Consumer Briefs / TRAVEL; Airport car rentals lose some luster

Customer satisfaction with airport car rentals has declined, according to an annual survey by J.D. Power & Associates.

Now in its 12th year, the study measures overall customer satisfaction with renting cars at airports by examining costs and fees, the pickup process, the car itself, return process, reservation process and shuttle bus or van. The survey uses a 1,000-point scale, and found that overall satisfaction dropped from 767 points in 2006 to 750 in 2007.

"The decline in customer satisfaction with rental cars is indicative of a general decline in performance throughout the travel industry in 2007 from airports to airlines to hotels," said Jim Gaz, senior director of travel and entertainment at J.D. Power.

Enterprise ranked highest in customer satisfaction among rental companies. The 2007 survey is based on 5,859 evaluations from business and leisure travelers who rented from September 2006 to September 2007.