Programs: UA 1K, AA EXP, DL Silver, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Gold, HHonor Gold, Hertz President's Circle
We know airlines offer compensation etc when oversold, what about car rental?
I booked a weekly luxury SUV using points at MIA from March 23-30. When I arrived at MIA Hertz, my name was not on the board and there was a LONG line out of the door of gold service desk. Waited in the line for about 30-min, the line hardly moved. Then someone announced that those who can accept "small" car can move to a separate line, otherwise please go upstairs and talk to the manager on duty.
The manager on duty was obviously stressed out. He told everyone that there is no SUV/minivan left since they were oversold, no apologies or explanation or anything, he offered me 1) two "small" cars; 2) take cab to my hotel and expense the cab fare. None of them acceptable to me as my wife, I, and three little kids, are on a road trip across Everglades to Bonita Spring, FL.
I ended up with a Chrysler 200 that night around mid night, the trunk cannot hold anything more than the double stroller. So wife and three kids had to squeezed on the rear seat, with no car seat, so we can fit two luggage in the side passenger seat. We stayed at an airport hotel and returned the next morning hoping to exchange for a car of our original selection.
Then we were told the only thing they have for me is a minivan. It is big enough for us, but not exactly what we booked/paid for. I inquired about the fare difference, the agent told me that this is already an upgrade for me as the manager rebooked me in the midsize car class last night, at $1300 for 6 days. The award coupon offset $1150 of them, which was supposed to be a weekly rental for a luxury SUV.
I am president's circle, is there anything I can do about this (retrospectively)?
I know many hotels have a very specific policy on what they can and can't do for you , I would assume some car rental agencies should too. Though that's assuming too much.
And according to a story in USA today a few years back (though in this case, when they ran out of cars, they just closed the counter, leaving those who did not arrive yet stranded)
If no cars are available at all, the location's staff should provide alternate transportation to your destination, such as a taxi ride to your hotel. The company should then deliver your vehicle as soon as possible. If that's not feasible, you can rent from a different agency, and if your new rental price is higher, the car rental company you originally booked with should reimburse you for the difference. This may require some negotiation, as technically the remuneration standard applies only to rentals of similar cars, and in a pinch, you might not have many choices.
Hertz was waiting for ....... to send in the receipt for his replacement rental so it could refund the extra cost he incurred, according to Rivera. Rather than make him wait any longer, Hertz sent ....... a $50 voucher for a future rental as a gesture of goodwill.
Its especially bad in certain locations... for example Hertz St. Thomas frequently is oversold for compact and midsize vehicles. When I was there at end of Jan, there were a lot of people standing around waiting for cars, some there for a few hours. Luckily I was given an upgrade to something that was in the lot since the midsize I reserved wasn't there either.