Holy Drop Fee Batman

Old Aug 7, 13, 9:25 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
Talking Holy Drop Fee Batman

I tried to rent a car in MCO for return a day later in TPA using my company code (which I'm allowed personal use). My company daily rate is $35 (+ taxes).

The cost for that rental came to $300 (incl. taxes). Apparently, Hertz is one of the only companies charging a "one-way" fee (what they call a drop fee). I called and they said that no matter where I drop the car, even if it's only a few miles from the airport, I would be charged a on-way fee.

Needless to say, reservation made with Avis.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 9:52 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Earth (PIT)
Programs: Airline/TSA Avoidance Platinum, Hotel Disloyalty Silver, Hertz 1.7*
Posts: 5,277
I would have priced it with a different CDP. Hertz normal mode has been on a one way to have a high daily rate, not a drop fee. That method of pricing is likely specific to the contract. Now, the net effect could have been a similar total price, but it also could be less. Let's see.

On a sample date, the price comes out similar with no CDP, $291. With AAA it comes out $43 less total ($248). With Travel Partner, it's about $56 less total ($235). Not much help there. In each of these cases it posts a high daily rate, not a drop fee. Just semantics though really.

USAA brought it down to estimated $109 total. But that's with an estimated 157 miles. Zero miles are included in this case (not true of all USAA rates, but is true of this one-way) and 25 cents per. Unless doing a lot of driving around that could be over estimate because it's only around 80 miles or so between the two.

That said, Avis priced for $70 all-in without any discount anything entered, and unlimited miles, so clearly they are not as concerned where their Florida cars go. Not sure why, but sounds like Hertz does not want cars leaving MCO at the moment. I priced for August 21.

Hey, you win some, you lose some. I am pretty price conscious on all my rentals and usually I can't get cheaper than my net Hertz rate when I book, although I know that I navigate discounts better on Hertz than I do with the other companies.
CrazyOne is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 9:53 am
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Between DCA and IAD
Programs: UA 1K MM; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 60,616
Interesting; I've certainly been hit with the drop fees a few times--almost always on my corporate rate. I recall the worst being a rental where airline irrops got me to SJC instead of SFO, and switching to a one-way from SJC to SFO bumped the rate up $300 (from about $140 to $430). It was almost worth my while to just return to SJC and take a cab to SFO.

However, I did the reverse of what you wanted (rented in TPA, dropped at MCO) with no added fee using the UA CDP earlier this year, and have done so several times over the past couple of years without much extra in charges.
exerda is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 11:01 am
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
I checked with and without my corporate rate, and the results were similar. I also called and was told it's a "one-way" fee they charge everywhere.

FWIW - my dates are in early Nov, so it can't be a current issue.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 11:08 am
  #5  
In Memoriam
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Easton, CT, USA
Programs: ua prem exec, Former hilton diamond
Posts: 31,801
It's not charged everywhere and it's not always $300, but it's not at all uncommon in parts of Florida.
cordelli is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 11:14 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
I was only repeating what I was told.

Hertz is off the list if I have to drop anywhere but my pickup location.

I managed to get and 8 day rental, pickup MCO drop TPA for less than Hertz' one day rate.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 12:23 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: YAK
Programs: AAA, Costco, Sam's, SkyMiles
Posts: 6
Did the drop fee show up when you were making the reservation? FWIW, I just made a one-way res with Hertz with no drop fee. Odd that the agent told you something that obviously is not the case.
whebuild is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 12:27 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Earth (PIT)
Programs: Airline/TSA Avoidance Platinum, Hotel Disloyalty Silver, Hertz 1.7*
Posts: 5,277
Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
I also called and was told it's a "one-way" fee they charge everywhere.
This, just to be clear, is 100% not true that they charge a drop fee everywhere. Although, it might be true for the corp rate. Uninformed person on the phone or they were basing it on the corp rate.

I've had reasonably-priced one-ways in a few places without jumping through any hoops. One was about $50 for one day, and one was about $225 for a week, including tax/fees. Another I booked on points because it was pricing high and I had to keep it for 2 days. And my only choices were Hertz or Enterprise and I won't use Enterprise period. Plus they often don't allow one-ways anyway.

Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
FWIW - my dates are in early Nov, so it can't be a current issue.
Yeah. I would have thought within Florida it shouldn't matter. Who knows why. But it is worth noting that almost all pricing issues are localized and/or time-dependent. And that's true with any rental agency. Very few things with pricing can be counted on to be universal across the whole system. The only consistent thing is inconsistency.
CrazyOne is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 12:31 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
They don't call it a "drop fee." They call it a one-way reservation, and as noted above, it's built into the daily rate.

FWIW - I also checked the reverse, as noted above TPA-MCO and there is no fee. The rate is about $70 AI for 1 day. For some reason they don't want MCO cars dropped in TPA.

It's obvious the agent told me something that is not always the case Not that it matters much, $300 for a 1 day rental is absurd.

I checked using my corp rate, which is $170 + tax nationwide, and IT came to $500 if I were to pick up in MCO and return in TPA. Looks like they charge about $200 as the drop fee.

They just discouraged themselves out of an 8 day rental (I would have taken a 7+1 or 8 day).
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 12:33 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
Originally Posted by CrazyOne View Post
This, just to be clear, is 100% not true that they charge a drop fee everywhere. Although, it might be true for the corp rate. Uninformed person on the phone or they were basing it on the corp rate.
I vote for uninformed I didn't even give my corp rate code. I was just told there was a one-way fee everywhere - even if I was dropping off a few miles away.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 1:15 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York suburbs
Posts: 3,805
It's probably also easier for the agent to explain one-ways to the average consumer by saying "drop fees" and "to get the car back," rather than explaining the more detailed concepts of flow, random fluctuations that cancel out, relative supply and demand, and mileage depreciation.
Auto Enthusiast is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 2:19 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
I guess, but the agent probably wouldn't understand it.

As well, it seems it's only Hertz with the ridiculous fees. I guess the other companies don't have the same business model? Or have the problem going the other way

It's nothing more than another money grab.
Mary2e is offline  
Old Aug 7, 13, 2:53 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SFO
Programs: None
Posts: 374
Originally Posted by exerda View Post
Interesting; I've certainly been hit with the drop fees a few times--almost always on my corporate rate. I recall the worst being a rental where airline irrops got me to SJC instead of SFO, and switching to a one-way from SJC to SFO bumped the rate up $300 (from about $140 to $430). It was almost worth my while to just return to SJC and take a cab to SFO.

However, I did the reverse of what you wanted (rented in TPA, dropped at MCO) with no added fee using the UA CDP earlier this year, and have done so several times over the past couple of years without much extra in charges.
if it fits your schedule, use the Monterey Airporter van service from SJC SFO and vice versa $20 per one way.
travelingchumley is offline  
Old Aug 8, 13, 11:17 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, Earth (PIT)
Programs: Airline/TSA Avoidance Platinum, Hotel Disloyalty Silver, Hertz 1.7*
Posts: 5,277
Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
As well, it seems it's only Hertz with the ridiculous fees. I guess the other companies don't have the same business model?
Oh, they all do it, have done for ages, but it would seem when and where is not entirely predictable. The idea is to discourage the one-way because it makes the fleet planning more difficult, but if you pay us enough we'll go ahead and let you do it. Or something like that.

Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
It's nothing more than another money grab.
Well this is true generally I suppose, although nothing new. In this modern age handling movements in the fleet should be somewhat easier. Still, I'm sure there are scenarios like this one where someone has decided that it is best to discourage cars leaving a certain location on one-ways. There are a huge number of variables in terms of this, what with still lots of penalty-free no-shows, people keeping cars longer than they reserved, etc. It's a balance trying to make sure enough cars are in a given place without having too many just sitting, and MCO is one popular place during that time of year, or really most times of year.

This time you ended up on the wrong side of their math.
CrazyOne is offline  
Old Aug 8, 13, 11:31 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Ambassador: World of Hyatt
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: NJ
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, Fairmont Lifetime Plat, UA Silver, dirt elsewhere
Posts: 45,765
Actually, Hertz ended up on the wrong side of the math I booked Avis for the full 8 days for less than the 1 day fee with Hertz.

I tried all the car companies, all the different variations and codes, including my usual outstanding corp code, and Avis returned the best prices.

I also imagine there are a lot of people going between TPA and MCO. Flights are often less expensive if you use TPA for at least 1 leg. I know I've done it several times.
Mary2e is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: