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Rental Car Experiences?

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  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Has never happened to us yet but wouldn't mind either as since retired, I have the time. And getting either cash, preferred, or a free air trip is a great compensation to be a few hours late. Just need to let the car rental place and hotel know of the change and all is good. The extra cash would always be welcome on a trip where one can never have enough cash. Maybe we'll luck out when we travel in October to Milwaukee.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    edited March 2013
    MKE is a decent airport and far less intense than MDW. Don't know where in Chicago you are going, but you mentioned ORD was closer, so I'm guessing North side or north/west suburbs. Probably around 1 - 1.5 hours if you avoid rush hour. Remember that IL is like NJ, as soon as you cross the border from WI you'll be hit with tolls! As an added bonus, neither MDW nor MKE have near the ATC flow control problems as ORD, so you're less likely to be delayed or cancelled.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,246
    Thanks Berri, even though we lived in Madison for a little while in '84 and have cruised south a few times, we've never spent any time in Milwaukee. Plan to at least drive through there next month after flying in/out of ORD.

    Green Bay was easy, but we didn't think about the Oshkosh fly-in and had a heck of a time lining up a rental car the one time we flew in there.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    If you fly Southwest, the fares are pretty comparable to MDW and there are no bag fees which can save you some. Plus SWA is all B737 service, no commuters. Parking is much cheaper in MKE as well. Only issue I can think of is that SWA has limited nonstop destinations out of MKE compared to MDW, so some east coast may be thru BWI and some west thru DEN. If you haven't flown them, their boarding process is a little different, but it actually works and their resulting quick turns get's them an extra flight out of many of their aircraft each day (plus the employees mostly seem to actually smile and have a good attitude). If you go stand-by you can almost forget it now with the load factors all of the carriers have. Not unusual any more for airline retirees to end up flying someone else because of the pass problems these days, so you might find a United retiree on your SW flight!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,246
    edited March 2013
    We're using up the last of the air miles with this trip and plan to mostly stick with driving for a while. ORD was about the only option that would let our other connections work and we have some activities planned for Chicago for a couple of days too, so it'll be fine this time. TSA and weather permitting, lol.

    You must know that my sister is a retired UAL flight attendant. :shades: She won't use her passes any more; hates the idea of getting stranded and they changed the system when they merged with Continental so her seniority apparently doesn't count for much.

    But mostly she can't figure out the computer system to get a pass. :D

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Yes, we're going to Wilmette after we go to downtown Chicago. Thanks for the tolls tip...I usually bring about 100 $100 bills whenever we travel for tips and such...have found that tipping the housecleaning folks gets me the extra's I need like towels and shampoos/conditioners. And even if I don't require any extra's, these folks work so hard that a few bucks here and there is probably appreciated. I know when I was working, when a customer threw me something, I was very appreciative of that gesture and I'd go the extra, extra mile for them. I went the extra mile for all my customers but the tippers got what they deserved. Funny thing, the wife just left to go do the taxes for an old customer I haven't seen since 2006!

    Think we're going to go to Milwaukee first and then spend the weekend in Chicago and this time I want to go to the museum with the lions out front and walk the city a bit...see some real city life and that midwestern charm I've always heard about.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    The museum with the lions in Chicago - that would be the Art Institute on Michigan Ave. It's quite large in there (and don't forget the basement level).

    Milwaukee will surprise you. It has several decent museums, a nice botanical garden and an excellent zoo. Plenty of German food and sausage if you're into it as well, but I'm not sure if there are any active breweries anymore. Actually there a number of nice Midwestern cities; Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City and Indianapolis all come to mind. For a bit smaller towns, Omaha and Des Moines will surprise you as well.
  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I'm visiting the family here in California for a few days, and set up a rental car with Advantage while I'm here.

    I booked an economy model for a total of $170. The rental location is off site (I flew into Burbank). No economy models available (shock!) so I'm upgraded gratis into a 2013 Chevy Cruze 2LT. While over black leather, 11500 miles.

    Not a bad little ride. The small turbo engine is pretty peppy, though the transmission seems to be a bit slow to respond to large throttle inputs. Still, I'm getting about 30 MPG in mixed driving so far.

    The only issue was that it was completely out of washer fluid. I spent $3 to get a bottle and fill it up myself.
  • berriberri Posts: 4,234
    Keep the receipt and I'm sure they'll reimburse you when you turn it in.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,915
    you are a seriously big tipper for someone who seems to be pretty frugal. But be careful, carrying 10K in cash might make the TSA suspicious.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    edited March 2013
    I only tip for good service or if I want good service and carrying $100.00 in $1's is a lot of money? Well maybe yes...and maybe no. I spend $ where it needs spending and don't when it ain't required...simple, simple, simple! $10k in cash? You've got the wrong Sandman bud...seriously! I never ever carry more than $30 or so...ever as that's what credit and debit cards are for. I think I just respect money and know it can be used for good...but also bad. And really, this is the 1st time I've ever had a substantial amount of it that "I" control and it's a good feeling, really. Growing up, my folks controlled it and used it to get us to do things for them...they made us afraid of it. But Suze Orman showed me the truth about $, it's not to be feared...but respected and one must put people first, before money. My folks could never do this and even in death, my mom used it for evil from the grave but she will have to deal with G-d on that score...and probably has. I no longer fear it and want to use it for the good of my family. I no longer fear the power of $ because the power is really in ourselves! This is what I am teaching my kids and hopefully they will with theirs...it's o k to have an adult relationship with your money but keep it in it's proper place. Do not use it for evil, to pressure others so they bend to your will and for G-d's sake don't hold it over their heads...lessons my folks should have learned but didn't and it affected our relationship forever...money became more important than I, their son, and they paid the ultimate price by never knowing their blood grankids... and never caring to...they paid the ultimate price!

    The Phylacophical and Spelling Challenged Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    I think it was a joke, you said you carry 100 $100 bills - maybe you are decimal point challenged instead of spelling challenged :P

    Speaking of rental cars, a building I jog by has a "coming soon" sign, I think for Budget/Dollar, so I'll hopefully get to see what's new in the fleets.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,915
    I was just making a witty playing off your typo, which I guess you did not catch:

    ".I usually bring about 100 $100 bills whenever we travel for tips "

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (mine)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    edited March 2013
    My bad...didn't catch my typing error...never had it in high school so use the 2 finger approach. Sorry for any misunderstanding here. Just got home, at 9:30, from a long day...and it rained also. A Ft. Myers to Miami run and then 2 Lauderdale to Miami runs in rush hour traffic with a steady rain! Got a Kia Sedona van across the state, that sucker really has a light gas pedal with the 6 cylinder...kept creeping up to 80! Then had a new Sentra on the 1st Miami run which had just over 2100 miles but the brakes were sucky, the pedal went almost to the floor! They really need to check this out. And on the last run, got a new under 4k Toyota Highlander. Man, what a nice SUV but big...really big! Drove flawlessly and I loved it especially in the pouring rain.

    Unfortunately, more drama at work. Seems someone got ticked at me for picking the cars I did...crazy sh-t really! I see a vehicle in the line I like, I walk over to it...end of story. But others think I should wait until they choose which is ridiculous...it's not like I run over and besides, I walk with a cane so really, how fast can I go? This needless drama is making a fun job a real pain in the [non-permissible content removed]. In the chase van, I just put on my headphones and rock out to my music. Hate to be anti-social but enough is enough. And most things I say are ignored anyways...we have too many "A" personalities and I'm just not one of them. Like tonight, i mentioned I introduced myself to the other chase driver that everyone hates and they all gave me sh-t! Told them I did nothing wrong and always treat people nicely upon meeting them. If they do me wrong at some point, I'm done but always give folks the benefit of the doubt. Well this went over like a lead balloon & some of the comments I got were downright rude. Hey, I'm damned if I do, and damned if I don't...I just can't win here with all these stupid personalities. So now, it's just "hello" and "goodbye" as I'm there to work and for the paycheck, nothing more. Too have a few laughs is just a bonus.

    Then on the way down, one of the real "a-holes" was saying that folks who have no other income should get 1st shot at working and folks like "me" who have income should work less. Now what a stupid thing to say...i need the cash just as much as the others since the wife lost her main job March 1st. $1000.00/mth. cut in household income hurts folks so I'm not playin' that game. If he calls, I'm gonna work...period. he already asked us to take a day off this week and I told him sure if that makes it so everyone can work. I ain't going to be the only one though...that wouldn't be fair to me. All I want is to be treated Fairly and like everyone else...no one should get special favors though the guy who came up with this ridiculous idea does...the boss just favors him and gives him the most hours. Pointless work drama...don't want or need it so plan to just keep very quiet from now on and watch my back. I'll still be friendly but more reserved and keep the iPod on most of the time. Got my paycheck today...finally. Put a smile on my face! :)

    The Reserved Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    You guys should have a system - everyone walks out to their chosen car, and if two people want the same car, just flip a coin. No drama, nothing unfair, eventually everyone will get something to make them happy. For the rest, that's just the immature crap that modern so-called "adults" try to pull off. It's everywhere.

    I hope you get a Sixt run again soon, they should have a nice E with Sirius on it waiting for you :shades:
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,246
    Or draw the keys out of a sack and if two people want to swap rides, fine.

    No fair memorizing fob shape and feel. :shades:

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    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    That's actually a perfect idea - bag o'keys - just pick and move on. Eventually everyone will get lucky. And maybe make it so if people want to trade, they can.

    Hint: MBs just have fobs, no traditional keys, so feel around for that :shades:
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,246
    lol, will have to have a designated key picker from the bag.

    Some people supposedly can pick out certain letters from bags of Scrabble tiles.

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Sounds fair to me actually. And funny thing is, I'm the first to ask someone who I know has a preference to swap vehicles if in fact I do get one of them...have done it numerous times already even with the person causing all this drama. Makes me happy to make them happy and truth be told, I'm happy to drive almost anything...there's only a couple of vehicles that I really don't like to drive. I tend to be flexible when it comes to this but I realized long ago that this isn't a two street so I expect nothing in return...doing something nice for someone else only feels good when nothing is expected in return, the gift of doing something nice for another individual is reward enough. And if the favor is returned, so much the better for both parties, it's a win/win situation. Playing it forward is the way I prefer to live my life where nothing is expected in return, it's the happiness of giving that is awesome in itself! I like to be a team player as when we are that, we all win. And truthfully, it takes very little to make me happy and put a smile on my face...always has been. I relish in the little things in life, find joy in the small stuff so it's truly outstanding when something big happens. Call me crazy...they think I'm already a little touched as I come to work with a big grin on my face and haven't "burnt out" yet like they've all told me I would. I still feel like a kid in a toy store every day and thank G-d for such a wonderful opportunity in life!

    Hoping we get to do another Key West or Jacksonville run soon and get a fun vehicle to drive with like a sunroof and SiriusXM so I can "get into the zone" for a few hours. These little trips are o k but the longer ones are the best. We sometimes drive caravan style or meet up for a meal but the majority of the time, i just cruise along at "Sandman speed" and do my own thing. I like to touch and feel things in the vehicles and listen to the engine, car guy stuff to see why some vehicles are nicer than others and as to why some excite me more than others to begin with. Like last night, both times they had the 10 vehicles lined up bumper to bumper and I only had a short time to look down the aisle to see which one I wanted to drive. I love it when i see three or four that would be just perfect as if someone takes one, there's always a few more that will work just as good for me. There's still so many that I haven't driven and some that I really need more road time with. So no matter what here, I'm good and most of them have the features that everyone wants. Things like SiriusXM or a sunroof are just the icing on the cake for me. And I still want to try some of the bigger vehicles like a Tahoe or even a Suburban...why not try 'em all once. The Expedition is one that really intrigues me now as I've heard that they are very easy to drive and their large size isn't really a factor at all. I must admit though that with the higher winds with the rainstorms and the brisk acceleration of the Sedona, there were a few times where my heart was up in my throat and I grabbed that wheel for dear life. I did notice that I did keep the speed down and wouldn't use the cruise in traffic or really squally weather...I wanted that extra control and really needed it at times. At first I thought I was driving the 8 cylinder engine one but found out later that Kia only makes the 6 and 4 cylinder automatics, it was that powerful and just some slight pressure on the gas pedal made this van take off. Bet the 4 is a very fast vehicle also just not as touchy there. it's funny, there were 9 Dodge caravans and this one Sedona lined up and a really nice co-worker mentioned to me how nice they drive, the same guy who always tried to snag me a Mustang. he's a super cool guy and comes from a family of very talented and well known singers. he told me to get the Sedona if possible as I'd really enjoy the ride. He's also a car nut and gets it so he leads me to some fun vehicles he knows I'll like...and he hasn't let me down once yet!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,246
    edited March 2013
    "When the Federal Trade Commission approved Hertz's $2.3 billion takeover of rival Dollar Thrifty last November, the great consolidation wave of the U.S rental car industry reached its endgame, and nine major competitors had been whittled down to three.

    Now, as the trio settles in for the long haul, they are getting ready for the next phase: less competition, more price rises."

    The Oligopoly Making Car Rental More Expensive (Wall St. Journal)

    (Oligopoly - why does that word sound so familiar? :shades: ).

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    edited March 2013
    I prefer National/Alamo anyway, but that's still not good. I guess in a market oligarchy, oligopoly makes perfect sense. You get the justice you pay for.

    Sixt will probably only exist at major airports, at least in the foreseeable future. They seem to have virtually no advertising/promotion, and I have read their service can be kind of quirky compared to what the usual American renter expects.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    That seems to be the case but do love the high end vehicles they offer as they give the customer a great variety in choice. A great way to try out a vehicle to see if it fits into your daily life. For a small fee, one can really get to use it in real life situations to see if one really wants to make a long term commitment. After a house or condo, a vehicle is probably the 2nd most important and expensive choices people make in their lives and no one wants to make an error with thousands and thousands involved. Rent it for a few days or a week and you will definitely know the good and /or bad points and get the real deal on things like seat comfort and switch gear usage. So many times a vehicle is great for the quick test drive but it's on that 4 hour road trip that serious problems can and do arise and then what? Doing a little homework and spending some quality time with your choice makes all the difference in the world as we all want to love the vehicles we purchase. Can you imagine buying something and finding out next month that you really hate the thing and having it in your garage or parking space is a daily reminder of the bad and expensive decision you made. Oy vey!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    Sixt does have a diverse lineup and good rates for highlines. Most rental brands have many brands nowadays, unlike in the past where some seemed to prefer certain brands. But, I have read some complaints about hard selling of expensive tack on items, and slow service. I suspect something has been lost in translation when it comes to company policy. In Germany, you won't be in and out of a Sixt rental office in 45 seconds like you can with many brands in the US, either - but it isn't slow. I have only used Sixt when renting in Europe - their rates are competitive, and they generally have the best cars - they often have highly optioned vehicles in the fleet.

    Renting a car before buying is a smart idea. There aren't a lot of vehicles that it isn't possible to rent, today. I had a Sixt E-class for 8 days out of Fort Lauderdale last year, that gave me some idea about what I would be getting into.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    I read Sixt is now open in Tampa - you might get to make a long distance run, sandman.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Hope to soon...and finally get my E Class or a GLK wagon. I enjoy working for Sixt actually though they do their paperwork differently than the others we service. Did get to drive a Passat yesterday from West Palm to Miami for Hertz and it was just o k...actually prefer the Jetta as it's the perfect size, at least for me. Over lunch earlier, told the wife again I like the 180" size, give or take, and plan on a small ute next go round for me. She's just worried about parking on my side of the garage but that should not be an issue. I will do the garage test while test driving it just to make sure it will fit. Did this in the mid 80's for an Oldsmobile 88 and found that it was just too large for her side so got the Cutlass Supreme which was a perfect fit. But told her no more vehicles that I have to drop down into as I'm getting too old for that and also want a nicer ride next time. Power everything for my final vehicle...and I will get exactly what I want no matter what to!! :)

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    With all the drama at your current job, maybe you should see if there's a position open with a company, directly. Might be better working conditions.

    I don't want a car that's too big,either. I live in a fairly congested area that can have iffy parking, anything above E-class size can be too much.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    I applied to a couple...haven't heard back yet. Avis turned me down flat, probably because of my age. Am patient but do have a friend working at a different company who I've mentioned that I am looking...he's supposed to inquire for me so we'll see. I just know that I'm pretty unhappy where I'm out now but it was an open door when all the others were closed so I do owe them something. But the Hertz position would be the best by far! I hope and pray!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    edited March 2013
    Maybe there's another company who contracts to move the cars?

    Speaking of rentals, a friend of mine is going to Orlando later this year, found stupid cheap airfare ($280 RT from SEA on Delta, so I can get miles), and talked me into coming along. I've already booked my car, getting a Sixt E-class for $38.xx/day.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,689
    Now that's an outrageous price! Damn...for an E Class? Bet I could get a C Class for maybe $32/day. I really need to check it out but knowing me, I'd never want to give it back! Then I'd be forced to get a cpo'd unit before my time table kicks in. Seriously, I plan to keep to the plan and wait until 2016 or 2017 before I do swap out my vehicle...just makes no sense to get rid of the Civic before then unless my boy really needs and wants a vehicle. The wife won't trade mine for hers, I've asked her to let me have the Mazda and she just take the Civic as her d d but she said "no". This really is not a bad idea and I'd use the Mazda for a bit and then cut it loose. So since these two scenarios don't seem to be going to happen, I'm gonna just wait it out. But then when that time comes, anything will be possible and I will have more $ to boot as I plan to invest my small windfall when I do get it...lawyers really suck!

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,949
    Funny thing, the C (one class lower in their grid) was actually $5/day more. I know the E will have standard nav and should have working satellite radio, so those are kind of free bonuses making it a real bargain.

    For your car, I still think you need to go for it at least once. It's your money, and you can't take it with you :shades:
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