When the airports shut down, short-haul fliers turn to the rental car kiosks. They’re willing to brave dangerously slick streets to get home, causing a one-way drain for the lots. The rush of bad weather that cut through New York on December 19 and 20, 2009 left parking spaces empty and led to more than a bit of frustration, as Hertz was unable to deliver on rental reservations.
According to an e-mailed statement in Bloomberg News, Richard Broome, a spokesman for the company, said, “We have been moving in cars to Manhattan as fast as possible, but we are playing catch up.” He continued, “The unusually severe storm created a temporary fleet shortage.”
When 10 inches of snow were dropped on New York City, 1,600 flights were canceled. Over the past two years, Hertz has cut its rental car fleet, and it has fallen victim to the travel slump that’s raged around the world. Both factors put pressure on the company’s ability to fulfill. This quarter, however, it began to increase its fleet by 18 percent, because of an increase in demand it had already noted.