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Old 03-31-2016, 01:43 PM   #41
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I see Dollar is quite a bit higher on that quote by Lsbcal..my final stop before booking is to go directly to the Dollar site and enter my rental info. I find they often have a button on the quote page that says. check for city special in this rental. Often I have several cars pop up at a huge discount ....and Dollar ends up being cheapest.

I've had a couple bad experiences with Payless and Thrifty and all things considered prefer to go with Dollar/Alamo....

At Payless the problem was inventory.. no cars of any kind and people with reservations lined up out the door.

At Thrifty then went over the car with a fine tooth comb marking down every scratch before we left the lot..however you know they can't put down every single mark on the car and I was paranoid the whole time about damage they might have missed that they would want us to pay for. They marked down such small scratches that taking pics of the car wouldn't do any good. The return went okay, but it was not a pleasant experience having 2 people circling the cars looking for "new" to them anyway damage.
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:10 PM   #42
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Interesting comments on Thrifty, Ivinsfan. I suppose one might mitigate the worry by trying to use a credit card that covers damage on rental cars. I'll have to look at my Visa card docs to see. Still a pain to wade through all this isn't it?
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Old 03-31-2016, 04:48 PM   #43
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Now some of these locations are independent franchises so get really pushy about selling the extra insurance and scratches and such on cars. We did a lot of renting in Vegas to go on Western road trips and I just won't use Thrifty again.

At the Payless Vegas location in the days before the central rental hub, they actually had canvas awnings erected outside of the rental area building so the "overflow" renters wouldn't overheat.I always join the preferred renters club when possible and that line only had about a dozen people in it. However we could hear the comments of the great unwashed complaining that our line was moving and their line was not.Not a pleasant experience....eventually we just migrated to Dollar, much more pleasant.
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Old 03-31-2016, 08:40 PM   #44
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I notice that Costco only uses Alamo, Avis, Budget and Enterprise.
  • - Avis owns Budget and Zipcar
  • - Hertz owns Dollar and Thrifty
  • - Enterprise owns Alamo and National
  • - Advantage owns E-Z Rent-A-Car

So Costco skips over the Hertz companies. And they are really just using Avis and Enterprise (since Budget and Alamo are owned by each).

And doesn't include National even through the other two Enterprise companies are used.

Just interesting.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:44 AM   #45
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Originally Posted by Sarah in SC View Post
Yes, the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
I would go with the lowest price, definitely. There is very little difference between the cars, and you generally get the listed car in a given size. I always choose economy, because I don't care at all what I'm driving. Heck, anything newer than 2001 is a major upgrade to my daily driver!
I'd be fine with that Thrifty one, for my two, I've got the Denver one through Alamo and the Phoenix one through one I'd never heard of, Payless (that's the SW portal booked one).
I booked a Dollar rental for an upcoming Maui trip through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Got a good price I think and much better then Hertz through AAA. The only catch is that you have to pay for it up front. We'll see how that works out. I hope they have a decent, not too high mileage car for us as it appears we are locked in.
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:56 AM   #46
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Looks like 3 weeks about was about the sweet spot. Car rental prices have gone up since then, and stayed up.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:36 PM   #47
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This was interesting. I just checked my rental price again and it dropped $0.37 today. I of course made a new reservation. After cancelling my old one, I noticed a spot on the form for a loyalty # so I started a new check to see if there was a spot where I missed a chance to enter one. Well, the price went back up $0.37, so it pays to complete you new reservation.

I'm 2 weeks out, so there still are opportunities to save. I was going to say that rates seemed to fall after midnight east coast time (I'm way west), but this last savings doesn't fit the pattern.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:35 PM   #48
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Interesting comments on Thrifty, Ivinsfan. I suppose one might mitigate the worry by trying to use a credit card that covers damage on rental cars. I'll have to look at my Visa card docs to see. Still a pain to wade through all this isn't it?
I always take photos of the car before we load our luggage into it. Since I use a digital camera I take a lot of photos probably about 8 or more.
Once you blow them up on the computer its pretty good evidence.
Never had to use them.
Photos after you have moved the car are useless. I always do 1 wide view shot showing the car in their parking lot.

I also mark all the little spots on their paper (or ask for one), and then like most folks worry about parking lots the entire holiday
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:04 AM   #49
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"just keep checking" has saved me just over 50% on my car rental in Newark!

Audreyh1 - we'll spring for beer with the savings the next time you & your DH are passing through Denver.
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:05 AM   #50
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I always take photos of the car before we load our luggage into it. Since I use a digital camera I take a lot of photos probably about 8 or more.
Once you blow them up on the computer its pretty good evidence.
Never had to use them.
Photos after you have moved the car are useless. I always do 1 wide view shot showing the car in their parking lot.
+1

Digital/Camera phones are so handy for documenting stuff and remembering things on a trip.

I use them to

- rental car proof of dents (as mentioned)
- snap a photo of where I parked at the airport (B7 Green lot)
- photo of my luggage in case it's lost (I keep it in my TRAVEL photo album on phone)
- photo of my (and DWs) passport & drivers license (also in TRAVEL album)
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Old 04-07-2016, 11:29 AM   #51
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"just keep checking" has saved me just over 50% on my car rental in Newark!

Audreyh1 - we'll spring for beer with the savings the next time you & your DH are passing through Denver.
LOL! Maybe! - no visits scheduled yet.

Wow - great savings!
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Old 04-07-2016, 12:13 PM   #52
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"just keep checking" has saved me just over 50% on my car rental in Newark!

Audreyh1 - we'll spring for beer with the savings the next time you & your DH are passing through Denver.
You don't owe us anything, because you just saved us $43!!!

On a lark, after your post, I thought, what the heck I'll check one more time even though we're picking up the car next Wednesday!

And gosh - if it isn't the lowest price I've seen yet by a ways.

So rebooked and canceled the old one. Just surprised because there haven't been great deals lately, but here less than a week before our rental starts and prices dropped big time.

Had trouble canceling the old one (Costco Travel), but online chat CSR was able to take care of it.
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Travel: Just keep checking! (Flight seats, Car Rental Prices)
Old 04-07-2016, 12:21 PM   #53
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Travel: Just keep checking! (Flight seats, Car Rental Prices)

I just found a nicer hotel and saved $100. I went from a 7.6 rating to an 8.7 with a hot breakfast. 😄☕️🍵
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Old 04-07-2016, 01:41 PM   #54
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Really useful sites. Thanks! I'll definitely be checking them out for some upcoming trips I have planned!
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:48 AM   #55
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Well - I have been following my advice, and checking often! On car rentals I have found that a week or two before the trip prices often drop significantly, so I rebook.

Last Friday, I took a look at the flights I have been tracking. I have already purchased our round-trip tickets to Amsterdam. I did that just under the 60 day mark which is on average the point where international flight prices have dropped about the most, and then start going up. The price had been holding pretty steady, they dropped a few dollars.

But, based on something RunningBum had mentioned in the thread on the seat encroachment thread, I decided to check my options on upgrading to first/business class. My eyes just about popped out of my head when United offered upgrade fees to lie-flat business class of $948 outbound and $969 return per person each way - far lower than the original business class prices and the quickie upgrade offer made to me when I first bought the tickets. We took the offer for the trip outbound as that is the overnight flight. Note that using miles to upgrade costs $550 per person plus 20,000 miles each direction. And this usually puts you on a waitlist where folks who have higher status get priority on upgrades.

I did end up in some kind of online system error although my credit card was charged for the upgrade and had to call reservations and get it straightened out, which took over 50 minutes on the phone - mainly because they had to escalate to the person that could fix it which took some waiting, but they got our upgrade straight.

We've been tiptoeing into the first class flights by taking advantage of quickie (cheap) offers either at ticket purchase time or at check-in. We've lucked out with some sweet ones, like the $128 upgrade for SFO to Maui on our anniversary trip - the trip I mentioned in the OP!

But this will be our very first time ever flying international business class. It's a 777-200, 2-2-2 configuration.
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Old 06-19-2017, 11:56 AM   #56
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I decided to check my options on upgrading to first/business class. My eyes just about popped out of my head when United offered upgrade fees to lie-flat business class of $948 outbound and $969 return per person each way - far lower than the original business class prices and the quickie upgrade offer made to me when I first bought the tickets.
My observation on a Delta flight to Amsterdam at the beginning of May was that Delta also offers upgrades at online check-in. My recollection was $50 each way to upgrade to Delta Comfort which was far more reasonable than the $150 each way offered at booking. I would have done business class but apparently those were sold out.

- Rita
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:01 PM   #57
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But this will be our very first time ever flying international business class. It's a 777-200, 2-2-2 configuration.

Oooh, this is very bad. You're never gonna want to fly Coach on a transatlantic again.

Your post is making me think about a strategy to get to Edinburgh next year in Business Class. I'm pretty flexible- can travel in the middle of the week, not tied to a particular time frame so it doesn't have to be the summer months. Maybe I'll book Coach and look for a paid upgrade as I get closer to the date.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:13 PM   #58
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My observation on a Delta flight to Amsterdam at the beginning of May was that Delta also offers upgrades at online check-in. My recollection was $50 each way to upgrade to Delta Comfort which was far more reasonable than the $150 each way offered at booking. I would have done business class but apparently those were sold out.

- Rita
Delta Comfort I guess is similar to Economy+ on United, except that more perks are offered and it is treated as a separate fare class, from what I can figure out. Economy plus is usually at least $100 on an international leg with United. I don't think United usually offers cheaper economy+ upgrades on check-in. I've never seen that. From a quick web search doesn't look like others have either.

The way it works on United, is that passengers with Gold status or higher can select economy+ as soon as they book their flight. Silver status (the lowest) can select economy+ at check-in. The tough thing for the silver flyer is that at earliest check-in time all the best economy+ seats may be taken, and you had better check in as quick as possible to make the best of what is left.

I notice business class is always full on our Amsterdam flights. I think there must be a lot of competition for upgrades. I suppose most folks do it with miles (plus a cash fee as is required on United for international flights) and keep their fingers crossed that they get cleared.

Actually - the entire plane is usually completely full.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:16 PM   #59
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Oooh, this is very bad. You're never gonna want to fly Coach on a transatlantic again.
Yeah, I'm a little afraid of that. Actually - it will be DH who will remark on this I'm sure.

We're flying economy+ on the return. I hope we won't be crying. But at least we won't be trying to sleep (other than nap). We've done it before - it ain't so bad even though it's > 10 hour flight.
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Old 06-19-2017, 12:27 PM   #60
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I'm more likely to upgrade on the outbound too. I don't want to start my vacation worn out from a cramped flight, especially if I'm going to a running race. Coming home, if the upgrade price is too steep, I figure I can always take it easy the rest of the day and the next day at home after a bad flight.
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