Occasionally Hertz throws me for a loop, as they did this week at BHM; a Fiat 500. 'Tis a silly car, and possibly asking for trouble here in grits 'n' BBQ country, but what the heck. Being Hertz, though, clowns weren't included, nor was an Italian supermodel.
What cars have made you go "huh"?
Did you sit in the back seat to drive that thing?
I must say that Hertz has been very good to me this year. I have been upgraded to a full size car or SUV every rental this year except one....and that one was upgraded from economy price to mid-size car. Every rental has been booked in either economy or mid-size (when mid-size is the same price as economy) and I have been fortunate to receive the upgrades. LAX has been the best because they put the car in the Presidents Circle (under the cover) so the car isn't a hundred degrees when I get in it and all three of my rentals there have been brand new SUV's with less than 500 miles on them.
Overall, I'm very pleased with my Hertz experience......even though that Italian (or any type) supermodel has never been in my passenger seat either.
I was given a Jaguar in San Diego once.
Wasn't expecting it, but got me all sorts of attention and extra service.
When I stopped to get gas at a self serve, had all sorts of people offering to pump gas for me.
Foreign car in MI during the recessioin/depression might have gotten me beat up, or the car smashed in.
On 9/11 I was "upgraded" to a Lincoln Navigator. Didn't want it, but it's all they had. I took it. All commercial airlines were grounded (was just about to board my plane in San Diego when the "announcement" came), and so was Amtrak. Everyone was scrambling to get where they needed to be, and no one really knew at that point what the devil was going on (were we under attack? ). Anyway, was just grateful for something to get home to my family in.
Once in Atlanta I had made a reservation at one of the smaller Hertz locations located within one of the Marriott properties. My reservation was for a small compact and they ended up giving me a Grand Marquis. I felt like I was driving a hearse.
On a separate occasion from the same Hertz location I had a reservation for a small compact and got a nice upgrade to a Volvo S60.
This happened to me recently in MI. Reserved a sub-compact when our companys tandard is intermediate, cause I wanted something that was efficient on gas mileage as I was paying for it. They upgraded me to an SUV, and I had to request they give me back my subcompact. Was in line with everyone else that was upgraded and didn't want a weekend gas guzzler as we were all paying for the gas
I use Hertz exclusively. I'm upgraded in some form virtually every time I rent. Normally, the upgrade consists of Neverlost gps at no charge, but often a larger car. In Septtember in Ft Lauderdale I reserved a full size, Impala, and got a large Mercedes SUV. Very nice. Hertz is the one company that I can say I've never smelled cigarette smoke in the vehicle when I rent it. Enterprise seems to be the worst for that.
I used to use Hertz exclusively too but now am using National more. I am treated better there. I have been at an elite level and still close to never got upgraded. If I reserve a compact, that is what I get and I will not drive one so I have to pay for what I want. What level do you reserve?
Hi californian, I always reserve a full size from Hertz. I have it in my profile that I want a gps, but during the reservation process, I unclick that box, but yet I very often am given a vehicle with a Magellan neverlost unit installed. That's an upgrade worth several dollars a day. Same with the satellite radio, often I get that, but occasionally I get a car without it so I know that all of them aren't equipped the same.
Oh, they do. I was stranded in Branson, MO last November. Flight cancelled due to fog, and I could not get another flight out for 4 days. Looked into doing a one way drop to CA. $800 drop fee. There was a $300 drop fee just to take the car from Branson to Springfield. I had a stellar daily rate. I turned the car in, and then turned around and went to check the car out again (less than one hour after I turned the car in, and upon finding out that my flight was cancelled), and they wanted to charge me a daily rate of 4 times the rate that I had had. After arguing with them, I took the car, then 15 minutes later my family called and told me to turn the car back in, that they would come and get me, and yep! Enterprise charged me the usurperous daily rate for the whole day, even though the car was checked out for 15 minutes. Grrrr. Will never fly in or out of Branson ever again, will never fly Frontier Airlines again, nor will I ever use Enterprise ever again. Terrible experience. I really felt cheated. On a positive note, my Marriott stay at Willow Ridge was outstanding!
That is one depressing car/plane story.
Willow Ridge is nice, as in The FF and RI.
If I new you back then, I would have driven down, picked your family up and brought you back to St. Louis! I get to Springfield (RI) a lot and it's less than an hour away.
Now that I think of it I recently had a similar problem with both Hertz and Enterprise. One really has to be careful on car rentals!
Well thanks Jerry, You're a nice guy and an all around terrific MRI. We all need good friends like you, as well as to be a good friend, like you. And this is one more great thing about meeting nice people on travel sites, in addition to sharing so much valuable information.
What I have taken from my Branson experience is:
1) Make sure that the airports that I fly in or out of have an IFR rating (Branson does not).
2) I now understand that airlines are only obligated to re-schedule a cancelled flight within their own airline, and are not obligated to re-schedule a passenger with another airline at a proximal airport, as in my case, Frontier was the only horse at that rodeo, and their flights (at a whopping rate of one flight/day) out of Branson were all booked for four days out. I could've gotten a flight out of say, Fayetteville, AR with another carrier, but Frontier wouldn't pay for it.
So now I know to be careful when booking in or out of smaller airports, by checking to see if there is more than one national carrier and to see if the airport is instrument rated!
You are way to kind, and I would have helped if I could!
Had no idea about the "Small Airport" situation. This time of year the weather is warm during the day and cool at night. Fog, Fog, Fog!
Headed to The RI in Branson next month, but will be driving! Get you some updated pictures!
I am planning more trip where I don't need to rent a car. The prices are much too high and they are looking for ways to get more out of your pocket.
I had an incident where I rented a one way to the airport. I picked the car up, took it to a gas station and put in enough gas to get to the airport and added an extra 50% to be sure. Since I could put that much in, the car clearly was not full to the brim. Upon returning the car at the airport they wanted to charge me an extra $25 or so for gas. I told them my story, he didn't charge but was told that if they could put more than a gallon in the car upon return I would get charged even more. As it tuned out, I didn't get charged that time but am uneasy when I pick a car up as to the amount of gas really in it.
Enterprise has good daily rates, but are very inflexible and time-consuming, so it has to be a really great daily rate for me to deal with them.
Bottom line: Its not unusal to spend an hour picking up the car from them + the time to get to the offsite location. Compare that to any of the on airport operations that have your name on a board, and you pick up that car, or any car in a particular row, and off you go.
I have to be honest, Cal and say that Branson isn't really my cup of tea. I stayed there because family that I was visiting lived in very, very rural NW Arkansas (no hotels in their town). I could've gotten a hotel 20 miles away in Eureka Springs, but opted for a farther commute from Branson, because a) I'd never been to Branson and was curious about it, and b) there are Marriotts. The Marriott was nice, the people were nice, the countryside was pretty, and it appeared that there were lots of outdoor recreational activities to be enjoyed during the warmer season, but the shows and venues didn't appeal to me, but again, that's just me. I have heard that the Christmas shows are good.
I can totally feel your frustrations with the Branson Enterprise and the airport there. I also had a very bad experience there and wrote about it on yelp. Here is a link to my story:
Branson Airport - Hollister, MO (My review is Scott L.)
I did also enjoy the Willow Lodge property and recommend it to anyone who visits Branson.
Thanks for posting the link. Yes, you nailed it exactly on both counts. Exactly the same for me. Arrival was smooth and without difficulty, departure was a nightmare. Maybe I shouldn't be so harsh towards Enterprise, as I really believe that the Branson airport car rental operation was specifically bad. Very bad. And they had the nerve to take offense because I was clearly unhappy. Imagine. Also, that's right, there were no airline employees, only airport employees, and the line was very long, and it didn't move. It was a learning experience.
Our company accounts are with Avis & Budget, so I always try them 1st with the company rate, and also the membership where your name is on the board, and you just pick up the car and go. Also check Hotwire and Priceline to see which companies have the best deals, and then check their websites directly. Recently tried either Thrifty or Dollar, can't remember which and they have a shared bus, as they had the $13/day rate. Problem is they close at 1am and the flite was late. Avis is open 24 X 7.
Glad to have the reminder on Hertz as part of the Marriott Rewards, as I completely forgot about them. Their buses always come around most frequently.
My experience is that Enterprise is much better with "local" rentals (like when your car is in the shop) than airports. I had a late flight into San Jose a couple years ago, and had a car from Enterprise reserved. But, when I arrived at their on-site airport desk, they were "closed for the evening". Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it a rule of thumb that airport car rental desks stay open until the last flight arrives? They even had my flight info! Also, some coworkers waited over an hour for the Enterprise shuttle at JFK a few months back. Therefore, whenever travel books me now with Enterprise, I kindly ask to be reassigned a different Car Rental agency.
I like my Toyota Dealership for this reason. The car was sold with not only 100,000 miles or 10 years warranty, but also 5 years of maintenance.
If they can't get your car back to you in time, they either drop you where you need to go, or give you a free loaner.
There are so many people from our office that bought their car there (they give us a company rate), they run a bus in the a.m. and p.m. to our office for people dropping off the car.
They make it the most convient and economical option.
They also make sure you come to them for routine service and repairs.
And they have a road service so if your car breaks down, they come an get you and the car
So guess where you are at when you need to buy a new car???
I used them once, when all the airport rates were $50+/day
I got an Enterprise rate of $15/day, offsite.
Had to take a cab to get there. Luckily I was first in line, but everyone that came in after me, had to wait. it was very annoying to have to do their tour to rent a car exactly like mine at home.
And part of the reason for the tour is to try to upsell you on insurance. When they give you that cheap rate that try to sell you insurance, and spend alot of time on it. First they tell you horror stories and go for the really expensive rate. When you don't do that, they then give you a lower rate. I was amazed at how many insurnace rate variations they actually had.
Real pain in the neck.
Took me forever to get the car and get on the road. Can't even begine to imagine how long it took those queued up behind me.
And luckily I had my NJ drivers license in MI, so I could return to the airport.
Don't know if anyone is looking for car rentals this week, but Hotwire has some attractive deals!