I posted a couple of weeks ago about what to expect as an F car at DFW.
My daughter and I are going on an 18 day music road trip - she's a fiddler - and we want something nice to do our 2500-3000 miles in.
I called Hertz at DFW; they said a Mazda 6, Ford Fusion, Chev Impala or Mitsubishi Galant were all full size - I could handle any of those I guess, except for the Galant - I mean - they gave up trying to sell the Galant in Europe 15 years ago!
Here's the question that I'd appreciate your input on. If I called them a day or two before I arrive (Friday of next week), and ask them not to allocate me a car, but let me choose from what they have when I get there, would they be likely to agree? Is it wise? Flight gets us in from London around 15:00, I've put a 17:00 pick-up on the booking.
Really appreciate some wisdom from the rental-warriors!!
Thanks in anticipation
Jun 6, 12, 11:03 am
If you don't like what they assign you, ask if there is something else, or since DFW is a Gold Choice location (you need to be a Gold customer), you can see upgrade offerings there as well (from Intermediate).
Jun 6, 12, 11:38 am
Welcome to Flyertalk.
Unless what they assign you is the last available car on the lot, you never have to settle for it if you don't like it. Just ask them what else they have available, and what if any the price difference would be.
Jun 12, 12, 4:44 am
My daughter and I are going on an 18 day music road trip - she's a fiddler - and we want something nice to do our 2500-3000 miles in.You also do not need to keep the same car for 18 days. Whenever you wish you can stop by any Hertz location and ask for a new one.
And if the only vehicle on the lot is this...
...you've got a half decent chance of driving away with a fine upgrade.
Just look at all these locations you have to choose from.
Have a fun time with your daughter. Sounds like a great trip!
(Image shown is of a recent actual upgrade at an HLE on a compact reservation.)
Jun 12, 12, 7:11 am
Do you mean you can visit any Hertz location during your trip, and swap your vehicle? Would they only accept if there was a problem with your vehicle?
Jun 12, 12, 1:24 pm
Do you mean you can visit any Hertz location during your trip, and swap your vehicle?
Yes. At least in the USA. I just noticed it looks like you are in Europe -- is your experience different?
Would they only accept if there was a problem with your vehicle?I've never had any difficulty swapping vehicles. "Customer wasn't satisfied with the vehicle" has always been accepted as a valid reason for the exchange. You can site road noise or poor handling as examples.
On longer road trips, like the OP's, maintenance issues are common. Including the need for a clean car.
And if I really do have a mechanical issue - pulsating brakes, steering issues, clunking sounds - I request a service adjustment. $20 for my trouble?
Being a gold member, of any level, never hurts. (Kenneth, you should sign up before your trip: www.hertz.com/freegold)
Jun 13, 12, 3:44 am
Thanks, Rut Dog
Have done as you suggested, and registered with Hertz Gold.
It says I get my card after the first rental - I guess my existing reservation doesn't count?
Anyway, there was a card image it encouraged you to print, with my name and number on it, so I have printed and laminated this.
Back to the original question.
In a little over 48 hours, we're landing in DFW.
Should I call them, say tomorrow, and ask to be allowed to choose, or do I wait until I get there, and then see what they have assigned me? I know they will try to push for a paid upgrade (it's an 18 day rental), but I'm planning to stick with an FCAR - I just want to be able to choose a decent FCAR - not a Galant - and certainly not a Golf, as someone reports getting with an F on the key tag!
So - do I call them up in advance - or do I just wait and see?
Appreciate your 'learned opinions' - Although the last time I had to obtain a 'learned opinion' , it was from a law professor, and cost me a fortune! (but I won the case!) :)
NB Maybe also worthwhile noting that we are carrying two large suitcases, two carry-ons, one large camera case / laptop bag and a fiddle - we need a decent trunk!
Jun 13, 12, 4:47 am
You will get to choose.
Here's what I'd do in your situation:
1) Today call 1-800-227-4653, the gold line, and add your gold number to your existing reservation. This will flag you as gold at DFW. Hopefully you will get pre-assigned a vehicle.
2) At the airport, look on the gold board for your name. It is possible that for your first rental you will not be pre-assigned, since they have to verify your ID the first time. But if you are pre-assigned and that vehicle is just what you want, you can be on your way.
3) If you haven't been pre-assigned, or you have and you think you want something else, then look around the lot before you speak with anyone.
I always walk the lot, making notes of vehicles I'd like and the spaces they are in. This can take some extra time, but is worth it to me. You can leave your daughter with the bags so you don't have to drag them (and her) all over.
If you see someone in business casual or a suit with a walkie talkie they are probably a manager. Don't feel you have to avoid them, in fact, solicit their help. This is somebody who can seal the deal for you, then you just walk in and basically say "Manager Pete said to give me the Cadillac in space 504."
4) Armed with your list of cars and spaces find the Gold Desk. This is usually separate from the main counter, but sometimes closed evenings and weekends in which case you head to the regular counter but look for a special line or sign for gold members.
Greet your rep with a smile and their name. Ask them how their day is going. If you make a friend, your friend can take care of you.
Gently make your preference known -- the fiddler daughter father tour is an awesome tale, and a good way to "justify" special treatment (in the rep's mind).
And be flexible. There may be more cars available that you didn't see, newer and better.
5) Am I the only person who ever tips rental car agents? If someone takes really good care of me I'll slip them a fiver. They'll usually refuse it, and I refuse their refusal, saying, "There is no rule against tipping for good service." It makes their day.
6) If by some chance you still aren't happy with your car, see my post above. Pocket the $5 and drive by another location the next day.
P.S. In certain cities you can choose from a pre-selected group of cars for free, and don't even have to go to the counter. This is called Gold Choice (http://goldplus.hertz.com/benefits/gold-choice), but it isn't yet available at DFW.
Jun 13, 12, 4:53 am
If you don't like what they assign you, ask if there is something else, or since DFW is a Gold Choice location (you need to be a Gold customer), you can see upgrade offerings there as well (from Intermediate).This may be more accurate information than the webpage listing of Gold Choice airports. This makes things even easier -- it is a group of cars ready for automatic free upgrades.
But even with Gold Choice I wander the lot. I will use the types of cars in Gold Choice to justify a special request if there is a similar car elsewhere that I really want.
Jun 16, 12, 6:08 am
Thanks for all your help and comments. Arrived tired and weary at DFW, immigration took for ever, but got finally to the rental lot. Left with an Altima. It was that or an Escape, but I don't much care for an SUV. Anything else was a paid upgrade. Even a Camry was going to be $15 per day extra. Will post back with my thoughts.