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Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

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Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

We had a reserved car at Thrifty car rental on Spenard Rd in Anchorage that we booked in March 2013 for June 2013 for 10 days. We told the agent that we would arrive in Seward about 9am and be in Anchorage to pick up car early afternoon. When we arrived they said they only held that car to 11am. They would give us another car for additional $60 per day or we could try again on the next day to see if reserved car would be available but it would be for more money because our reserved rate had expired. I watched a man talking to another agent at this same location beside me; he reserved a car for 3 days. The agent told him that they only rented in a specific 24 hour interval window, so the times he wanted the car would be charged for 5 days.

My husband and I left without a car from Thrifty and took a cab to our hotel. The hotel recommended Enterprise rental on International Airport Road. Our experience at Enterprise went extremely well. Not only did we get a better price than what Thrifty originally quoted, but we got a better car than we had reserved at Thrifty.

Anchorage, Alaska
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1. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

Sorry you had a bad rental experience, but glad yo got it worked out. Hope your AK trip was fantastic.

I'd be curious to know what time your rental confirmation (that you received from Thrifty in March) had listed on it.

One of the tough aspects of the car rental industry is that since one does not need to "guarantee" a reservation there's a lot of no-shows for their vehicles. In Alaska where the industry's window of opportunity is short, it's even tougher and they do tend to stick close to their reservation times. Add in the concept of over-booking to cover that and others that make 2 or 3 reservations without canceling the extras that they made and there's a potential for a mess.

Lake Tahoe...
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2. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

We use Avis when we rent cars. There is a part on on-line reservations that you indicate approximate time arrival and we always allow for late arrivals. Our son-in-law rented from that one on Spenard and had no problems. The reservation was for the day after arrival and worked fine as all of use were staying just down the sreet.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 17:48
PA
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3. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

Alamo also assured me that they would hold the car for several hours after my given pick-up time due to possible delays with the airlines. I didn't have to test this but it was part of Alamo's information about rentals.

fti
MN
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4. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

I agree with Scott - many "no shows" in the car rental industry and most companies state in their fine print that they only hold cars for 1 hour after the stated arrival time. Often they are flexible, but I have a friend who showed up (in the lower 48) just over an hour after the stated/booked arrival time and was told, "Sorry no cars." I usually try to book for a later arrival and show up earlier than book for an earlier arrival and show up later.

Having the written confirmation is key. That details the date/time of pick up and drop off as well as the rate. What is in writing is legally binding. What is mentioned verbally, by phone, etc. is purely nicety.

Having said that, I generally rent from the least expensive car rental company I find in Anchorage. I have rented from Avis, Alamo and Enterprise at the airport as well as Avis and Enterprise off-airport. Any given company can have the best rate at any given time of booking. Rates vary widely and sometimes on-airport pick up is cheaper than off-airport. You just never know.

Lake Tahoe...
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5. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

It might be helpful to call ahead if you encounter delays (provided you have the local number)

6. Re: Thrifty car rental; bad - Enterprise; good

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