Thrifty - When is the "Wild Car" determined?
Dec 6, 07, 1:00 pm
Flying into SNA at around 1PM. Will they have that day's Wild Car defined by the midmorning? More importantly, will they tell me what it is over the phone when I call them prior to boarding my flight to SNA?
Probably going to set up two reservations - one Thrifty and one someone else - but ideally it'd be nice to know before arrival which car I'm going to pick up. (And yeah, I'd even do the courtesy of cancelling the other one.)
Well, all the rental agent at CLT told me was that it was determined by the manager on duty and typically based on whatever car they had the most of that day (or presumably whatever they were having the hardest time moving). Therefore, I would assume that it would be determined sometime in the morning, or perhaps at the beginning of each shift.
You could certainly call, but you'll run into a couple of problems:
-It's hard to call a corporate-owned location directly--their published phone number redirects to the national reservations line. (To get around this, read through the terms and conditions; some locations publish their direct number to call for shuttle pickup or other reasons, or also look at other nearby locations and asking for the direct number to the one you want to pick up at. Worst case: call the main number and ask to be transferred directly to the location. Good luck...if I weren't on a flaky EVDO connection that keeps falling back to 1xRTT and disconnecting, I'd try to look it up for you. Re-post if you have a hard time and I'll see if I can get it when I'm at a more stable connection.)
-They may be able to tell you what it will likely be but they will probably not promise a specific vehicle (that's the whole point of the Wild Car promo). Even if they do, if you come in on another shift, they may not honor what an earlier shift told you, so ask whomever you speak to to leave notes in the reservation and be sure to get his/her name. Might not hurt to ask for the manager on duty, too.
It looks like you were planning on canceling the reservation before your flight, but I'll take this opportunity to explain one other item: the Thrifty reservations system does not allow you to cancel the reservation (online or by phone) after the scheduled pick-up time (I mention this in the case that your flight is late and you call to cancel after the scheduled pick-up time). They definitely do appreciate your courtesy of canceling it (the location still pays the ~$5-per-reservation booking fee even if the reservation is not honored, plus if availability is tight, they can take another walk-up or reservation), but there's no penalty if you forget or are unable to cancel. (Literally, the reservations agents can't pull it up in "Edit" mode--after the scheduled pick-up time, they can only pull it up in "View/Print" mode.)
I emailed my friend at a corporate-owned location that participates in the Wild Car program. Here is what he said:
I'm not sure about the otehr locations ill check into it. At our location the wild car is wat ever we have the most of at the moment. so if i have 15 chrysler 300's and 10 minivans i'll rent 300's till i have more vans. If it is close to even typicaly it will be based on how many res i have for one class or the other. I do have alot of problems with people not reading all of the terms to it, and getting upset about getting a van.
The published phone number on Thrifty.com for the location (877-283-0898) is the one that redirects to corporate, but 15 seconds of sleuthing on Google returned this number:
I called it and verified that it is directly connected to Thrifty SNA. Option 1 will take you to the local counter.
Oh, rates are crazy low for pickup tomorrow there. In my test booking to locate the number, I hit $10 per day. Wow. That's not even making the car payment, much less paying for the facility, staffing, damages, etc...
Dec 7, 07, 11:06 am
Awesome - thank you guys, very helpful. It sounds like I'll probably be good with the Wild Car. And yes, the rates were pretty insane as compared to those at Hertz/National, which is where I usually rent. The rental is Dec 30 - Jan 2: Thrifty obviously loaded holiday/weekend rates, whereas National and Hertz are treating it like a normal business week. So $17/day for a Wild Car, $70/day for a #1 Club Gold car. Hmmmmmm... :)