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Eloi666 Nov 5th, 2007 10:20 AM

Ontario Airport car rental question (tight schedule)

I'll be flying with jetBlue and my flight is scheduled to land at the Ontario Airport at 11:32PM. I have reserved a car from Thrifty but I see that their counter closes at midnight so that leaves very few time to get my luggage, take their shuttle and get to their office in time. And if my flight gets delayed a bit, it's sure I'll be late.

Before booking my flight and reserving my car, I called Thrifty and they assured me that someone can wait for me if I have a reservation and they know my flight number, even though I'm not there at by 12:00AM.

The thing is that I need to go to Laguna Beach once I get my car, which is at least a 1-hour drive. If I get screwed and can't get my Thrifty car, how much would it cost me to get a taxi from Ontario to Laguna Beach? $75 or more (and I'd have to pay the same fee the morning after to go back to claim my car)? Way too much I think, so it would probably be cheaper to sleep at a local hotel near the airport and then go get my car when Thrifty opens in the morning.

Hopefully I'll be able to get my rental car without problems but that is making me a little anxious. Anyone ever faced that situation of having a very tight schedule to get a rental car after landing late at the airport?


RBCal Nov 5th, 2007 10:33 AM

The rental car facility is off-site and you need to catch a bus to it. It is not far though. If it were me I would call them immediately upon landing to tell them I'm on my way and to wait for you.

dmlove Nov 5th, 2007 12:15 PM

If it were me, I'd reserve a car with a company that stays open later -- or do they all close at midnight?

BarbaraJ Nov 5th, 2007 12:24 PM

The car rental for Ontario is a short bus ride - it's just at the other end of the airport (we're not talking LAX here). Usually my husband goes for the car and I wait for the luggage and it never takes us more than about 20-30 minutes until we are out of there.

One option would be to get the car and then circle back for the luggage.

We fly into a lot of smaller regional airports and several times have landed late at night. The car rental places stayed open and had everything ready for us. You may want to call them when you land so they know you'll be there soon.

Eloi666 Nov 5th, 2007 12:51 PM

dmlove: Yes, they do all close at midnight, I checked out before picking Thrifty

BarbaraJ: I feel better after reading your post. I'll give a call to Thrifty as soon as I land so they can wait for me.

Thanks for the replies.

BeachBoi Nov 5th, 2007 01:03 PM

I'd call them right now.Not Thrifty reservations, but the station directly.Most of the time, just hit "O" for Operator and someone at the counter will pick it up.Otherwise you will end up back in reservations.They might very well tell you to call back the day of arrival, but if you call now, you will know exactly.Best of Luck!

screenwriter2006 Nov 5th, 2007 01:28 PM

Whatever they tell you, there's always a chance you will arrive and no one will be there (e.g. if your flight is delayed a couple of hours). Thus, if I were in your situation, I would do some hotel rate research in advance and have phone numbers for possible hotels at Ontario Airport at the ready (since you can't reserve in advance due to the usual 6pm cancellation cutoff). That would make me feel much more comfortable if I am sitting on a runway at the departure airport for awhile -- in the past, under those circumstances, I've even been able to call from the plane (pre-takeoff and with permission of the pilot/flight attendants) and lock in a hotel reservation (and change my car reservation until morning)when I felt too much time had passed.

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