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Rental Car Rant

January 14th, 2004

Rental car companies lie. They lie about rates. They lie to sell add ons like insurance and tanks of gas. They lie about just about anything to get money out of the customer.

One lie, though is more frustrating than any other. They lie about where you have to go to get the car. I much prefer when travelling to rent from companies that have pickup locations in the airport proper whenever possible. Granted this is less common since airports like SFO and DFW make you ride a bus to the giant rental car mall but there are still airports like SEA that have on-site rentals. My specific beef is with Thrifty Car Rental. Their website as well as most travel sites claim that they are “In Terminal” at Seatac Airport. This is the status claimed by Hertz, Avis and National, all three companies I now know with certainty actually are “In Terminal”. Thrifty isn’t. They require a bus ride to the rental car lot.

It’s not a huge deal, I guess, but it is damned annoying when you plan on getting off the plane and right into rush hour traffic. Delaying things with riding a third form of transportation just doesn’t seem to speed up the process.

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