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Consolidated "Renting at LAX; What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Old May 19, 2019, 4:20 pm
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Last edit by: FlyinHawaiian
January 2021 Update, courtesy of CalItalian:

Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty are now permanently combined in the Hertz facility until the move in a couple of years to the under construction consolidated car rental facility/garage a mile to the west on the corner of Arbor Vitae and La Cienega.

Returns do not allow agents to check in cars and provide in-person receipts; it has to be emailed. Contracts will not be closed until the vehicle has been sanitized. Be sure to take a photo of your dashboard (fuel gauge/mileage) and any other photos of the vehicle before you leave it in case there are any issues.
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Consolidated "Renting at LAX; What Kind of Cars to Expect?" Thread

Old Apr 7, 2017, 8:08 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Bristol, UK
Programs: Hertz Presidents Circle; SPG Lifetime Platinum; Hilton Honors Diamond
Posts: 658
I've been at LAX every day this week since the launch there of Ultimate Choice.

Surely no-one really thought that this was going to be be the means whereby there were a load more free and juicy upgrades just waiting for people to take them?

What they have done is introduced a system whereby you can choose the car you want from its category, with a large area for each of Compact, Mid-Size and Full-Size cars. These are in addition to the sections for Gold, Five Star and Presidents Circle. With most of the facility now set out this way, you are going to get more choice in any of these areas than you used to get in just two short lines of Gold Choice - but it is still going to be the same cars, it is not going to be lots of free upgrades. Having said that. I have seen a few SUVs in each area - Q4s in the Mid-Size area and Ls in the Full-Size, as well as a few G class cars and other upgrades in the Presidents Circle bit, as well as some of the E6 cars (Hybrids). Needless to say, these will not linger long from when they are put there.

The other thing that is new are the small collection of cars for which there is a defined upgrade cost - $25 for Pres Circle, $35 for everyone else, at the end of the Pres Circle and 5 Star sections. So far, these have generally been Infiniti Q50s (they've got a lot of them at present), but I've also seen the Audi A4, Infiniti QX30, Merc CLA 250 and C300, Volvo v60 Cadillac XTS, Avalon and a few others in this area. If you've booked a C Class car, getting one of these for $25 extra a day is probably a better deal than you get any other way.

Ultimate Choice was never going to give more of us more upgrades for free, but in terms of giving the customer greater choice without having to go and ask, I think it works.
wxman22 likes this.
Red Scorpion is offline  
Old Apr 8, 2017, 12:16 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere on Earth
Programs: Hertz 5 Star, National Executive, Priority Pass
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by jackal
Exactly. That said, National's implementation for Executives and higher has been pretty good with regard to having a variety of nicer-than-reserved options in their aisles. Hertz appears to be trying to match National's product, though they haven't quite dialed it in at all locations yet.

Still, it's leagues better than the old Gold Choice option, which was never once in 100+ rentals ever useful to me, since it was just crappy midsize or smaller cars (not useful when I'm renting FCAR/PCAR).
I will agree with you there. It's not quite where it needs to be but it's worlds better than what it was before. I like this model much better and hope PHX (my main rental location) picks up UC soon.

An update on my previous post: Hertz charged me for NeverLost on the Maxima even though there was no sign indicating there was a fee for it. I'll chalk it up to not paying attention (just got off a 11 hour flight) at the time. I went to SAN to rectify the problem and exchange the car.

The selection at SAN was similar to LAX, except PC had the Lincoln MKZ, multiple Infiniti Q50's (and one Q70), and an Avalon. Swapped the Maxima out for a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu LT with 8K miles and no NL from the 5 Star area. I miss the power of the Maxima. Unsuccessfully tried to ask for one of the Q50's

There was a Nissan Juke in the compact section.

Last edited by JHnguyen93; Apr 8, 2017 at 12:21 pm
JHnguyen93 is offline  
Old Apr 8, 2017, 12:32 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Somewhere on Earth
Programs: Hertz 5 Star, National Executive, Priority Pass
Posts: 31
Originally Posted by Red Scorpion
I've been at LAX every day this week since the launch there of Ultimate Choice.

Surely no-one really thought that this was going to be be the means whereby there were a load more free and juicy upgrades just waiting for people to take them?

What they have done is introduced a system whereby you can choose the car you want from its category, with a large area for each of Compact, Mid-Size and Full-Size cars. These are in addition to the sections for Gold, Five Star and Presidents Circle. With most of the facility now set out this way, you are going to get more choice in any of these areas than you used to get in just two short lines of Gold Choice - but it is still going to be the same cars, it is not going to be lots of free upgrades. Having said that. I have seen a few SUVs in each area - Q4s in the Mid-Size area and Ls in the Full-Size, as well as a few G class cars and other upgrades in the Presidents Circle bit, as well as some of the E6 cars (Hybrids). Needless to say, these will not linger long from when they are put there.

The other thing that is new are the small collection of cars for which there is a defined upgrade cost - $25 for Pres Circle, $35 for everyone else, at the end of the Pres Circle and 5 Star sections. So far, these have generally been Infiniti Q50s (they've got a lot of them at present), but I've also seen the Audi A4, Infiniti QX30, Merc CLA 250 and C300, Volvo v60 Cadillac XTS, Avalon and a few others in this area. If you've booked a C Class car, getting one of these for $25 extra a day is probably a better deal than you get any other way.

Ultimate Choice was never going to give more of us more upgrades for free, but in terms of giving the customer greater choice without having to go and ask, I think it works.
I wasn't expecting juicy upgrades to be the norm; I just thought that maybe Hertz would have something special for the launch. That being said, I do appreciate the ability to just go out there and choose a car. I'm sure other renters appreciate it as well. Ultimate Choice is definitely a step in the right direction, I just wish the 5 Star and PC areas at LAX would be a little more distinctive from regular/Gold. I seriously could not tell the difference between the cars available in 5 Star from those in Gold at that time.
JHnguyen93 is offline  
Old Apr 8, 2017, 7:36 pm
  #19  
Company Representative - AutoSlash and HotelSlash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: autoslash.com | hotelslash.com
Posts: 5,696
Originally Posted by JHnguyen93
I just wish the 5 Star and PC areas at LAX would be a little more distinctive from regular/Gold. I seriously could not tell the difference between the cars available in 5 Star from those in Gold at that time.
I asked about this at FLL a while back and I was told that the cars in the 5* section might look the same, but they tried to stock it with higher trim and/or lower mileage cars than the regular Gold section. I still found it lacking, but they did say there was at least some differentiation, or at least that was the idea.
AutoSlash is offline  
Old Apr 12, 2017, 12:44 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,531
My first experience with Ultimate Choice at LAX today. This is a busy week being that it is Easter week. At 10:30 am, President's Circle was mostly empty (I counted 14 cars) and had the regular F cars - no higher - that we would have found in Gold Choice (the entire Hertz LAX lot, overall, was fairly empty). I did not look to see how new they were, though. On a less busy day, I'll give my opinion on the President's Circle area at LAX.

All the Presidents Circle assigned SUV's, such as I had, were on the east side of the lot next to the side of the exit area (400's). I was assigned, one hour prior to my pickup time, an L4 Kia Sorrento (I booked an L4 for just over $200/week AAA rate early last week after prices dropped briefly). It had 499 miles on it with some upgraded features such as electronic controls & free Sirius. Has April 2017 California tags on it so it can't be more than a little over a week old. I looked over the other (assigned) SUV's near mine just to see how new they were and the most mileage I found in 7 SUV's was a little over 2000 miles. So, they certainly are providing President's Circle members with the newest vehicles at LAX.

There were LOTS of Hertz employees throughout the lot ready to provide help. Never seen that before.

The actual exit lanes & lines are longer in length but they were going pretty fast. I was fifth in line in one lane (4 lanes were open). They had a roving agent who was coming down the line and entering info. After giving my driver's license, she asked me if the gas was full and if I was going to refill it. She also asked if we wanted complimentary water & got it for us. She didn't mention that I was a President's Circle member, though. Took about 4 minutes total in line to exit. Pretty efficient.

Hertz LAX has now gone to a 2-page printed contract. At least the extra day charge is printed on it, again. I instantly got an email, actually 2 exactly the same, of the entire regular long contract upon exiting the lot.

If you book Premium size at LAX, you walk the furthest of all sections. I would think they would have put those customers closer.
CalItalian is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2017, 7:40 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: Marriot Am, MU Pt
Posts: 3,092
After a long time of not renting cars, just started my first rental this year at LAX and I have to say the "Ultimate Choice" was a bit confusing at first but overall the experience has been good so far. There were many good choices including small cars and huge SUVs. I was going to pick up a Cadillac XTS, but instead I went with a brand new Jaguar XE.

The only weird thing was the guy in the front of me in the exit lane insisted on a doing a walk around. Everyone was bewildered.
alphaod is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2017, 7:54 am
  #22  
Company Representative - AutoSlash and HotelSlash
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: autoslash.com | hotelslash.com
Posts: 5,696
Originally Posted by alphaod
After a long time of not renting cars, just started my first rental this year at LAX and I have to say the "Ultimate Choice" was a bit confusing at first but overall the experience has been good so far. There were many good choices including small cars and huge SUVs. I was going to pick up a Cadillac XTS, but instead I went with a brand new Jaguar XE.
Nice vehicle! Did you pay an upgrade fee for that or was it in the regular Ultimate Choice area? Are you Hertz 5* or President's Circle? It's uncommon for a vehicle like that to be in the regular Gold UC area.

Originally Posted by alphaod
The only weird thing was the guy in the front of me in the exit lane insisted on a doing a walk around. Everyone was bewildered.
It's not weird at all. I always do this, and I suspect many others do as well. Those of us who rent cars often have at one time or another been accused of causing damage that was already there when you picked up the vehicle. Best to not any dings, scratches, etc. on the rental form to avoid surprised at the end of the rental. It literally takes 30 seconds to do a quick walk around the vehicle.
AutoSlash is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2017, 5:25 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Boston
Programs: UA Plat/Gold depending on year, previously NZ-Gold
Posts: 10
I rented from Hertz LAX on April 9th. That was 2 days after they started their Ultimate Choice program and admittedly the Sunday of CA spring break.

I have Presidents Circle and was incredibly disappointed by the car selection in that area. Endless lines of Camrys, Elantras, Sonatas and two Nissan Rogue SUV's. There were some Audis, Inifinitis and Cadillacs on the lot but every one of them was an upgrade of $25-$35 per day which would have nearly doubled my rental cost once you add the extra taxes and fees. In the end I took a Camry SE because it was the only vehicle with leather interior.

I wanted to like this new Ultimate Choice program as I prefer Hertz's points program, and I figured Presidents Circle might get me some nice cars but no... I'm heading back to National Emerald Exec Club aisle.
Cambridge_Kiwi is offline  
Old Apr 28, 2017, 7:48 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ATL
Programs: DL DM, Hyatt LT DM, Wyndham DM, Hertz PC, HH Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,038
Originally Posted by Cambridge_Kiwi
I rented from Hertz LAX on April 9th. That was 2 days after they started their Ultimate Choice program and admittedly the Sunday of CA spring break.

I have Presidents Circle and was incredibly disappointed by the car selection in that area. Endless lines of Camrys, Elantras, Sonatas and two Nissan Rogue SUV's. There were some Audis, Inifinitis and Cadillacs on the lot but every one of them was an upgrade of $25-$35 per day which would have nearly doubled my rental cost once you add the extra taxes and fees. In the end I took a Camry SE because it was the only vehicle with leather interior.

I wanted to like this new Ultimate Choice program as I prefer Hertz's points program, and I figured Presidents Circle might get me some nice cars but no... I'm heading back to National Emerald Exec Club aisle.
You say 'it was spring break' and 'it just opened up as UC'. Not sure a fair review of what you might see at LAX?

From the reviews here seems Infiniti and Caddy is pretty normal.
dinanm3atl is offline  
Old Apr 30, 2017, 11:08 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,531
Hertz Ultimate Choice LAX

Hertz Ultimate Choice at LAX was very good today, April 30. Rented for a week at 3 PM. Have a great weekly rate of $79.14 AAA midsize rate when deducting a $35 off PC + taxes, fees. Most of the vehicles were your run of the mill up to F vehicles but there were a few SUV's; GMC Yukon XL SLT, Nissan Pathfinder, Ford Edge, a few midsize SUV's. Also a couple of Chrysler 300's. I picked the Ford Edge since it had 600 miles and had a nice premium leather package, full electric controls and premium sound/screen system. GMC would have been great last round for Easter on my trip to Northern California but as I and others have noted that was a busy week at LAX and there were not a lot of choices.

Only one other person was looking at the vehicles in the President's Circle area while I was there. That was great since we weren't really competing. He chose a Chrysler 300.

Most every space in President's Circle was filled with a vehicle. While I was selecting mine at least 5 new vehicles were added over 15 minutes or so to the President's Circle area (nearly 5 lanes of cars) alone.

Much better than Easter week. Hope it keeps getting better.
CalItalian is offline  
Old May 7, 2017, 1:53 am
  #26  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Looking at hiring a Stingray in LAX for a visit in November. Does anyone know if they are a Coupe or Convertible? The Aussie site lists it as a Convertible, the American site doesn't mention Convertible but has a picture of one.
Skoore is offline  
Old May 7, 2017, 7:27 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Programs: Hertz Gold PC, AAdvantage Platinum, United Premier 1K, HHonors Gold
Posts: 76
Originally Posted by Skoore
Looking at hiring a Stingray in LAX for a visit in November. Does anyone know if they are a Coupe or Convertible? The Aussie site lists it as a Convertible, the American site doesn't mention Convertible but has a picture of one.
Convertible. Out of a dozen Corvettes, I've seen one hardtop at JFK and the rest at LAX/SAN/SFO are convertibles.
rapiddave is offline  
Old May 8, 2017, 3:54 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by rapiddave
Convertible. Out of a dozen Corvettes, I've seen one hardtop at JFK and the rest at LAX/SAN/SFO are convertibles.
Yep, thats what I thought. Cheers for that!
Skoore is offline  
Old May 8, 2017, 10:39 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, California
Programs: IHG Diamond Elite, Hilton Diamond, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 3,531
Was at Hertz LAX this afternoon (3 pm hour) to return my rental. President's Circle was almost completely full (slow day at LAX, 2 agents waiting for me as I drove up with my return) but most everything was just up to an F except a number of SUV's of all sizes (and one Chrysler 300 again...just like 8 days ago when I was there). LAX location seems to love putting SUV's in President's Circle but not much else at least right now.
CalItalian is offline  
Old May 9, 2017, 2:41 pm
  #30  
IPI
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 7
Are non Hertz loyalty program members allowed to use the ultimate choice at LAX?
Thanks in advance!

Last edited by IPI; May 9, 2017 at 2:42 pm Reason: typo
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