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Modifying car rental for new destination

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Jul 7th, 2015, 11:51 AM
  #1
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Modifying car rental for new destination

We have a car rental booked for later this month, picking up at Chiusi and returning to Rome Fiumicino. However, we have heard from EasyJet who said that our flight out of Italy MAY be switched to Rome Ciampino. Frustratingly they haven't actually confirmed that yet, but I'm assuming that we will be switching.

Anyway, I booked the car through Expedia and we have a Europcar car lined up (Hertz couldn't provide the car size we needed, which was surprising). So, I will probably need to return the car to Ciampino.

I called Expedia and they told me that Europcar says if I wanted to make the change they would have to cancel my existing booking and book again. However, the price they quoted for the new booking was almost double what we have right now! Crazy!

Anyway, I have two options when we do get word of the flight change.

1. Go ahead and make the change and suck up the extra cost. I am very reluctant to do that given the price but at least I'd be all set.

2. Just pick up the car as planned and then inform them at the desk that I will be returning to Ciampino.

I had a friend with Hertz recently who changed her mind recently half way through her rental (this was also in Italy) and Hertz had no issue (no charge either).

What's the common wisdom on how to handle this? Realistically, the change is pretty small and the airports are reasonably close together so it really would feel unfortunate to have to pay big bucks to make this change, especially if I am giving them weeks of notice.

Mark
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Jul 7th, 2015, 12:04 PM
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You don't even know for sure that EasyJet is changing airports! I'd do nothing now, but if it turns out that they do change airports, I'd ask when I pick up the car about returning it to the other airport - or - I'd turn it in as planned and just get transport from one airport to the other. What is the price difference between the two quotes you have? Would it cover a taxi from one airport to the other?
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Jul 7th, 2015, 12:18 PM
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Kathie,

Thanks for the response. It is true that I don't know for sure but the odds are heavily stacked in that direction, hence my looking into this. For example, the same flights today are indeed going to Ciampino.

The existing price is 404 dollars and the price I was quoted on the phone was over 900 dollars. Obviously that's daft and I am not going to rebook that but, then again, I didn't look into other car rental options beyond Expedia (just had a quick peek at AutoEurope and the best price was $550 or so).

The taxi option is slightly more complex because we have a couple of folks in their 70's with us (plus we are a party of five). One suggestion would be for me to drop them off at Ciampino, drive to Fiumicino to drop the car off then get a taxi back to Ciampino but that's way too much hassle for me

I am pretty sure I am going with option 2 - even if EasyJet confirm the change - but just wanted to know if anyone has handled this sort of issue and their recommendations.

Mark
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Jul 7th, 2015, 02:56 PM
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Not sure I understand this >>The taxi option is slightly more complex because we have a couple of folks in their 70's with us (plus we are a party of five). <<

Why would taking a taxi be complex? There are taxis that easily hold 5.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 03:38 PM
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Not sure why taking a taxi will be complex. Either dropping the others off and returning the car in your own or getting a cab for 5. That would be my first choice if after asking at the pick up of the possibility of changing the return.

The problem you may be running into is that often individual car rental branches of the same company are owned by different people and therefore they don't really deal with other branches of the same company. We used Auto .Europe recently with the rental thru Hertz. We changed our return from Naples to Rome with no problem or cost.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 03:43 PM
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Start checking now for other rental ( where you can cancel at NO CHARGE) and book for your possible ciampino return.

cancel whichever one you don't need
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Jul 7th, 2015, 03:44 PM
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This happened to me when I changed the contract to return the car one day early. It would be the same as airline tickets or French train tickets: low prices for early rentals, if changed, hence cancelled, the going rate applies.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 03:53 PM
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Sorry, "complex" is the wrong word.

The options are a) drive to the "wrong" airport, drop off the car, get a taxi and travel for at least 30 minutes, probably more, to the "correct" airport or b) drive to the "correct" airport.

For older folks b) is just easier and I don't want to ask them to do a). That's all...

b) is also quicker

Mark
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:03 PM
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>>For older folks b) is just easier and I don't want to ask them to do a). That's all…<<

I still don't 'get' it?? Why is a taxi hard for anyone, no matter their age?
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:29 PM
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I wish some obnoxious posters would stop asking questions that are none of their business. And stop judging why someone doesn't want to do something that you just don't "get." This board is not about you and whether you "get" it.

Markwill12, your situation doesn't sound like fun. Renting a car these days at reasonable prices has become a real challenge.

You may be in a real tough spot because of the dual location, the size of the vehicle, the busy summer period, and the short notice. If you reserved an automatic, that adds another layer of complexity. I've never flown Easy Jet, but from everything I hear, it's not worth making any solid plans around one of the their cheap fares. They make last minute changes all the time. I had a recent travel agent try to talk me into an EasyJet flight (Italy to France) immediately after a pre-paid rental car return. I told her no way.

I would call AutoEurope.com (or perhaps Kemwel) and see if they will do a price-match, and explain your need to switch drop-off locations. It's doubtful anyone will be sympathetic to an EasyJet change, but it's worth a try.

I've never rented through Expedia (was that a pre-pay?), so I don't know what it's like to get your money back. AutoEurope will require a full pre-pay in dollars, but there will be additional local fees required in Euro upon the car's return in Italy. If you didn't pre-pay with Expedia, are you sure the $404 quote is the final amount you will actually pay? Most people don't know the final amount until you actually return the car. Car rental companies have gotten really sneaky about hiding hidden charges in the fine print. Sometimes you have to dig deep for the financial details.

Good luck and let us know how everything turns out.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:43 PM
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A taxi from Fiumicino to Ciampino is 50€ (official City of Rome taxi). Typically the set rates for Rome taxis are for four people including luggage. Five would probably be an upcharge as it would take a minivan taxi.

The problem is Easy Jet has not released schedules for next May yet. They are only currently booking through Feb. How did you book a flight? Easy Jet currently only flies from CIA to Bristol,London Gatwick, London Luton, Lyon France, Paris Orly, Toulouse France. I wouldn't expect that to change all that much. There are a lot more city choices from FCO.

You can book a limo service in Rome for not much difference in price from a taxi. I would look at pricing that from several of the limo services that get good reviews on Fodor's such as Rome Shuttle Limousine (do a search for others). They would pick you and your party up the rental car agency and take you to Ciampino. Rome Shuttle Limousine usually charges just a few euro more than the taxis (since taxis have a set fee they need to compete). Other limos have a bit more markup.

http://www.romeshuttlelimousine.com/...rports-in-rome

Here are the set fees for Rome taxis (pg 2 is English). You can see FCO to CIA is 50€ (4 people 1 piece of luggage each). Check the add-ons for extra people and more luggage.

http://www.comune.roma.it/PCR/resour...uglio_2012.pdf
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:46 PM
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Yes, let Kemwel match it.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:54 PM
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Definitely check with Auto Europe and their "sister" org, Kemwell to see if either will match the current rental cost. Good luck!
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Jul 7th, 2015, 04:54 PM
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>>I wish some obnoxious posters would stop asking questions that are none of their business. And stop judging why someone doesn't want to do something that you just don't "get." This board is not about you and whether you "get" it.<<

Huh? You sometimes are testy - but this one is plain weird. I didn't 'judge' anyone/anything. IF the OP's flight is changed, and IF the rental agency won't allow a different drop off, then a taxi (or a limo) is a totally reasonable alternative.

He doesn't want to use one -- fine -- but he may have thought taxis only hold 4 or something.

No judgement -- I was trying to offer a useful suggestion.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 05:27 PM
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The OP's question had nothing to do with a taxi. Only the OP gets to decide what is "reasonable." If the OP doesn't wish to inconvenience the rest of her/his fellow travelers, that's the OP's decision. Claiming "I don't get it" (twice) is a judgement. It suggests that the OP isn't thinking as clearly as you.

I can't believe I actually had to explain that.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 06:00 PM
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>>>Huh? You sometimes are testy - but this one is plain weird. I didn't 'judge' anyone/anything. IF the OP's flight is changed, and IF the rental agency won't allow a different drop off, then a taxi (or a limo) is a totally reasonable alternative.<<<

The OP has no flight. Easy Jet does not book flights that far out and snob has no experience with either Easy Jet or Expedia rentals. The OP has left out pertinent info (Easy Jet flight to ?). Easy Jet doesn't readily change schedules out of airports. Airlines only get so many slots at each airport (all those contracts have to be negotiated). It's not like they can just decide at the last minute.

I think the reason Easy Jet even mentioned it at all is it's too far out and they simply aren't booking those months yet. I would wait a few months and check flights once May is loaded. There is absolutely no point changing anything until they load May flight schedules on their website. In the past, many budget airlines in Europe only loaded schedules about 5 months out. EJ appears to have about 7-8 months (end of Feb is showing on their website). Check back in Oct or Nov and then see if you need to make any alternative plans.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 06:33 PM
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The flight is later this month.
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Jul 7th, 2015, 06:51 PM
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The OP wrote:

"We have a car rental booked for later this month, picking up at Chiusi and returning to Rome Fiumicino. However, we have heard from EasyJet who said that our flight out of Italy MAY be switched to Rome Ciampino."

My reading comprehension skills are pretty tight, and I know how to read and write. If the OP is referencing a rental for "later this month," I think it's safe to assume the EasyJet flight is occurring at the same time.

Just because the OP wrote MAY in caps for emphasis, doesn't mean he/she meant the month of May, 2016.

Good grief.
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Jul 8th, 2015, 07:35 AM
  #19
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Well, this is fun I will just clarify a few facts here and not join in the color commentary (well, not too much).

. The flight in question is at the end of July ("later this month" does indeed mean July 2015 since I am writing it in July 2015 and is to Bristol. The inward flight into Italy is no problem since our hotel in Rome will arrange a taxi from either airport. So, it's only the return trip that is an issue.

. EasyJet have said they "may change to Ciampino" - in this context may is kinda like "might" They have not confirmed that but flights right now are indeed going into Ciampino.

. I didn't know some car agencies might price match. I might give that a shot. Thank you for that suggestion.

. The aversion to the taxi suggestion is nothing to do with the size of the taxi. I just want to drop off the people with me at the airport from which we depart - simple as that. No matter what folks might say here, that is easier for everyone, as compared to going to the wrong airport, getting a taxi, etc. I accept that this is a (very strong) preference I have, as compared to a logistical requirement.

. Yes, the price I have (confirmed in eMail) is $404 ($270 base price + $150 taxes and fees). Midsized 4/5 door car, unlimited mileage, airport drop off. I did book this months ago which may explain the good price.

At this point my plan is to do nothing and tell them of the flight change when I pick up the car.

Thank you everyone.

Mark
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Jul 8th, 2015, 07:42 AM
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Are you expecting them to be willing to change the drop off with no charge when you pick up the car? Will be interested to hear how this turns out.
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