this happens due to severe shortages, the law often steps in to punish anyone who gets a profit from these prices.  Occasionally, the price gouge happens due to price fixing among competitors.  That also leads to high levels of consumer anger and law interventions to punish the evil-doers.

Unless the government does it.

For example, Denver build an airport even though they already had one.  Then they used regulation to force the older one out of business.  And more regulations to force airlines to send their routes to the new airport.  But the new one was hugely more expensive to get to and operate out of, so they forced customers to pay more for it.

Example:   Rental cars.  If you rent a mid sized car in downtown Denver, it will cost you $200 a week.  If you get the same car at the airport, prepare to pay twice that much.

So, get clever and decide to use a hotel free airport shuttle and rent a car from their location.  Guess what.  All airport fees apply.  It is so bad, that many hotels have discontinued operating their free airport shuttles entirely.  To get local pricing on rental cars, you have to prove you didn’t arrive at that airport within the last 24 hours.  I have no idea how they enforce this.  But I suspect it is a combination of each rental car company self-enforcing so that they can recoup their own high gouged fees from the airport authority, and a city enforcement to make sure no one is poaching.

A huge scam that takes advantage of business and leisure travelers who have the misfortune of flying into Denver instead of one of the other cities in Colorado.  Everywhere else in the country, competition drives prices down, even in and around airports.  But in Denver, you are going to pay because the payment is a tax and they are not going to let you escape the tax.

Anywhere else in the country, a slick district attorney with political ambitions would have taken a class action lawsuit against the localities that enforce this.  Not in Denver.

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About No One

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One Response to Price Gouging: Denver Airport

  1. Og says:

    Thankfully, I rarely end up there, but true on all counts, Guess they have to make up for all those taxes they were going to collect selling dope, which never materialized.

    Like

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