Welcome to the Land of GREEN!

Discussion in 'National | Emerald Club' started by sophiegirl, Feb 4, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    After years of loyalty to Hertz, I switched to National...and have never looked back! Look forward to sharing and learning information on this site! Welcome all!
     
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  2. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    You beat me to posting here :)
     
  3. Ritz

    Ritz Silver Member

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    Well things do look quite interesting around here. Glad to see we have a National forum here to share all of our Emerald Club expertise :)
     
  4. Grace
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    Grace Silver Member

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    It's the whole "choose your own car" that wins me over. Avis kept giving me crappy cars and I'm not one to go ask for another so I like the National model better.
     
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  5. JFW
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    JFW Silver Member

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    I ditched Avis due to their continued devaluation of the Avis First program, along with the fact that more often than I cared to, I had to go to the office, rather than directly to my car. Now, I don't need to deal with anyone until I'm at the checkout gate. If I don't like the car I drive, I only have myself to blame.
     
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  6. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    This can go both ways ... a few years back I was renting weekly from EWR and that's the reason I don't rent from National and switched to Avis/Hertz. The folks working there were surly at best, and the selection of cars could've been upgrades or downgrades, you just never knew. There was one time when the entire Aisle was filled with these tiny cars and the attitude was too bad.
    While I'm a member of the various clubs, I don't really care that much about a car upgrade, I just want what I ordered. I do a lot of PL these days, or AutoSlash and just take what is most cost effective.
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I don't care about upgrades either. What matters to me is price and the ability to get a car without having to wait in line. So far, Hertz has been my default rental company due to a conveniently located Local Edition (now closed, so no longer a factor) and because they tend to be available where I need to rent cars. Another factor is the free spouse-as-second-driver benefit with AAA/Hertz Gold. Does National offer something like that?
     
  8. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    I don't necessarily think being able to select the car you want indicates a desire for constant upgrades. In my situation, i select a car type based on the trip. if i am traveling with friends, i may want a large sedan, bad weather; an SUV, just myself, a smaller mid-size is fine. The point is that I can choose, it is not chosen for me. And in the one instance that an appropriate choice wasn't available, (BOS) i asked and they brought one around immediately.

    I did have an issue with surly personnel in MCO, but Hertz in BWI was always horrific for me, and actually is what made me switch to National.
     
  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Oh, I agree... I don't think selecting between different cars within a category is nice and unrelated to upgrades (my comment about upgrades was more related to being a 5* member of Hertz Gold... and the aspect I care about is being able to walk to the car instead of the counter, saving me 10-60 mins on each rental).

    I have rented a few times with National over the years and definitely liked the pick-your-own-car concept.
     
  10. TrueBlueFlyer
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    TrueBlueFlyer Silver Member

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    Interesting, discussion... I am not a frequent traveler by any stretch of the imagination but in the past year I have switched almost exclusively to Hertz because all of my personal rentals are on the budget and of all companies Hertz turned out to be the cheapest or within a few dollars of being the cheapest which made a lot of sense. It was also nice to credit my Air France | Flying Blue account for the rentals as often times for $15 bux rental I would get more miles than for actually flying Air France (and often times only getting 25% of the mileage flown, which is ridiculous)
     
  11. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    I'm trying National these days (normally Hertz 5*) ... I do like the idea of choosing your own car. I'm not looking for a big SUV, but finding something that I enjoy (or that has XM Radio) is nice. However, it really does depend on how good the local selection is. Too many Impalas and PT Cruisers much of the time ... :rolleyes:
     
  12. IMGone
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    IMGone Silver Member

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    For a temporary rental, I think the PT Cruiser is a funky ride and works for short terms
     
  13. tomh009
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    tomh009 Gold Member

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    It was pretty funky in 1999. I've driven so many since then that it's just another little van. I'd even rather drive a Yaris (which Hertz called an "intermediate!").
     
  14. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    I haven't necessarily seen just those 2 cars....but I have noticed some locations have a much better selection than others. In my experience, BWI is not great, nor is SLC. I can always find something good at FLL, MSP, and usually BOS. MCO is mixed....selection there is usually OK, but worn. What I have found (is that) if I don't like the selection, and ask, they usually will bring me something nice. And to be fair to BWI - we flew in there for Mr Sophie's birthday, I called ahead and they held onto a Challenger for me him. Very nice of them, very expensive for me - we now own one.

    If I have any issue with National, it is that I find their cars are not as clean (or perhaps are not cleaned) as those at Hertz and it is a bigger hassle to change your return date/location. But I'll still trade those off for being able to pick my own.
     
  15. JonathanIT
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    JonathanIT Active Member

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    I wouldn't rent from anyone but National... I really like the concept of picking your own ride. I'm just too particular about the cars I drive... not just the make and model, but I like to check mileage, features (working satellite radio is a must), and other things before I choose. I really like new cars, and I'm glad to see that National has been getting quite a few new models lately!
     
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  16. Rich
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    Rich Silver Member

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    I was a Hertz regular, but I've been renting from National for the past year or so. Like having a good selection of cars to choose from and I always try to get one with XM Radio.
     
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  17. chef4u
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    chef4u Silver Member

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    My last 3 rentals have been National out of EWR, and I agree far too many Impalas and PT Crusiers, but National's pricing is far better than the others IMHO.
     
  18. bta
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    bta Silver Member

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    I'm a former Avis regular...switched to Hertz due to my company travel policy, but now have National as an option, as despite being a Hertz 5*, i often got old dingy cars and minimal rewards for my rentals. Been happy so far, although the Emerald Aisles tend to contain a lot of Malibus and the like. I did like the Jetta I got recently though.
     
  19. TheInternationalLine
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    TheInternationalLine Silver Member

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    Yes:

    "Free (in the United States and Canada) - An Emerald Club member's spouse, immediate family member living with him/her, business partner, employer, or fellow associate who has an assigned corporate contract with National and drives the car for business purposes."

    Our car rentals are almost always in my wife's name when we travel for leisure, yet I almost always do the driving. I just pull up to the booth, give them her drivers' license, and we leave with the car of our choice. They don't even ask for my identification or license. :)
     
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  20. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    That's good to know. Got to sign up my wife for Emerald Club, too, then, because sometimes she's the one who's picking up the car.
     
  21. peteropny
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    peteropny Milepoint Guide

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    You're lucky - I've seen checkout agents make people switch so that the one whose name is on the reservation is the one driving out the gate.
     
  22. jackal
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    jackal Gold Member

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    I find myself relatively rarely renting from the business traveler-oriented brands (National, Avis, and Hertz), since their prices are often FAR more than the value brands (Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget, and Alamo). That said, if it's only a small premium per day, I'll splurge and go with one of the full-service brands, and of course I'll definitely do that on the (rare) occasion when they are cheaper than the value brands.

    National is quickly becoming my favorite. I do have Executive status with National and love the Executive Selection and ability to select your own car. It makes the whole rental experience for me. The fact you can redeem free days for one-way rentals makes the rewards program an incredible value, too.

    Hertz, on the other hand, is quick if everything goes well but slow if you have a problem with your car, since you need to go into the office to make any changes to your rental. I picked up a car at ORD last weekend with Gold Canopy service, and the Camry they assigned me had 35,000 miles and smelled heavily like cigarettes. It took me an extra 5 minutes to go into the Gold office and swap to a "brand new" (according to them) Camry with "only" 9,500 miles on it (that would be a middle-aged car at most other companies). It wasn't painful, but it's certainly less convenient than just getting into another car nearby and driving off the lot.

    Honestly, I don't find #1 Club Gold to be much of an improvement over Thrifty Blue Chip, which gets me pretty much the same process for often half the price. Blue Chip rewards are also far more valuable than Hertz #1 Awards points. But National wins at the smoothest and most flexible rental process.
     
  23. I have to say, National desk reps when there is no aisle often seem to enjoy giving us a choice of car. I like the electronic return that has an email receipt sent before I hit a terminal. Site differences will always be there. I was working in CT flying through LGA. For several weeks, I would get a call during the week asking which car I had (once - we need that car back) or they couldn't check it in because it wasn't on my contract. Some smaller locations are sticklers for small scratches so I have to look carefully or call once in daylight. The budget brands always tried to give me something funky that smelled of smoke and call it a mid-size. I dislike Avis and Hertz but have never had status with them - Emerald Aisle had me hooked and now I am Executive Elite. Not sure how different that is from Exeucitve. Now I see there is a VIP level. [sigh]
     
  24. sophiegirl
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    sophiegirl Silver Member

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    VIP is very difficult to attain...you will enjoy EE over Emerald...the cars are nicer, newer, and less mileage. Most of the time, anyway.
     
  25. I've been Executive for years and EElite the past few. I well know what the Emerald folks have for selection. I just don't see that EElite is different from Executive. It just means I am on the road weekly and am loyal to National.
     

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