Hotwire Rate - I'm loyal but c'mon !!

Discussion in 'National | Emerald Club' started by Sweet Willie, May 20, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    tonight at ORD.

    One day midsize through National's website: >$80 + tax/fees = >$100

    Hotwire: $15.95 + tax/fees = $34, turns out to be a National Rental anyways:rolleyes:

    Who the hell is National kidding? I'm loyal & willing to pay a premium to rent from National.
    No thanks though to nearly a $70 premium (& I'll gladly take the loss of a rental credit.)
    I was able to choose my car class well.
     
  2. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Status Points:
    1,470
    I'm almost never willing to pay a premium- which is why I end up renting from Alamo instead of National... ;)
     
    perryplatypus and Sweet Willie like this.
  3. carwag25

    carwag25 Gold Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Status Points:
    1,800
    Hey Willie, they let you choose from the aisle even with a Hotwire rental?
     
    perryplatypus and Sweet Willie like this.
  4. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Yes, they should. If there are any issues just show your membership card upon exiting.
     
  5. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    I like the benefits of National quite a bit and for me there isn't a disparity in premium between Alamo & National.
    yes, but see below for what happened
    Is there an official rule on this?

    I ask the question, as in the past, the few times I've had a hotwire rate & the car was a National car, not only was I able to fully utilize my ExecElite benefits at National but I even got credit for the rental.

    With last night's rental, I went to the EE aisle, grabbed a car (two classes above the reserved midsize) and proceeded to the gate. The gate agent was unable to process a 3rd party booking (I know this gate agent and she is one of the best I've come across so I know it isn't her). At the EE aisle booth, the women behind the counter is a total bitch, I couldn't believe her obvious disdain for me & my rental. She picked up my EE card and shook it at me saying with 3rd party bookings this (meaning my National benefits/status) do not apply!! When I pointed out in the past my benefits/status applied with hotwire rentals, she shook her head and told me that no, that never happened. (oh sure, you know my past history:rolleyes:) After she printed out my contract, I asked her do I now choose a car? She just said to keep what I had already chose. :confused: So that is what I drove off with.
     
  6. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,421
    Likes Received:
    33,847
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I don't know if there is an official rule, I have done it in the past without any issue. There are some counter agents that like to make their own rules. Seems it would be in Nationals interest to honor their members status and not disrupt the system. With any CS, if they are on a power trip their rules seem to be what is enforced. :(
     
    perryplatypus and Sweet Willie like this.
  7. 2soonold
    Original Member

    2soonold Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,011
    Likes Received:
    8,385
    Status Points:
    7,145
    First, my disclaimer: once before I became a senior citizen, I was given the opportunity to leave the Hertz property before the CS (of the moment) called Security on me.:D I walked right over to Avis, where the manager looked at my voided Hertz contract and immediately gave me the same deal on an Avis rental!

    You are so very right; and the important part is that inspite of the CS(of the moment) it is in the bottomline interest of the rental car company not to disrupt the system.

    OK, I do give her one point for having the good sense to not make you take another car. A couple of years ago, I pulled up to a busy National exit booth and the tire pressure dash light came on . What followed was a very awkward episode as I tried to get the car back to the aisle, so I could select one that was roadworthy. Later, I wondered why I went through that; I am not a National employee! Since then I have no qualms about just getting out of a car and walking away. I'm not such a good driver that I can put back a car in a garage better than the guys who work there everyday!
    Fortunately, the folks at my local National are getting to recognize me as that old kook with the camera. Last time the aisle booth attendant greeted me and said, " Anything but luxury. Have a good trip."
    Pretty simple.
     
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  8. carwag25

    carwag25 Gold Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Status Points:
    1,800
    This discussion prompted me to go read National/Emerald Club terms and conditions (I used to negotiate terms and conditions/contracts for a living). There is nothing in the terms and conditions that restrict use of the aisle service when the car is rented through a third party.
     
    2soonold, rharrigill and Sweet Willie like this.
  9. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    Thanks for the effort ! Do the T&Cs state anything about receiving credit for third party rentals?
     
  10. carwag25

    carwag25 Gold Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Status Points:
    1,800
    The T&C's state that the contract ID or discount number may disqualify. There is an FAQ on this as well on the National site:
    "Why didn't I earn miles or hotel credits on my car rental?
    If you did not earn frequent flyer miles or hotel credits for rentals that you believe qualified; the most common reasons are:

    The rental agreement had a Contract ID or a Discount Number attached that does not qualify for earning frequent flyer miles or hotel credits.

    Ø For example, a reservation made through a third party website may offer discounted rates or a packaged offer which disqualifies the rental for earning miles or credits."
     
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  11. paladin87
    Original Member

    paladin87 Silver Member

    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    778
    Status Points:
    770
    I guess since I hardly ever rent a car, I don't worry about it. I always go with the cheapest rate I can find, like a Hotwire rate. I have enough work juggling loyalty and prices with hotel chains/programs...the last thing I need is to add cars to the mix. :)
     
    carwag25 and Sweet Willie like this.
  12. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

    Messages:
    12,507
    Likes Received:
    20,199
    Status Points:
    16,520
    I don't spend a lot of time on car programs either. But it is nice to not have to stand in line at the counter and be able to walk straight to the car when I rent with Hertz (where I am Gold 5* something-or-the-other). Recently signed up with Avis for the same type of deal and will activate that this coming weekend (and collect some 3000 US miles, too). National will be the next on my list.
     
  13. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,901
    Likes Received:
    2,975
    Status Points:
    1,470
    I almost always see National at a significant premium to Alamo where I rent- and it just ain't worth it. My most frequent rents are Seattle (downtown)/LAX/LAS/SEA.

    Oh, and Alamo gives 500 US miles per rental, and often has 2x/3x WN bonuses- which means a $20-30 effective rebate on the rental at WGA prices.
     
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  14. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    (bolding mine) the smart move in your case no doubt. Seeing as I rent ~25 times a year, National in my case is fantastic as I nearly always get the vehichle I want (SUV, convertible, pickup, van, luxury) for renting a midsize.
    THANKS again !!
     
  15. carwag25

    carwag25 Gold Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Status Points:
    1,800
    no problem :)
     
  16. carwag25

    carwag25 Gold Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3,790
    Status Points:
    1,800
    Understandable. I usually play around with the contract id/discount codes enough until I get a reasonable/comparable rate to other rental companies. If I pay a few dollars more for convenience and an almost guaranteed car upgrade via the aisle selection, then I am willing to pony up a few bucks.
     
  17. paladin87
    Original Member

    paladin87 Silver Member

    Messages:
    532
    Likes Received:
    778
    Status Points:
    770
    You know..to be honest...I would likely never rent a car overseas, but domestically...the main reason I don't is not usually the cost of the rental...its the cost of the parking at the hotel.
     
    dc_traveler likes this.
  18. tassojunior
    Original Member

    tassojunior Silver Member

    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    92
    Status Points:
    345
    At least at DCA, Alamo, National and Enterprise pool cars and employees so you can choose from cars in every row and from any employee. Unfortunately, I can't get substantially lower rates from Alamo or Enterprise so I stick with National for EA and it's rewards program.
     
    Sweet Willie likes this.
  19. tommy2tone

    tommy2tone Active Member

    Messages:
    31
    Likes Received:
    23
    Status Points:
    95
    One of the dangers of using Hotwire for car rentals is that you could get an off-airport rental, which usually doesn't have 24-hour shuttle. If you get in late, you could be out of luck. Here's an interesting blog post that describes just that: http://www.hoteldealsrevealed.com/blog/payless-car-rental-sfo/

    I only every book direct or from a website that allows me to know the company before I book. I then check to make sure they're located at the airport and they are open 24 hours.
     
  20. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    Thanks for the link, but just FYI, the article mentions that the writer used a booking engine other than Hotwire, also mentions that the company was Payless for which Hotwire car rentals will never be a vendor as Hotwire only offers cars from Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, National. Hotwire rentals will always be from an airport if that is what was entered in the search.

    I think you bring a valid point though in that while most MAJOR US airport locations are open 24/7, not all are. I know I ran into issues with National in Halifax Canada as I assumed the National branch was open 24/7 & it was not. My fault for making the poor assumption.
     
    ranman1973 likes this.

Share This Page