Can I pick my own at LAX ?

Old Mar 6, 17, 4:38 am
  #1  
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Can I pick my own at LAX ?

Hey guys,

Have prepaid for a Full Size SUV (Tahoe or sim)....
Booked through Expedia.
I have opened a "preferred" account with AVIS, although the booking is not linked.

When I get to LAX (talking 8pm ish, so gonna be dark in late May....),
Will I be able to walk round the lot to pick an SUV, or do AVIS work in a way that they assign you a car and you just goto that LOT ?
I was hoping AVIS have a similar thing to ALAMO, where I can skip the main counter and go straight to the garage, pick car, and kinda drive out ?

Cars on my radar (hope!) to get are either: Suburb/Expedition/Yukon or Tahoe/Explorer if I have to !
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Old Mar 6, 17, 4:53 am
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If the booking was linked to your Preferred account you could most likely skip the counter (although sometimes a newly opened account requires a credit card swipe the first time), but if it's not linked, and it's prepaid, then there probably is no way to link it now, and you'll have to wait on line at the counter. That said, if they have a separate line for Preferred customers, go there as it will likely be shorter and they can link it for you at that time.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 5:25 am
  #3  
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Cheers for the reply..
I just had a good long read of many reviews about AVIS at LAX......
Heres 3 things that pop up, a LOT!
1: AVIS buses = not very often
2: Queues at the Counter appear to be quite long compared to other rentals, and this is common over past few years...
3: In some cases, this extends to the "preferred" counter too..

I take into account that most people vent anger rather than praise, but I've read too many bad stories about Avis.... So just cancelled my bookings with them (2), and booked same class with ALAMO for my 2 rentals (same cost!).
I rented with Alamo 2 years ago in LAX, painless kiosk print out, and a quick word with the guy in the lot .......
Cheers for reply AutoSlash!
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Old Mar 6, 17, 5:38 am
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If this is your first rental using your newly created preferred account, you cannot bypass the counter - they need to verify/swipe the credit card the first time. From then on, its similar to National - you will see your name on a billboard with a space number assigned to it. You can take either the vehicle that's displayed, or any other in the same aisle and drive off.

Avis at LAX does have a separate building with dedicated counters for Preferred members, so lines will be manageable even if you have to see an agent. Get off at the first stop from the shuttle bus.

You can link the reservation to your preferred account by calling in.

edit (after seeing your second post...): I`ve had worse lines at Alamo than at Avis (tons of foreign tourists with prepaid reservations all requiring, manual processing...Alamo and Dollar seem to attract far more of this business than Avis, Hertz or National). That said, the kiosks are a big help, and Avis doen't 'do' these.

Last edited by bhomburg; Mar 6, 17 at 5:48 am
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Old Mar 6, 17, 7:11 am
  #5  
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And the lines at Hertz can be horrendous as well along with sometimes long waits for buses. It really depends on how you hit it to be honest. All of the majors generally deliver good service. My recommendation is to sign up for their frequent renter program to skip the line and then go with the lowest rate.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 7:34 am
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Originally Posted by StuartUK View Post
So just cancelled my bookings with them (2), and booked same class with ALAMO for my 2 rentals (same cost!).
If you like picking your own car, National/Alamo is the way to go. Avis does have a free swap area, but the selection is pretty limited (it was last Sunday, anyway.) Also last Sunday I had to use the preferred line (credit card info was outdated), there was already one person waiting, but around 4 agents working so it only took a couple of minutes.

Bus frequency is hit or miss, I managed to catch one in just a couple of minutes, but one data point does not a trend make. This was my first visit to LAX in a couple years so I can't say if things are better or worse than they used to be.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 8:03 am
  #7  
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Cheers guys
Coming from the UK for the tourist kinda thing, its nice to pick your own car (we goto Vegas every year, and pick cars, main rentals with Alamo/Dollar and Hertz for the Muscle cars)...

As said though, cancelled the booking with Avis anyway, cheers for the replies all
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Old Mar 13, 17, 9:31 pm
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Well, just back from LAX not long ago. If you have AVIS app, it will tell you what type of car is ready for you in the lot 3 hours in advance, so you can just take the shuttle, get off the shuttle, and go straight to your car. It's a paperless and painful less process. What I got was Lincoln MKZ and staff at the counter told me that I could come back anytime to change if I don't like it.


Originally Posted by StuartUK View Post
Cheers for the reply..
I just had a good long read of many reviews about AVIS at LAX......
Heres 3 things that pop up, a LOT!
1: AVIS buses = not very often
2: Queues at the Counter appear to be quite long compared to other rentals, and this is common over past few years...
3: In some cases, this extends to the "preferred" counter too..

I take into account that most people vent anger rather than praise, but I've read too many bad stories about Avis.... So just cancelled my bookings with them (2), and booked same class with ALAMO for my 2 rentals (same cost!).
I rented with Alamo 2 years ago in LAX, painless kiosk print out, and a quick word with the guy in the lot .......
Cheers for reply AutoSlash!
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Old Mar 20, 17, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by bhomburg View Post
You can link the reservation to your preferred account by calling in.
I once, at the counter of EWR, tried to link my Wizard to my Priceline rental and they wiped out my rate and automatically replaced it with my group rate. They couldn't revert it and I had to drive off at $50/day (instead of < $20) and spend a lot of time on the phone with both PL and Avis to get it reverted.

So if you call to do this, be careful. It could have been the counters' error, but it was complicated for minimal benefit (and I didn't end up getting my preferred days/points/whatever they were in 2014)
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