Why Spoiled Travelers Don’t Rent Cars at the Airport

Hertz at Westin Galleria in Dallas just nixed my one way drop off fee so I can fly out of Austin rather than Dallas for extenuating circumstances. Personal service goes a long way these days, and I always believe in extensive thank you’s to those involved.

Thank you James & Hertz! not only for your great service, but for inspiring me to share this post with my fellow spoiled travelers.

I also believe this kind of service comes with renting off site, compared to renting at airports. For example, this was my experience renting a car at the Westin Galleria in Dallas just before heading off to South by Southwest festival in Austin…

James at Westin Galleria Hertz not only greeted me with a smile when I came in, but he was also quick to offer me the Westin discount on a new Lincoln Navigator that had been sitting lonely in the parking lot for several days. Roughly half the listing price of what was quoted at the Dallas Fort Worth airport Hertz, this saved me over $500 for the week. I also didn’t mind cruising up to Austin’s famous South by Southwest 2011 event in lavish comfort. when one of my friends asked why I hadn’t rented a car at the airport, I offered a few reasons:

Personal service.
Polite & helpful service, I always appreciate. Outstanding, over the top gestures- I become a raving fan and i have never recieved this type of service at airport car rental employees. Averaging 20+ trips a month, I can say I have had “decent” experiences when renting cars at airports, but countless impressive experiences renting off site, including James at Hertz.

Best car rental deals.
I have never had a discount or deal volunteered to me by an airport car rental employee. I almost always have these suggested to me when renting cars from hotel rental agents or concierge. Many have already arranged discounts for hotel guests- particularly Starwood Hotels such as the Westin.

Flexibility.
When I rent a car in Los Angelos, I always use a small Japanese company called Sakura (http://sakuracarrental.com) simply because they are so flexible. If I need to extend my car rental, I do so via email from my iPhone. If I’m an hour late on the return, they don’t slap me with a late return fee. They also keep a driver on hand for spontaneous transportation to and from the airport.

Direct contact.
Being able to call a car rental agency directly is extremely convenient. No waiting on hold with Avis’s 800 # listening to how important your call is for 40 minutes (True story.) Particularly helpful when you have a 2 second question and want to quickly speak with a human being.

The easiest way to find off site car rental locations is through your hotel concierge. Upscale hotels typically have these on their premises and if not, I have never come across a concierge that didn’t have the necessary contacts on hand for quick rental car delivery.

Off site car rentals are definitely worth a try for anyone who appreciates customer service, convenience and effortlessly saving money. Particularly for those who value outstanding service during their travels.

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2 Responses

  1. Kristin

    I never knew this! Good tip girl 🙂 Will have to remember Sakura on my next trip to la la land…

  2. Michael Johnst

    Yes, very good tips. Come to think of it, I’ve never been offered a deal from the airport either.

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