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Ever got a car rental firm to upgrade several steps for free?

Ever got a car rental firm to upgrade several steps for free?

Old Jul 25, 02, 2:56 pm
  #1  
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Ever got a car rental firm to upgrade several steps for free?

I've heard stories about 1 stage/class free upgrades. These are fairly common. I'm curious, has anyone ever gotten a car rental location to upgrade several stages for free begining of a rental? Let's say you really want a high end vehicle (luxury car, SUV, Mini Van, etc), but your budget only covers a mid or full-size. Were you able to convince them to upgrade you when you arrived to pick up the vehicle? If so, what did you say?

[This message has been edited by businesstraveler (edited 08-05-2002).]
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Old Jul 25, 02, 3:10 pm
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I was able to negotiate for a German friend at Alamo from a small car to a Cadillac deVille for a two weeks rental; he paid less than $100 more. Actually, he had such an advanced booking through a travel agent and arived with a voucher.
He liked the Cadillac a lot. What impressed him the most was, that the luggage compartment closed automaticaly ...
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Old Jul 25, 02, 6:52 pm
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Yes-- from a compact to a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The company had oversold its smaller car classes.
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Old Jul 25, 02, 7:17 pm
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I've gotten and/or seen operational upgrades when the lowest level of car was reserved and not taken. They have to give you something. I dunno about *asking* for it in most cases, because if you *want* it, they will try to charge you for it. If they have nothing left to give you, then you may get something for free.

My recent example was a Priceline booking, actually, at LGA Hertz. Bid on cheapest whatever, only $30/day when going rate was $70 (weekend in HOT last August, everyone wanted a car to get out of NYC). That should have been compact or subcompact, but they gave me the Mustang that was parked right outside the door. Dunno if it helped that I came in at 6am or what. But it worked. They may have had trouble selling that kind of upgrade anyway.

A decade ago or so in Florida it was same thing, at Budget at TPA. Rented cheapest economy, got Mustang, with V8 even.

I think operational upgrade can be fairly common in rentals (I don't rent nearly enough to know how common), but I certainly wouldn't rent lower assuming I could get the upgrade. It's quite possible you could get a better deal on the higher class of car if you book that in advance than you would get if you have to pay to upgrade it after you've booked the econ/compact.
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Old Jul 26, 02, 6:50 am
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As an Avis "Select" I am suppose to get an upgrade. Sometimes that upgrade moves up from a mid-size to Caddy.If they "forget" to upgrade me,I remind them. It's then not unusual for them to let me pick what's available. I got a convertible in San Diego that way.
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Old Jul 28, 02, 12:05 am
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Two years ago, I reserve a midsize car from Dollar in Newark airport. When I arrived, they upgrade me to the minivan because they didn''t have any smaller car left.
I also received upgrade from Budget San Dieago airport from midsize to SUV last Chrsitmas period.
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Old Jul 30, 02, 9:56 am
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I have twice been upgraded at Triangle Rental Car (RDU). Once from a compact to minivan, and once from a compact to convertible. In both instances my flight had arrived after 11 PM and that was all they had left.
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Old Jul 30, 02, 11:00 pm
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Hertz Toronto last summer - compact to Mustang convertible or Jaguar - free!! Told them it was my first ever rental with Hertz and asked if they had any "interesting cars" (it was my first retal with Hertz) Took the convertible - it was a really HOT weekend.

National Victoria. BC - compact to Pathfinder a couple of years ago (whined about hating the Neon - the pathfinder was all that they had and they gave it to me!)
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Old Jul 31, 02, 1:16 am
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Last month our group of 5 decided to ask for a mini-van instead of the 2 cars we had reserved for our original group of 6 persons, but one didn't go.

Since I was Avis Preferred, I got the privilege of asking. At the Preferred counter, the agent called her supervisor (?) saying that an Avis Select (I didn't know that!) needed a mini-van for a day and was willing to pay the extra rental amount.

Well, I didn't pay attention to the charged amount until after coming back home and it turned out I was only charged the rental fee for the originally reserved car.
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Old Aug 4, 02, 9:36 pm
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Instead of the requested but out of stock mid-size, Enterprise provided me with my first ever minivan experience.

I most certainly did not consider it an upgrade.

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Old Aug 4, 02, 11:19 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by taucher:
Instead of the requested but out of stock mid-size, Enterprise provided me with my first ever minivan experience.

I most certainly did not consider it an upgrade.

</font>
I think I'd have to agree with that one! A minivan is not an upgrade when I'm renting, that's for sure.
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Old Aug 5, 02, 2:39 am
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Fox Rent-a-car at PHX oversold and referred us to another rental car company. We got TRIPLE upgraded from the tiny Daewoo we had reserved to a Chevy Impala!! The price difference was over $300 and Fox picked up the tab.
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Old Aug 5, 02, 3:52 pm
  #13  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by taucher:
Instead of the requested but out of stock mid-size, Enterprise provided me with my first ever minivan experience.

I most certainly did not consider it an upgrade.

</font>

I'm curious: A) were there any other options? B) Did you complain to the station manager or Enterprise HQ after the rental was complete? If so, what was the result?


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Old Aug 5, 02, 3:58 pm
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At the Phoenix airport Alamo was all out of cars (I had reserved an economy). In exchange for taking a dirty car that night I was upgraded to a SUV.
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Old Aug 5, 02, 5:05 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by businesstraveler:
I'm curious: A) were there any other options? B) Did you complain to the station manager or Enterprise HQ after the rental was complete? If so, what was the result?
</font>
Note: My apologies to Enterprise; a closer check shows that the culprit was Thrifty.

A) No, they'd experienced a major supply fiasco and were shuttling cars in from another location hours away. Several others with reservations were forced to await those as there was no availability at any of the other airport rental counters.

B) No, I returned it well before the station opened and never followed up. However, I had contacted HQ when first told of the shortage, and notified them of the problem. During the conversation the minivan became available and I took it because of schedule pressures.

As expected, the rental rate charged was that of the vehicle I'd reserved.

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