Southwest Rapid Rewards - Budget & LAS
Jul 30, 07, 10:19 am
Arrived in LAS on Friday, went to the Budget counter to get the car I booked on the SA web site. My confirmation from SWA had a huge banner ad on the top pushing Budget with a "up to 40% off with this code" offer. I also had a coupon from SWA with triple RR points (the reason I booked Budget) in hand.
The rep tells me "we are a franchise, not corporate, so we do not honor ANY discount codes".
SWA is the biggest airline into LAS. They seem to push Budget hard. What kind of Cxxp is this?
In addition, I got the hardest sell on upsells (insurance, gas, upgraded car) I have ever experienced. I had a couple of problems with Dollar the last time, but they were a dream compared to budget.
Hey Budget, two words - NEVER AGAIN
Your thoughts on the value of contacting SWA Customer relations.
Jul 30, 07, 11:20 am
The rep tells me "we are a franchise, not corporate, so we do not honor ANY discount codes". that explains why the codes never work online! Everytime I have used Budget at LAS, I get the feeling Im interrupting the employees social time. Good thing there are plenty of other car rental agencies at the same location. Budget LAS usually gives me a moderate level sell on their insurance.
Other talk boards that discuss rental cars at LAS (e.g. lasvegastalk.com, lasvegasadvisor.com) show posts with some regularity about difficulties with Budget and RR credits, both from the airport and off-airport locations. I can personally vouch for Alamo & Dollar in LAS honoring the discounts and the multiple-point offers. The SWA car rental page is an excellent tool for understanding the current rate each of the agencies, but my personal experience has been that you're then better off booking at the rental company site because you may then combine the SWA offer with coupons for further price reduction. For example, in Dec. 2006 a direct booking at Alamo.com netted the quadruple points from a Southwest postcard offer and also allowed use of a coupon from a Vegas coupon book for a free day.
Well, I called SWA CR regarding the above snafu with Budget.
The rep couldn't have been more apologetic in regards to the entire situation. The outcome:
1. If my credits don't post within 35 days (she mentioned BOTH the regular .5 credit & the promo credits), I should call back and they would pursue them with Budget.
2. She would forward this issue on to the Budget liaison in SWA. She agreed that since SWA was pushing Budget and SWA is the largest airline in LAS, Budget should be accepting SWA's promotions.
More to come, it appears.
Aug 11, 07, 8:11 am
Just to input, I had the total opposite reaction with Budget in BWI. Everything went smooth, only asked the [required I'm sure] one time for extra's. Then asked what vehicle we wanted in the class we reserved! Wow, who they they think they are, Hertz?! So very easy going, and impressed!
Aug 14, 07, 8:25 am
Budget franchisees seem to be a real issue ... I've had a couple of issues with getting Budget in ORF to post WN credits, so I just stopped using Budget in ORF ... problem solved! :)
They also have borders as to where you can drive their cars. They wouldn't let me go to Yellowstone with their car since I only had a 8 day rental not a 10 day. Of course Budget's website has no mention of this. It almost messed up my vacation plans. Luckily I always make a backup reservation with a different rental company for times like this. I can attest to Alamo being really nice. They upgraded my minivan and were very helpful.
Aug 15, 07, 8:51 am
Aug 15, 07, 1:18 pm
I've gotten to where I won't even try to rent from anyone except Avis or Hertz. No other company even comes close to these two.
I would tend to agree. I had an awful experience with Thrifty last year.
Hertz in LAS is the way to go - I find the rates are usually super cheap, and the service is always excellent. ^
Sep 24, 07, 10:28 am
Well, I spoke to a RR CSR last week about this issue, as the 35 days had passed. She took all the info, including my confirmation # for the rental, and would forward it on to the SWA liaison with Budget.
Just got off the phone with her again. She called me back to update me on the situation.
Budget corporate has asked for a copy of the rental contract, as the rental was at a franchise, and then will issue the RR credit. I pointed out that I had already provided her (and them) with the confirmation # for the rental and that is has been about 2 months since the rental. I no longer have it.
She told me she would get back with the liaison and pass on my info and comments. As expected, she was so polite and apologetic about something that was clearly out of her (and SWA's) control.
BTW, how many of you keep old rental contracts, and if so, for how long?
I'm having the same problem. Budget LAS won't even return messages left on the corporate voicemail. My 35 days ends this week. Won't use them again. Feel like baited and switched.
Oct 2, 07, 2:14 pm
I already went through this is March in Vegas and went through SWA and Budget as I wanted the 1.5 to top off my aco..... Well, after all the calls and faxes I also learned that Budget in Vegas is a franchise and doesn't do the promos. After several months of back and forth, when I complained to SWA they credited my account an extra .5 so I got 1.0 instead of 1.5. BTW, the people at Budget in Vegas are nasty and tried not to honor the online quote I had gotten from the SWA site. We had to fight to keep the rate even though we had confirmation to prove it. Do not rent from Budget in Vegas!
Oct 2, 07, 3:19 pm
Poor Budget. They used to be my only choice, then their service went downhill. So I started trying others. Now, I rent with Hertz and only Hertz. I haven't price shopped a rental car in about five years and I never even look at the other companies.