HNL Thrifty Experience

 
Old Sep 13, 09, 1:32 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs down HNL Thrifty Experience

I rented a full size car from HNL Thrifty on line. I didnít put my Blue Chip number in on purpose because sometimes (for some rental companies) it increases the rental rate.

Pick Up at the airport was fine and smooth to the off site lot.

Thrifty staff at HNL couldnít figure out how to put in my Blue Chip number in reservation and finally I said forget it.

They gave us a Dodge Charger for my full size reservation. We couldnít get our entire luggage into the car, mainly the kidís umbrella strollers couldnít go on top of the luggage in the trunk due to lack of trunk height. I didnít understand this because I got everything into a Toyota Camry in DFW which is a smaller car physically than a Dodge Charger.

We asked for a larger car and there were no cars to be had or no complementary upgrades as Blue Chip member. There was Magnum which came in but they werenít willing to give it to us because it needed to be cleaned (even though we were willing to waive the cleaning).

They wanted $20/day extra for Dodge Durango available on the property. This is the same rate I had reserved for a mini-van earlier (but canceled) when I was expecting more people to come along on the trip.

We some how slammed the 2 umbrella strollers in the back seat and held on to them and left with the Dodge Charger.

The Dodge Charger was a very bad car to drive. The way the side mirrors are there are big blind spots when you make left/right turns around 90degress. The passengers in the back seat complained they could feel all the bumps on the road. The back left and right corners between side window and rear wind shield was little wide as well creating blind spots for changing lanes.

I had to make a 2nd trip to the airport to drop off the luggage so everything would fit on the way back without the back seat passengers have to sit in a funny way and hold onto the strollers

The signs for the rental car return at HNL for Thrifty at almost non existent so please gave GPS with their address. I flagged down the Entperise van driver and asked him.

The cake was they charged me more for returning the car 1 hour 10 mins earlier than the expected return time. The computer changed my rental to a daily rate for a higher total than the weekly rental rate. The manager tried to explain this is better (for Thirfy yes but it is not thirfty for me). To make up for my experience he gave me two (2) 10% vouchers after he manually corrected the charge. Gee thanks, when I can get these discounts online.
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Old Sep 16, 09, 8:11 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by miles_navigator View Post
The signs for the rental car return at HNL for Thrifty at almost non existent so please gave GPS with their address. I flagged down the Entperise van driver and asked him.

The cake was they charged me more for returning the car 1 hour 10 mins earlier than the expected return time. The computer changed my rental to a daily rate for a higher total than the weekly rental rate. The manager tried to explain this is better (for Thirfy yes but it is not thirfty for me). To make up for my experience he gave me two (2) 10% vouchers after he manually corrected the charge. Gee thanks, when I can get these discounts online.
It is an interesting location to get to right below (well... to the side) of the interstate... but doable... A GPS is very helpful, but still need to follow various signage... we were heading from wikiki a month ago, and basically drove towards the airport until we saw the sign (which matched up with the gps) and made the weird U turn and switched into the side road and into Thrifty...

We ended up with a PT Cruiser when renting there in August - had reserved a compact. It worked out well for us... they offered an upgrade to a Jeep for $20 or so a day... but didn't need it (just overnighting)

I'll leave the policy of modifying the rate to another poster...
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Old Sep 20, 09, 2:55 am
  #3  
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Sorry, I fail to see what the problems are.

It has never been my experience that adding a Blue Chip number raises the rate. The exception would be if your Blue Chip profile has a listed Corporate Discount number, which may result in a higher rate depending on the terms and rate plan of the corporate account.

Counter systems are not set up to add Blue Chip numbers. If the reservation was not made with a Blue Chip number, it doesn't really help to add it at the counter anyway. Your rental won't be pre-done, since you didn't give your profile when you booked it, and it will take just about the same amount of time to manually add in your address/license information as it would to mess with your Blue Chip profile. The only exception would be if you collect Blue Chip Rewards points instead of airline miles, in which case it's a simple thing to add your Blue Chip number (tell the agent to add frequent flyer airline code "BC" with your Blue Chip number as the frequent flyer account number). But that is separate from pulling up your Blue Chip profile. (And you're not entitled to use the Blue Chip lane/counter when you don't book with your Blue Chip number.)

You were given a car which is standard for the fullsize across not only most Thriftys but also many rental companies nationwide. Heck, the Charger is considered a premium car by Enterprise.

Nowhere in the Blue Chip program materials does it ever state anything about Blue Chip customers being eligible for free upgrades. This is not a benefit of the Blue Chip program. Blue Chip is (and only markets itself as) an express rental program (with the side benefit of an optional rewards program)--by giving your number when reserving the car, you should have an expedited experience, as your rental should be pre-done before your arrival. But that's it.

It is policy not to give customers dirty cars, not only because even if they say they don't mind taking it dirty, they still end up complaining later, but also because it's a risk management thing: it's during the vehicle servicing that it is thoroughly inspected for damage (once all the accumulated dust and mud has been washed off) and examined for faults (which can lead to rental agency liability exposure, such as burned out headlights or whatnot).

$20/day extra for a Durango is not an unreasonable charge. I know people who have paid $50-$100 more per day for a large vehicle like that. You're not entitled to free upgrades, and certainly not to a fullsize SUV like that. If you wanted the space of a minivan, why didn't you keep that reservation?

The Charger is, as I said, a fairly standard vehicle in rental fleets nationwide. I know Budgets and Alamos that rent them, too. It's actually a popular car, and many people specifically request it and are disappointed (angry, even) when one is not available and they are given something else. Sorry that it didn't work out for you.

The weekly rate thing is either a glitch or the product of a requirement of a poorly-coded weekly rate code. Usually, the systems are programmed to charge the daily rate up to the weekly rate and then cap out at the weekly rate, which leads me to believe this was a glitch--which the manager promptly fixed for you and gave you coupons as a goodwill gesture (despite having already fixed the problem). I'm not sure what your complaint is here, either.

Appreciate the report, but other than the return signage being poor (and this may be out of Thrifty's hands, too, and in the responsibility of the airport authority or the state of Hawaii), I see nothing that Thrifty did to deserve a .

That said, Blue Chip does come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you're not fully satisfied with your rental experience (and I'm not sure how you wouldn't be, given that your impression comes from your own false expectations and errors), you can get one day free. Each location should have one of these forms on file. Of course, you have to book with your Blue Chip number in order to qualify for this guarantee.

Last edited by jackal; Sep 20, 09 at 6:00 pm
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Old Sep 20, 09, 4:27 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
Sorry, I fail to see what the problems are.

Appreciate the report, but other than the return signage being poor (and this may be out of Thrifty's hands, too, and in the responsibility of the airport authority or the state of Hawaii), I see nothing that Thrifty did to deserve a .
the thrifty in HNL is located off airport away from the other rental locations, next door to a honda motorcycle dealership. really, its a tough place to find. its practically underneath the freeway.

And its my experience that Thrifty, Dollar, Alamo, and budget at HNL (throughout Hawaii) haven't been the greatest to clean their cars. I once requested and got a chrysler 300 touring edition from thrifty that I needed to shuttle around some clients in and I ended up geting it detailed on my own before I picked up the clients. There was sand everywhere. The car only had 2400 miles on it when I got it, and fingerprints on all mirrors and an ice cream stain on the headliner. I wouldn't have minded if I was upgraded to it since i would have gotten more car than I paid for, but I paid full rate for the damn thing. And be assured, i complained and got a nonchalant attitude and a "we don't have any other 300 cars available" response. Its been a while since ive used thrifty anywhere.
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Old Nov 1, 09, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jackal View Post
That said, Blue Chip does come with a satisfaction guarantee. If you're not fully satisfied with your rental experience (and I'm not sure how you wouldn't be, given that your impression comes from your own false expectations and errors), you can get one day free. Each location should have one of these forms on file. Of course, you have to book with your Blue Chip number in order to qualify for this guarantee.
I have found that the Blue Chip guarantee also works after you have returned a car. Had reserved a car in a hotel location in Cancun this year. When we showed up there wasn't I had booked (intermediate). More importantly it was a manual and we had specified an automatic. They didn't have any more cars as some renters had decided to keep their car longer. They also insisted on charging us a $5/day "contract fee" which was not on the reservation when we made it. With wife playing bad cop, and me playing good cop, the owner at the location (I believe a franchised location) was able to swing a Jeep Wrangler from Avis at the airport. After the long wait for the car to get to us I wasn't going to bother with the "contract fee" in Cancun.

When I got back home I called Thrifty's and after a quick explanation, they apologized, sent a cheque for the contract fee and $20 cash coupons for use on a future rental.

I would say Thrifty's have been fairly decent with addressing perceived errors on their part. I once reserved a car rental at Las Vegas that they couldn't find the reservation. I had a print out of it. They promptly honored my reservation. A few weeks later I get a coupon from Thrifty for a free rental day. Almost 1 year later I get an email reminder that I have an upcoming rental at Vegas. Apparently I had made a reservation a year in advance by mistake!
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Old Nov 1, 09, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by sng8888 View Post
I have found that the Blue Chip guarantee also works after you have returned a car. Had reserved a car in a hotel location in Cancun this year. When we showed up there wasn't I had booked (intermediate). More importantly it was a manual and we had specified an automatic. They didn't have any more cars as some renters had decided to keep their car longer. They also insisted on charging us a $5/day "contract fee" which was not on the reservation when we made it. With wife playing bad cop, and me playing good cop, the owner at the location (I believe a franchised location) was able to swing a Jeep Wrangler from Avis at the airport. After the long wait for the car to get to us I wasn't going to bother with the "contract fee" in Cancun.

When I got back home I called Thrifty's and after a quick explanation, they apologized, sent a cheque for the contract fee and $20 cash coupons for use on a future rental.

I would say Thrifty's have been fairly decent with addressing perceived errors on their part. I once reserved a car rental at Las Vegas that they couldn't find the reservation. I had a print out of it. They promptly honored my reservation. A few weeks later I get a coupon from Thrifty for a free rental day. Almost 1 year later I get an email reminder that I have an upcoming rental at Vegas. Apparently I had made a reservation a year in advance by mistake!
I, too, have found Thrifty's customer care generally pretty responsive, though once I encountered a lady with a fairly nasty attitude (her supervisor took care of me).

A Blue Chip family member recently returned from Thrifty in OGG. Service was fine and friendly, but the contract wasn't ready, and the whole process of waiting in line and getting the contract open and signed took about 15 minutes (instead of just a few minutes in line and under 60 seconds at the counter).

I emailed the Blue Chip desk on behalf of the family member, and I got an automatic reply with a case number promising a response within 3 days. No reply came a week later, so I sent another message and another one after that, all with no response (I checked spam filters, too, just to be sure).

However, the family member noticed a credit from Thrifty to the credit card used for the rental, and I suspect it was in response to the emails, since there was no other reason for a credit (the amount looked a lot like one rental day's charges). It looks like they went ahead and honored the satisfaction guarantee, but strangely, they didn't bother to tell us they were! I guess I should count that as good service...
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Old Nov 2, 09, 12:32 pm
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+1 to the other posters. I fail to see what the problem is as well.

Reading the tone of the OP's story it almost seems that the OP believes that:

1.) Thrifty makes the cars and therefore is responsible for the driving properties of each vehicle; and
2.) Thrifty knows the best way for you to handle you own luggage.

Obviously nobody but you can be responsible for getting your luggage to fit in a car. As far as the quality of the car is concerned, your problems seem to be with the design and implementation of the car, not maintenance. Thrifty can only control the maintenance of the car and since everything you mention relates to the car's design I would suggest complaining to Dodge.

I'll also dispute the "adding my bluechip number raises my rates". I've never known this to be true in any program I've used, except a few occasions when a client's rate strictly forbids the use of any points-based program.
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Old Nov 5, 09, 12:57 am
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+1 on everything jackal said.

I think the only problem you can fairly blame on Thrifty was the billing glitch. But the MOD corrected that at the counter and gave you a few discount vouchers to make up for the hassle. I think that's a reasonable outcome. The manager wasn't rude about it, was she?

As for the car itself, I'm one of those people who is generally pleased about being assigned a Chrysler 300/Dodge Charger. It's a decent full size car. I like it much better than a Ford Crown Vic. I think it's actually the best thing about the standard Thrifty fleet. I've put 4 adults with luggage for a 10 day trip and driven comfortably for hundreds of miles in a 300. If you have more passengers or pack heavily you should book a bigger vehicle and be prepared to pay for it.
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