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How do you get a free rental car upgrade?


How do you get a free rental car upgrade?

Old Apr 10th, 2002, 11:35 AM
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How do you get a free rental car upgrade?

We're traveling to Germany and will be renting a car at the Frankfurt Airport for the first time. I want to go ahead and pre-book a car from home. We'd like to have an intermediate to standard sized car, if possible.

Should we pre-book a cheaper car, say, compact size, and hope that we'll get a free upgrade? Or should we just book the larger car?

I guess it depends on how badly we want the larger car, since we'll be taking the chance that we'll be stuck with what we pre-booked. But I would think that at the Frankfurt Airport they'd have plenty of available cars.

I suppose my question is - what are our chances of getting a free upgrade? Is it worth taking the chance?

Thanks, everyone!
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 11:57 AM
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I've had a tiny bit of luck like this, in 10-15 rentals (maybe more).

I got a free offer of a Spanish car in Lisbon (thus no drop charge) - - a Ford Mondeo when they were brand new - - a honey of a car for one person. Fast as lightning.

I got a free upgrade - - darn near the pick of the lot in amsterdam once - - based on an unadvertised promotion at the counter.

And we got a certain amount of choice - - from a 1.2 to a 1.9 in Beauvais (Paris) once, though we had rented the next-to-the bottom category (these names always confuse me - - compact? economy?) Naturally we took the 1.9!

So, it can happen. And here are three things that you could happen to you:

1. Free upgrade to a honey - - dream come true.

2. Upgrade available, but you pay for it.

3. No upgrade available at ANY price.

You place your bet, you take your chances.

Best wishes,

Old Apr 10th, 2002, 12:11 PM
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My latest Frommer's Budget Travel magazine says one tip to to pick up your car later in the day instead of first thing in the morning when all of the smaller cars may already have been given out.
Old Apr 10th, 2002, 02:27 PM
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top of the line to you
Old Apr 14th, 2002, 05:38 PM
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I was working in Frankfurt as and had a friend travelling their each week, always arriving at FRA and then renting a car. The company always booked a very small one, and he often had luck, sometimes getting a Mercedes M-Class or an Audi A4.
However, there are also occasions, when there are no rental cars without reservaion in FRA at all. It really depends on a few things, if you can get an upgrade.
- If there is a trade fair in Frankfurt - most likely they will then not have too many cars.
- If you try to get a car on a Monday, when all consultants fly in.
- If you maybe have a high status with one of the airlines.
- If you ask nicely (My friend also could tell them, I will do this weekly rental here for the next so-and-so many weeks ...). Of course that way they treated them more nicely.

But overall, it is luck. and keep in mind, that Central-European cars are usually smaller than American cars.

Hope this helps.

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