by Grand Forks Herald
May 23, 2012 at 11:52 am in Grand Forks Herald
United Airlines will add service to Grand Forks International Airport, according to a news release from Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s office. Continue Reading
Tags: air, Grand Forks, grand forks international airport, North Dakota, United Airlines, updates 73 Comments »
I’d have thought Dalrymple would hold off and play this card later in the campaign cycle.
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Wow! This has been a long time coming. But I don’t think it would have happened without the new terminal. Congrats!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 26 3
More like it would not have happened if GF had not given UAL $500,000 to do it. I wonder how long they will stick around after the 500K is gone? Will they bail like Frontier did to Fargo after the 500K Fargo gave them ran out? As for Hal Gershamn’s comment on this will help the economy is pure BS. I spent two and half years researching this for my master’s thesis and their is no evidence that air service does anything to grow an economy. Sure GFK has had growth, thank you Allegiant and Canada for that considering that 75% of the Allegiant boardings are Canadians. Ticket prices will not go down at all.
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Grand Forks has been dangling guarantees in front of airlines for years and they haven’t bitten. So, why now? An investment in our terminal that demonstrates a long-term commitment to air service.
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“it would not have happened if GF had not given UAL $500,000 to do it.”
You’re saying Grand Forks city government BRIBED United? United got a payoff for coming to GF?
Corporate Welfare is NEVER justified.
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Did you analyze Minot’s air service grant as part of your thesis? They used the same grant for the same service in 2009. Their grant was refunded to the government and public in 2011 without a dollar being spent. Grants like these are a requirement in today’s airline environment or the airlines are not coming, it is to risky for them without it. These grants allow a partnership between the airline and the community to share a little bit of the risk. I think it is a major win for the community.
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In fact I did look at Minot and the use of thier grant. Minot is in a different position than Grand Forks being right next door to the Bakken. Also note that Delta dropped Salt Lake City service because the numbers were not there to justify the service. They did not get the money that United did. How fast would boarding numbers at GFK drop if Allegiant left?
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Jack, the Bakken impacts all who live in North Dakota. Currently there are over 70 businesses in Grand Forks alone doing business in the Bakken. An article published yesterday I believe, mentioned that in just a few years there will be over one million residents in North Dakota, surely they won’t all live in Minot or points West. Instead of seeing the negativity of doing good business (because sometimes it takes an incentive to get businesses to go somewhere new) why don’t you see the potential positive impact that this will have on our community and our economy. One Masters thesis does not an expert make.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 16 0
Where did you find information that Fargo gave Frontier $500k? Frontier left Fargo because the regional carrier that flew the route was being eliminated by the Republic Airways that purchased Frontier in bankruptcy. Republic decided to no longer fly the aircraft that served Fargo and they did not have any other options to serve the market at the time. Do some research before you post unsupported comments.
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The Fargo Forum is where it was written that they gave Frontier 500K. At first when Frontier went into Fargo the were going to use Republic’s Embraers then switched to the Q-400. Frontier also said they left because there was not enough business and they were losing money. Furthermore, Frontier still flies the Q-400 so your comment does not add up.
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Please cite the article you are referring to. You are completely incorrect in your comments.
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Knutson, John.”‘Frontier Airlines Set to End Its Service In Fargo”. 2-5-2010
http//:inforum.com. (accessed 2-6-2010).
Shawn Dobberstein: manager of the Fargo airport feels that the $500,000 given to Frontier Airlines was money well spent. He claims that Frontier provided a low-cost alternative to the legacy carriers and saved the consumer hundreds of thousands of dollars on airfares.
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Must be some translation issues between the news article and your keyboard. This is the article and I do not see a reference to $500k.
Frontier Airlines set to end its service in Fargo
Customers walk by the Frontier Airline ticket counter May 8, 2008, at Hector International Airport, days before the airline began its Fargo-Denver service. Forum file photo
Frontier Airlines – touted as a low-cost carrier that would bring down fares at Fargo’s Hector International Airport – is dropping its Fargo-Denver service, effective April 5.
The move is part of a companywide effort to use its aircraft more efficiently, Republic Airways Holdings Inc., the corporate parent of Frontier, stated in a news release Thursday.
“This is disappointing. But these are the ups and down of air service,” said Shawn Dobberstein, Hector’s executive director.
Frontier “did a great job serving our community with a great aircraft,” he said.
He noted that United will continue to provide Fargo-Denver service.
Frontier began offering its only Fargo service, the Fargo-Denver route, in May 2008. It has been providing two daily round-trip flights on a 74-seat aircraft.
Frontier’s arrival in Fargo was promoted by the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp. as an important step in increasing competition and lowering fares at Hector.
Frontier has saved area fliers a great deal of money by reducing fares charged by other airlines that serve Hector, Brian Walters, president of the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Corp., said Thursday.
The development corporation provided a one-time grant of $125,000 to help bring Frontier to Hector.
Walters said that amount was minor to what many other cities offer to attract air service and that the grant has been repaid many times over in the form of lower air fares.
The development corporation, citing the importance of air service in a global economy, has made a priority of attracting more carriers and flights to Hector.
Walters said that will continue despite Frontier’s decision to leave Fargo.
Hector has been on an upswing in recent years, with a record 348,961 passengers enplaned in 2009.
In April, American Eagle Airlines, the regional affiliate for American Airlines, will begin service between Hector and Chicago’s O’Hare International.
United Express already offers Hector/Chicago service, but the arrival of American Eagle will provide more options for fliers, Dobberstein said.
Frontier/Republic Airways is phasing out its Q400 turboprop aircraft, the plane used for Fargo-Denver service.
Frontier will also end operations April 5 in Tulsa, Okla., and in a number of other markets by the middle of September, the Republic Airways news release said.
It’s possible that Frontier/Republic someday could re-establish Fargo service with another aircraft, Dobberstein said.
“I think that opportunity is always present,” he said.
Frontier, in two incarnations, has a long history at Hector.
The original Frontier served Hector from 1975 to 1986, when it was purchased by Continental Airlines.
The current Frontier was established in 1994 and served Hector from 1994 to 1996, when it pulled out of North Dakota.
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You have to admit there is some irony in using the wrong “their” in a sentence pertaining to your thesis
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bummer, it removed my start/end grammar police statements
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Not as bad as posts supposedly put “under moderation” and then just deleted.
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That’s great if you are heading to the west coast. If they want to compete with delta though they are going to have to fly from gfk to Chicago
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Who cares about Chicago or other places BECAUSE this is progress and great news for Grand Forks.
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Why do you say this?
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Jack I think your thesis would be very interesting to read. I’m just happy to have another flight option. I wasn’t thinking about economy or growth etc. Just the extra flight option.
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GF residents have been hammered by the airlines for years. In the old days, NWA would absorb the GFK-MSP leg if you were flying on. That stopped. Just for fun I once researched fares on the NWA site. It cost more round trip from GFK-MSP than MSP-JFK. For today’s fares you get surly employees, a cup of tepid water, and luggage fees which earned Delta over $800 million this past year.
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I totally agree. This is incredible for Grand Forks. I just flew united a couple of weeks ago to Huntsville for a research campaign and loved it. Yes checked baggage charges are not very appealing, but everyone working at MSP (where I flew out of), ORD (connection), and on the planes were incredibly nice and made the trip enjoyable. Plus to fly out of MSP I only paid 450 whereas my undergraduate counterparts each had to pay about 800 to fly delta out of GFK. I may just have to finally visit denver now!
You really get the best service through Delta on international flights. A decent dinner, free drinks, wine with meals, free baggage check. But then you see how woeful most US airlines are when you fly within Europe: KLM, Iberia, and others. No contest.
I thought I’d run the same comparison today
Same dates, same length of time.
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Better add GFK-JFK 773.20
Cheaper to drive down and leave from MSP.
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Oh yes. It absolutely is. It is quite nice to have parents living in the Twin Cities to make it really easy to do. I get that since GFK is quite the small international airport and you have to connect to a larger hub to get most other places that in turn should be more expensive, but it is quite unreal that GFK->MSP is dollar for dollar with MSP -> JFK. That is quite incredible. And I do not doubt for a second that other countries’ airlines are many steps above United States airline companies. I vaguely remember seeing an article somewhere about the best airlines in the world and there were pretty much no American ones on the list, and if they were, it was either United or US and they were down the list
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I once had to fly to a city served only through Detroit. Problem was, the earliest GFK-MSP connection could not get me to the Motor City intime. So I had to drive down.
I’ve always wondered why GFK calls itself an “international” airport. Because private planes taking fishermen to Canada land there?
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I think because NW used to fly to & from Winnipeg.
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Add about 55 cents a mi.(wear&tear) driving to & from GF, i.e. 700 X 55= $400 plus parking. That’s about a wash isn’t it?
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If you do not have family in the twin cities who can keep your car for no parking cost and if you have to pay $60 to fill up your tank and do it 3 times over the drive then it might not be quite so different. Otherwise then 5 hour drive is absolutely worth saving that money
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Love to know where you got that .55/mile. We’d all have to buy new cars every 2 years.
S nameless plug that will curl Gene’s toes. John D. Odegard did his thesis on exactly what you are discussing. Is travel by car really cheaper when you factor in gas, wear & tear, hotels, “cost per man hour.”
If you are a lower level functionary, losing 8 hours work at $20 an hour might not break the bank (you are not working while driving).
A CEO who earns hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands per hour … That is a different story.
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With all due respect to John Odegard, I’m not talking about flying on an employer’s dime, but personal travel. Driving to and from the Cities is 2 tanks of gas, maybe an oil change, and parking. A hotel room may be avoided. A couple heading to JFK can save ~$400 on the tickets by skipping GFK and driving to MSP.
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Gene, don’t you read previous posts? Ron said on the 24th, “Wow! I have to agree with spearman for once. 50-55 cents a mile is the reinbusment rate for milage most companies give their employees when using their personal cars for buisness. I think its based off of the federal governments rate /ut don’t quote me on that”. IOW words Gene, use of your vehicle costs at least 55 cents a mi. when the bill comes due for wear & tear repairs. As you know mechanics charge anywhere from $50 – $130/hr.
That’s reimbursement. If your saying a 720 mi trip is going to cost $400 in wear and tear, maybe we should complain to the car manufaturers.
Just to add, what you’re saying is that if you put 30,000 mi/yr on your car, you’re paying $16,500 in upkeep. At that rate, it’s cheaper not to own a car.
Reimbursement for what if not for wear & tear. It isn’t for working while driving otherwise it wouldn’t be per mile. Of course it’s cheaper not to own a car. Not only does the car lose value as the miles are added on but the repairs increase.
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Didn’t dereg. make it possible for more to fly out of big cities but make airfares out of small towns prohibitive?
Deregulation simply said the airlines did not have to ask the government’s permission to set up or take down routes. In the old days the airline had to get permission to make changes.
Deregulation did nothing to address infrastructure capacity. It would be perfectly legal for whatever airline interested to open a route from GFK to JFK tomorrow. That does not mean they will have a place to land.
Landing times & gates at all major hubs are either already taken or cost prohibitive to acquire.
That is why Allegiant flies into Mesa not Sky Harbor in PHX. All of the low cost carriers use a similar strategy.
I love Delta. I have always received good service. That said, if my travel plans can be altered to accommodate Allegiant’s limited schedule; I can buy two Allegiant tickets for the price of one Delta.
That is the only reason my AZ family was able to attend my graduation
Small towns have always had problems getting service because of volume. Airlines lose too much money. That is why the government subsidizes smaller, unprofitable locations: to keep airline service going there.
Thank you Hal Gershman. Way to go…please stay on ‘em and get American going to the south next. Competition is good.
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I will use this service at least 2 – 3 times per year. Sure beats a 20 hour drive!
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Wow! I have to agree with spearman for once. 50-55 cents a mile is the reinbusment rate for milage most companies give their employees when using their personal cars for buisness. I think its based off of the federal governments rate /ut don’t quote me on that.
You are correct. Current IRS write off is 55 cents a mile. You can either have your company pay you & they get the write off, or keep a log & take the write off yourself if you itemize
Gene I believe the point of the 500 dollar gfk to msp is to make it more expensive for a one leg flight to msp. You cut that price in half and it keeps seats open for its main purpose connections in msp. Now when you include salaries, milage rates (internal or personal), add parking, time saved by flying you can really see a real deal for buisnesses.
United coming to gfk is a great thing! Straight connections to denver which connects you to the west coast. An added major airline that can compete with delta fornon direct connections anywhere in the u.s. I really don’t see a downside.
United Airlines coming to Grand Forks will not reduce airfares. United is not a low cost carrier. What it might do is force Delta to put larger than 50 seat jets in the market to offer a better product than United can offer.
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Mr realistic, but now you have a choice. If you want to fly to dallas you can choose either delta OR united! This allows you to choose the lower fare. You can choose delta or united based off of the fare they independently offer to the city of your choice. So yes it will reduce cost for the consumer.
United will match Delta and Delta will match United. Let’s see how much cheaper the fares are in 6 months after the introductory fares are no longer offered. American started service to Fargo in direct competition to Untied. Guess what, fares to Chicago are 50% higher than they were before American came. The only reason United is coming to GF (besides the subsidy) is because the fares are already high and they can make money if they can sell enough seats against Delta’s dominance. Whatever United sells in GF will take away from what they already sell in markets already 1-2 hours away (Winnipeg & Fargo).
Do not underestimate the value of competition. Most economists agree airline tickets would be 40% to 50% higher without deregulation. In that respect it was a complete success.
Fargo & GF will never generate overheated competition because of market size. That said, profit margins are so slim that Delta losing even 5% – 10% market share will make them take notice & respond.
Right now almost every GFK to MNPLS flight is at least 90% full. Drop that to 80% & things will start to happen.
Just remember: competition is a 2 edge sword. If Delta loses too much money they could just decide to leave GF instead of slashing fares.
Law of unintended consequences..
That said, competition is always better in the long run
Hey Gene, don’t you read previous posts? Ron said on the 24th, “Wow! I have to agree with spearman for once. 50-55 cents a mile is the reinbusment rate for milage most companies give their employees when using their personal cars for buisness. I think its based off of the federal governments rate /ut don’t quote me on that”. IOW words Gene, use of your vehicle costs at least 55 cents a mi. when the bill comes due for wear & tear repairs. As you know mechanics charge anywhere from $50 – $130/hr.
Gene, I don’t have a stat for you on personal vs buisness flights going out of gfk. But I would make the guess that it makes up a very large sum of the travel. This is where spearmans and my argument comes into play. You would be spending a large chunk of change to send 1 or 2 people by car to the twin cities just for a flight. You factor a 20 dollar an hour employee at close to 5 hours to drive it cost 100 for 1 employee. Add parking for 3 to 5 days. Gas. Personal use reimbursments and you can see the reason to spend an extra 200 bucks to connect themm directly from grand forks.
According to a friend (professor) in the aviation department at UND who is also on the state’s aviation regulatory committee the reason people fly in & out of GFK is pretty evenly split between business & pleasure.
The vast majority of Allegiant flights are pleasure. That is true of any low cost airline. Their limited scheduling makes them not very useful to business travelers.
On the other hand, the daily milk runs between GFK & MNPLS are often chalked full of road warriors making connections.
While this person obviously uses GFK, if you have some time to plan, leaving from Fargo can often sve you money.
As a complete aside, with all of the traveling I have been doing lately, I am becoming quite proficient at using GFK.
With a multi million dollar new terminal, can someone please explain why there are not more plug ins (electrical outlets). Most airports, except for the smallest – like Mesa, AZ – have rows of seats with outlets to recharge your phones, computers, iPads, etc.
As Gene & I have discussed several times, ND is stuck somewhere between 1901 & 1956. Here we are the owners of one of the newest airport terminals in the US, & we act like portable electronics have yet to be invented.
Epic fail. Leafy spurge all the way.
Nurse and gene, I would never fly a delta flight out of gfk for personal travel. You both are right in a way. It is cheaper for myself to make the drive and park my car at a relatives home in either fargo or minneapolis. Alegiant offers fares that make it worth my dollar to fly out of gfk. This is why they only offer flights to tourist destinations. The flights my company pays for are cheaper for them to book out of gfk on delta for reasons stated above.
@ 55 Cents a mile?
IOW it costs 55 cents a mile to drive a car with insurance, gas, depreciation & maintainance (aver. $100/hr. labor). How can it be cheaper to drive to Mpls. other than as a cash flow issue.
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For most people anymore time is a major issue; not so much with leisure travelers but definitely with business. With every airline reducing the number of flights to keep those flying fuller, it is almost impossible to fly almost anywhere & back in the same day. Spending 6 hours driving is unthinkable
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Ill make it quite simple:
I flew from MSP –> HSV for a research project as a part of graduate studies (HSV being Huntsville, AL).
I paid $470 for round trip airfare for the dates of May 9-June 23. I paid $40 in gas. Ill pay $40 in gas to get back. I pay $0 to park at my parents. Insurance I have to pay anyway to drive (since it’s kind of the law), so it doesn’t really count. I paid $0 in maintenance, because I don’t own a piece of junk car that breaks down for a silly 5 hour trip to the cities. Total: $550
To fly out of Grand Forks for the same trip (This was looked at everyday for months until I actually booked my flight with United) for May 9-June 23 for GFK HSV was $1200.
I dare you to tell me how I paid more to fly out of MSP than I would have out of GFK. But I am not holding my breath because you can’t. FACT.
Then why do companies pay someone 55 cents/mi. for driving one’s own car? Because that’s the cost of driving per mi.,right?
BTW, I forgot to mention you are using a strawman argument. For most people who don’t have a relative in Mpls. they end up in a hotel for a night & pay parking fees. Whether you drive a junker or not is irrelevant because ultimately you pay someone $100/hr. to fix accumulated wear & tear. Then there is depreciated value for accumulated high mileage. That is why co. pay 55 cents/pmi.
That I may be, but it goes to disprove your unstated assertion that in all cases it makes more sense to just pay up double or more what you would pay to fly out of MSP. Well, quite obviously its not true.
And no its not irrelevant. Its 700 measly miles. They are highway miles. 700 hwy miles compared to 700 city miles is a completely different comparison. You can google search these things. These days most cars can last more than 200-250,000 miles before dying. That requires the owner to actually give a hoot about their car and actually take care of it. If someone (like myself) has a nice car with low miles that is well taken care of and checked often (by myself or my father) who knows a few things about cars, any at all costly maintenance would not be needed for a long time, long enough to really prove that you cannot attribute that maintenance to that one trip to MSP.
All this gets away from my original point way up in the top of the conversation that, without explicitly stating it, that I would much rather fly United than Delta, due to my great experience with United and pretty terrible experience with Delta. Which all boils down to United coming to Grand Forks is a good thing and I, when time and money permits, will fly United direct to Denver as I have always wanted to visit Colorado.
Straw man again. Where did I say every case. Obviously you are an exception to my contention that 55 cents/mi. is paid by companies for a reason. Why is that in your opinion? Just give an answer. A company will pay a driver 55 cents per mile whether the car is new or not. Why is that? You argue from individual experience which cannot be objective “by definition”.
Spearman: 55 cents is an arbitrary figure. It is what the IRS allows businesses or individuals to deduct from their taxes for using private vehicles.
It is by no means reflective of actual costs. It was never meant to be. It is a book keepin baseline.
So FN you’re saying it costs more or less to drive a car per mi.? IOW if my company pays me 55 cents/mi. to drive my car on a business trip for them they are charging me 55 not because that’s what it costs me to drive my car but for some other IRS reason?
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FN, that should have read “my company pays me not charges me”. What do you mean that’s what they allow me to deduct from my taxes? Is that why they pay me the next week with a check for the amount that equals 55 cts. per mile, RT?
Spearman: the 55 cents is the amount the IRS allows per mile for using a private vehicle for work. If your employer reimburses you at this rate, they deduct it. No tax should be withheld by your employer.
The second option is you keep a detailed & verifiable log (in case you are audited) & you deduct it from your taxes.
I am lazy & turn in mileage on my expense voucher. I work with another nurse who prefers to claim her own.
Two ways to accomplish the same thing. The IRS has a handout covering the rules regarding use of personal vehiclems for work on their website
FN, could you ever give a straight answer & not be evasive in order to win arguments. You act like you don’t know what a rhetorical question is. Why does an employer pay us to drive our own vehicle? Anything you see on the various websites that explain the rate say it is to cover wear & tear/depreciation & all the other costs that by best estimates means it costs 55 cts./mi. to drive a car. Therefore it is a wash to drive to Mpls. to fly vs. flying out of GFK. The only thing one gains is more cash flow in one’s present budget.
United should help pick up Winnipeg traffic going west. United and Air Canada share on their frequent flyer program too. Canadian fares are usually much higher than Grand Forks when going to American destinations.
The last few times flying into Grand Forks on Delta, been seated next to Canadian business types who can get cheaper fares out of GFK. Also, a lot of DigiKey people who mostly fly west and to the Orient.
On the same day that United announced two daily flights from Denver to Grand Forks, they began service to Shreveport with one flight and a new 787 flight from Denver to Narita (Tokyo, Japan). United could have easily just added one flight per day to Grand Forks. Why two? Perhaps the growth of DigiKey – not just in Thief River Falls but with many offices the Orient – may be a key reason why United is adding Grand Forks. United wants DigiKey’s international travel business, which is the most profitable part of flying. DigiKey is now nearly a $2 billion dollar company (in sales) and still growing rapidly.
Spearman, don’t go to the dealership for repairs unless you are required to due to a security system or computer malfunction! 100 dollars an hour is an extreme rip off. You will find much lower rates by independent shops in the area with most of the mechanics being at or above the dealership mechanics skill level.
In the TC the range is about $65/hr for a mechanic working out of his own backyard shop to $130/hr @ a dealership.
Spearman you are right about 55 cents being the reimbursment because that is what it costs over the lifetime of use to drive and maintain a vehicle. You will see a lot of people buying basic 4 cylinder junkers and using them as their work vehicle (when they do not need to uphold a certain buisness image) because you save money since your car payment is lower and you get better gas milage. The argument here is that you are already paying for maintnece and upkeep so it does not factor into a short 2 day usage.
Nurse that is where you are wrong. 55 cents is the rate determined for basic car upkeep. car payment/rental fee. Gas, repairs, tires, oil changes were factors used to determine the cost over a cars lifetime.
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