Car Rental Strategy

Old Apr 13th, 2005, 03:54 AM
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Car Rental Strategy

I went to Orlando and it was my mistake not to use some rental company program where I could avoid lines and just go to pick up the keys. I waited almost at hour on a line where there was only 3 people waiting on a line of about 35.

I can get cheaper rates through a travel program that I belong to. The problem is when you book through this travel program, I don't believe you can use the program to avoid the lines at the airport. So how is this for a strategy:

1. Book two car rental reservations, one with the cheaper rate and one with the more expensive rate but at a quicker line.

2. At the airport, figure out which line is shorter and if it is the one that is more expensive, decide if it is worth it.

3. The other reservation, if not used, charges no penalty or fee for not canceling or using the reservation (right?).

That strategy is a bit selfish I guess if someone else couldn't rent a car b/c you double-booked. But do you remember a time where they said, sorry no more reservations?
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 04:11 AM
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What travel progaram and which rental company?

I use Hertz gold and can still use discount codes and group affiliations.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 06:37 AM
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I have no idea about this "program" but my "strategy" is to look for a rental on Hotwire so I know all the taxes for the site I am renting. Then I bid on Priceline. I usually save at least 50% off of Travelocity type rental rate.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 07:16 AM
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I feel an obligation to cancel something I'm not going to use, whether I'm going to be financially resposible or not.

We ALL end up paying for lost revenues when a company needlessly turns away customers. Worse yet we perhaps see a day when a car reservations become like airfare reservations: reserve & pay today and pay penalties for changes.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Don't feel badly about double-booking cars. They should come up with a better system such as guaranteed reservations but they continue to live in the dark ages. Too many times we've shown up at a car rental desk only to be told "we've run out of cars".
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Which is exactly why car rentals/ hotels / restaurants / airlines overbook.

People don't feel bad about not showing up, the company gets used to a certain percentage not showing up, then when more DO show up, someone gets skrude.

We ALL pay higher prices when people fail to fulfill obligations, and two wrongs (nor 3) don't make a right.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 09:49 AM
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mxylplik2, I respectfully suggest you do more complete research before you implement your plan--you may be able to get the cheaper rate through the car rental progarm after all. I don't think it's OK to book anything and then not show up; just because you're being inconsiderate to a big corporation doesn't make it so.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 10:07 AM
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We are also going to Disney, in May, and I've been trying to find the best rate for a vehicle that will hold 6 passengers (2 adults, 4 children). I finally found the best rate and it was Hertz. I called and Hertz told me all that only the premium (and more expensive) would hold 6, but they were all sold out. Now I have to book elsewhere and pay more. I booked another, did more research and booked a cheaper. I immediately cancelled the one I booked. I guess I wouldn't want someone to hold 2 reservations, but that's just me.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 10:09 AM
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My suggestion is to 1/ join the agencies frequent renters club. I love national's-you can rent on-line, bypass the counter and just show up to pick up the car. you can even upgrade sometimes for no add'l cost. I have also been able to use multiple promotions at one time and get great rates. I was able to join their program for free also-i dont remember how, but i found the info at mousesavers.com, which also gives all sort of rental advice for disney area rentals. 2/ always check the airport where you are landing for ground transportation and rentals to see who is located at the airport, vs. a lenghty trip to get the rental.
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Old Apr 13th, 2005, 12:11 PM
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I'm not sure I totally understand what you're asking about. If you join any agency's "club" like Dollar's Fast Lane, it makes no difference who you book the car with, you can still use the Fast Lane. Is that what you were talking about not being able to avoid the lines if you book through your travel program?
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 03:47 AM
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Sorry if I wasn't clear. This Travel Program (i.e., members only for a $100 annual fee) that I belong to allows me to get decent discounts over any rates that I can get on the web. For example, $19/day versus $31/day for an intermediate car. I thought that by booking through this Travel Program and not using the car rental company's website to book, that I would not able to select the option to avoid the lines and go right to the counter to pick up the key. However, after calling the car rental company directly and giving them the reservation number, they were able to make that reservation eligible for the fast line. Thus, for the record, I do not have any need to double book any car reservations.

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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 03:53 AM
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One more thing, for what its worth, if I knew in advance that I would not be using a reservation, I certainly call back to cancel. This "strategy" would not allow me to do it until I got to the airport and assessed the length of the respective lines. However, as mentioned in the previous post, I don't need to double book.

Although moot, the strategy was conceived through my frustration of waiting on a one hour line with two kids under two who were sick and really needed to get moving out of the airport to our final destination. I was caught off-guard as I believe myself to be a good trip planner but I had never ever seen a rental line 35+ people deep. The longest I had waited for a rental before that was maybe 10-15 minutes. I swore that I would never let that happen again and thought about ways to not only get good rates through my travel program but to also not have my entire family "pay" for my inadequate planning.
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Old Apr 14th, 2005, 12:26 PM
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I sympathize--and unfortunately, in my experience at least, long car rental lines aren't all that unusual. The paperwork always seems to take forever, there's often confusion regarding availibility of cars...why??? I don't blame you for trying to think of a way to wargame it out. But I'm glad you won't have to doublebook after all. Happy Trails!
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