Thrifty - The Latest on Kansas City
I swore never to rent from Thrifty again unless the price was too good to pass up. This week it was.
Found out Kansas City now has a shiny new central car rental facility that Thrifty has moved into from the old way, way off-airport location. Most of the cars are still out in the weather, but you won't be getting off the bus. There is also a nice new 11% ding to pay for this improved experience.
Thrifty still didn't have anybody outside to check me back in. Oh well, I had a shorter bus ride, a few extra minutes, and a short security line.
Jul 28, 07, 11:13 pm
I'm renting from Thrifty at MCI this coming week, as I have done about 15 times over the past several years. Actually sorry to hear they have moved from off-airport into the new consolidated car facility, as I had gotten the pick-up/drop-off routine with Thrifty down pat. Didn't mind the off-airport location, as it was only a mile south of the airport entrance.
As far as an additional 11% assessment due to the move, not sure about that, as my Thrifty reservation next week does not seem to include any new cost add-on. Shoot, for anyone that has had to rent there, MCI is already the pits for rental car taxes/add-ons, the absolute highest I have run into in the USA. Often, even for Monday-to-Friday rentals, the add-ons are as much or more than the base rental charge.
Aug 10, 07, 5:56 pm
I reserved a car through Southwest Airlines from Thrifty last week at the KC (MCI) airport. Even called earlier to see what models were available in that class. She said they had PT Cruisers....a lot of them. She promised to save one. My reservation was for Wednesday...not a day when you'd expect a lot of high traffic in the rental business.
So I waited over 20 minutes in front of the terminal for the new big bus that services the new rental facility....Walked over to Thrifty with my confirmation number in hand, along with about four other people. I arrived exactly on time. We were all told, however, that the web site had overbooked and they had only a Hummer and a full-size Dodge van. No free upgrade. No allowance for the higher fuel consumption.
I tried one more agency (Budget or Dollar) and was told that the problem was that there were several large events in town and so the agencies were giving their cars away to these walk-up customers without reservations....and because they had no reservations they could charge what the market would bear.
I finally got a mid-sized car at Fox/Payless. Almost twice the price/day of my Thrift reservation price. They said that Hertz was charging over $100/day for a day since there was such demand.
I had no choice. I had to be in Topeka. Dying relative.
Later I met a lady who rented a full-sized Mercedes from Thrifty two days later for $55/day...what I paid at Fox for my mediocre car.
Obviously the word "reservation" is meaningless. I believe that an honorable company would have turned down walk-up customers in favor of honoring their reservation. But obviously honor is not a concept familiar to rental car companies.
Thrifty told me to mail/fax in my Fox agreement and they would consider the matter. Their fax machine is out of paper so I mailed it. I hope that enough people boycott companies that do this so that the few who ARE honorable (if any) are rewarded. I believe in using my dollars as rewards for good/honorable/fair service. I don't think Thrifty comes close.
I intend to let SWA know too...but I'm sure they're not going to take Thrifty off their list.
If anyone has found a rental company that DOES honor reservations in situations like this, I hope you will let us all know.
The 11% wasn't on my reservation either (made directly with Thrifty), but like magic it showed up at the counter. Much as I knew I was not escaping it, I asked what it was for. I think they must have wanted to sing "Everything Is Up to Date in Kansas City" one more time, because there was not any real need for a new centralized rental car facility.
My trips are also to Topeka, but usually late in the week or weekend. I've had my Thrifty frustrations over the years at MCI and at anywhere close to same money go to Hertz, Avis, and Alamo in that order first, but on a slow weekend Thrifty can be a bargain I can't resist. Enough of a spread and I forget the past and hope for the best.
The trouble with Kansas City is during the week it can sell out anyway. It does not take much of a special event for just what was described to happen. When its happened to me they, whomever they were that trip, have always thrown in the available car, even if its a big honking luxury SUV (which I would never choose and don't really want). Last time it happened I was with Avis. They made it clear that something mammoth and gas sucking was all they had, and unless I had a problem with the color there were no alternatives. (I declared the assigned bright blue just a wonderful color and rolled west).
I'm just surprised Thrifty didn't comp the Hummer and send you on your way, but then again they have amazed me at that station before too.
Aug 14, 07, 10:15 pm
Now you guys have me worried...This is my second week in KC using Thrifty (no issues so far) and i'm here 2.5 more months (M-Th's). Time to find a new car company to get points with :(
Aug 18, 07, 11:25 am
...there was not any real need for a new centralized rental car facility... That's for sure. They got nothing but land all around MCI, and the ride to Hertz/Avis/etc. never took more than five minutes. The whole thing seems pointless to me.
Aug 18, 07, 2:41 pm
That's for sure. They got nothing but land all around MCI, and the ride to Hertz/Avis/etc. never took more than five minutes. The whole thing seems pointless to me.
You should see the uproar that occured last week when the KC Star ran an article about KCI's (MCI) future. If I remember correctly, there were five plans listed detailing the suggested changes. Some had all three terminals demolished and replaced with a single terminal, and others had a mixture of retaining one or two of the existing terminals, but creating a new main terminal south or west of the current design with a re-worked road system to access the complex.
The letters sent in response were nearly all against changing the design, with a few mentions of the recent multi-million dollar renovations to the terminals themselves as well as the new car rental facility. Of course most of those letters came from people who live here and use MCI to fly out of, rather really never having to catch a connecting flight, which if that flight is on a different carrier located in another terminal, can be somewhat of an inconvenience.
While MCI currently does have a large amount of unused land, much of that has been sold or is on the market to be used for commercial purposes. Development has really been moving north recently, and even more so since Zona Rosa opened. Much of the land around I-29 has been filled on both sides, with projects like the Tiffany Auto Plaza on the west side and the continuing office builds on the east side (and of course the Home Depot under construction just north of 152....further proof that if you have a Loew's Home Improvement, you have to have a Home Depot across the street :rolleyes:...and then the Target also being built there....across 152 from the Wal-Mart...again, seems to be a requirement for that these days). The new Residence Inn just north of Tiffany Springs (on the east side) took up a large amount of land....seems rather too large considering it's placement....but then again, the only decent long term property near MCI has been the Homewood Suites. In any event, it is nice to see the development finally moving further north, making the KCI (MCI) area a better option than it has been in the past if needing to stay near the airport.
Although now that a repeal vote for the light rail plan is going to occur, we may have to wait even longer (if it ever happens) to get light rail in the city, and subsequently, up to KCI.