Avis questions

Old Jan 26, 20, 9:50 am
  #1  
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Avis questions

I'll try and make this brief but it's a bit complicated.

We have a booking to JNB and I've just offered to take a friend with us. She's had a tough time and I want to cheer her up. There's a decent saving if I book her ticket with a car (whivh we will all need anyway) and I think it would be handy to only pay a deposit as there's a small chance her circs may change and I'm not going to buy a fully refundable ticket.

So, questions are:
1) if I make the booking for her, presumably she becomes the lead driver on the car booking. Is there any way to change this after booking (we go have the same driving profile) - either by calling Avis or even at pickup? I will be doing all the driving and would prefer to rent against instead my credit card.
2) Assuming answer to 1) is "No", I think she has to join BAEC to get the free extra driver. Does that have to be before I book or can we do it later? The help page says that you enter your number at time of booking to get the extra driver but it's unclear if you can do it later
3) Once I sign her up, will she be able to see that it's a cash ticket in MMB? I've told her I can " get her a ticket" and she has assumed it's free with miles or something. She would be uncomfortable if she knew we were paying cash so while I won't lie to her, I'd rather keep it all vague. Will MMB thwart this?

As I see it, I have a choice between making a holiday booking (main benefit is only paying deposit, but I think she will have to rent the car) or book her flight and my car separately (much bigger loss if she can't make it, but easier car rental situation, more expensive too).

Any other options I've missed?
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Old Jan 26, 20, 10:02 am
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MMB would show you how many miles you would normally get for the ticket, which on an Avios booking would be 0.

The free driver is a perk with BAEC, but make sure that you only book with Avis. If you get thrown a Budget rental into the mix, there’s no free additional driver (I’ve been looking at holiday bookings to the US this afternoon and definitely no additional driver with Budget).

not sure about the answer to 1.

If her circumstances are likely to change, definitely take the deposit option.

Or book enough hotel nights to get the holiday option and then do the car separately​​​​.

Is your ticket refundable? You could change the lead person on the holiday to you I think as well but not sure of the costs involved.
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Old Jan 26, 20, 11:02 am
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Good point about Avios earned etc but I'm guessing she won't know or pick up on the significance.

Thanks for the nod about Avis/Budget - I always select Avis as I'm Preferred and I like the service.

I'm on a redemption so can't switch names, and the accommodation is already sorted so don't want to book hotel nights, and we do need the car anyway.

I've realised that I have switched lead driver at the desk before now (renter lost their licence in transit) and it was no problem but I don't know if we got lucky or its a pretty standard thing.
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Old Jan 26, 20, 12:07 pm
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
Good point about Avios earned etc but I'm guessing she won't know or pick up on the significance.

Thanks for the nod about Avis/Budget - I always select Avis as I'm Preferred and I like the service.

I'm on a redemption so can't switch names, and the accommodation is already sorted so don't want to book hotel nights, and we do need the car anyway.

I've realised that I have switched lead driver at the desk before now (renter lost their licence in transit) and it was no problem but I don't know if we got lucky or its a pretty standard thing.
Can you book just enough nights at the cheapest hotel going to get the package and just throw them away?
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Old Jan 26, 20, 12:52 pm
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Using a card in your name at the Avis desk shouldnít be problem. I have had a few where Iíve been first on the booking but used my partners card and vice versa.

No direct experience but just switching the names over I imagine would be possible. What the desk cares about more than anything is the voucher amount matching up with the hire. That said if you have the extra driver and use your card I donít see it makes a great deal of difference who is named on the agreement.
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Old Jan 26, 20, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
Can you book just enough nights at the cheapest hotel going to get the package and just throw them away?
Maybe I'm wrong but I thought they'd tightened up so that you can no longer just book one or two nights and get the holiday option?
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Old Jan 26, 20, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by lcylocal View Post
Using a card in your name at the Avis desk shouldnít be problem. I have had a few where Iíve been first on the booking but used my partners card and vice versa.

No direct experience but just switching the names over I imagine would be possible. What the desk cares about more than anything is the voucher amount matching up with the hire. That said if you have the extra driver and use your card I donít see it makes a great deal of difference who is named on the agreement.
That's good to know. I've had issues with Avis in the US where they insisted the card was in the lead driver's name so assumed it was policy.
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Old Jan 26, 20, 5:34 pm
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Originally Posted by windowontheAside View Post
Maybe I'm wrong but I thought they'd tightened up so that you can no longer just book one or two nights and get the holiday option?
I was looking at a 2 week holiday on the west coast with one night in a hotel at either end of the trip included and it was perfectly happy to give me a holiday price.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by Tiger_lily View Post
I was looking at a 2 week holiday on the west coast with one night in a hotel at either end of the trip included and it was perfectly happy to give me a holiday price.
Hmmm, that's not working for me. I just get the add on hotel cost and no bundling/discount or deposit offered. Thanks for the suggestion though.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 11:13 am
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Avis in many European countries requires the credit card to be in the lead driver's name. Can't say for South Africa/elsewhere, but it's been an issue for me with Avis in many countries unfortunately.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 11:27 am
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I have turned up at Avis in Jnb without a credit card (my wallet having grown legs in Cape Town and eloped with my mobile phones!) and had no problem using my wife's credit card. (I had emailed Avis to advise the situation, but the response had simply been - "it won't be a problem" and I don't recall providing the reference etc.) Of course having her present helped for that!

Once all is booked, perhaps contact Avis preferred and ask if you can switch the lead driver/booking name, or at least link the booking to your Avis Preferred membership. The Preferred desk at Joburg will be far less busy than the remainder of the Avis office (assuming that you are flying to Joburg rather than Capetown or Durban, I can't really speak for the latter two locations.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 11:44 am
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Originally Posted by SkyTeem View Post
Avis in many European countries requires the credit card to be in the lead driver's name. Can't say for South Africa/elsewhere, but it's been an issue for me with Avis in many countries unfortunately.
This is useful - sounds like Iíve to some extent been lucky so far and need to pay a little more attention to all this marrying up correctly.
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Old Jan 27, 20, 11:45 am
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Originally Posted by umgowah View Post
I have turned up at Avis in Jnb without a credit card (my wallet having grown legs in Cape Town and eloped with my mobile phones!) and had no problem using my wife's credit card. (I had emailed Avis to advise the situation, but the response had simply been - "it won't be a problem" and I don't recall providing the reference etc.) Of course having her present helped for that!

Once all is booked, perhaps contact Avis preferred and ask if you can switch the lead driver/booking name, or at least link the booking to your Avis Preferred membership. The Preferred desk at Joburg will be far less busy than the remainder of the Avis office (assuming that you are flying to Joburg rather than Capetown or Durban, I can't really speak for the latter two locations.
Thank you! That's really helpful. Since posting I have now discovered she doesn't actually have a credit card so it gets a bit more complicated. I think I'll go ahead and try and work it out on the day.

ETA: We are indeed heading to JNB
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Old Oct 29, 20, 2:39 am
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AVIS Preferred Plus Questions:

How do you handle upgrades when booking with AVIS? I am an Avis Preferred Plus (Level 2?) customer. I have completed over 60 rentals this year and have not received a single upgrade. Not once. I almost exclusively rent from smaller neighborhood franchise locations which I know are stingier on upgrades.

The AVIS website states that Preferred Plus members "Receive Complimentary Upgrades (whenever available)". I also always book with the coupon code UUWA036 that offers a one-class upgrade. In the terms and conditions it does mention that this upgrade is "subject to vehicle availability at time of rental". While both of these use soft language, I regularly rent from these locations and see a lot full of premium vehicles of all types that are obviously available. There is a far cry between saying 'it's not guaranteed - based on availability' and blatantly refusing any upgrade on 60+ consecutive rentals when availability was clearly not an issue.

Is there any way to address this or tricks to encourage these locations to offer the upgrade that it seems like they should be?
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Old Oct 29, 20, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by cheonca View Post
Is there any way to address this or tricks to encourage these locations to offer the upgrade that it seems like they should be?
Not in my experience. Sometimes upgrades are very good, but that's often because they don't have the car you booked (particularly the case with Automatic vehicles in countries where Manual is in predominance, in my experience). Mostly though you are lucky to get a one-category upgrade - which is almost imperceptible in the lower categories of cars.

Charm, a good checkin agent, and luck may help. But otherwise it's a discretionary benefit. The free hires, and not having to wait in line at many locations is the only real guaranteed.
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