Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

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Kookaburra
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Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Kookaburra »

My understanding from having read others’ experiences is that when you reserve a rental car for Hawaii, whether or not you actually have your car waiting when you arrive can depend on what travel booking site you use. For example, if you use Expedia, Costco Travel, or book direct through the car company (e.g., Alamo).

Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
bob60014
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by bob60014 »

The guarantee is, that there is no guarantee, no matter which service you use.
rich126
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by rich126 »

bob60014 wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:30 pm The guarantee is, that there is no guarantee, no matter which service you use.
Sadly this is true with cars, hotels, etc. sometimes status helps but no guarantee either.
squirm
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by squirm »

You'll be fine, we were just there, worried about the car too cause I had a great rate, no issues.
Hawaii is busy now.
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goingup
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by goingup »

Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm My understanding from having read others’ experiences is that when you reserve a rental car for Hawaii, whether or not you actually have your car waiting when you arrive can depend on what travel booking site you use. For example, if you use Expedia, Costco Travel, or book direct through the car company (e.g., Alamo).

Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
We’ve rented cars on Oahu, Big Island and Kauai more than a dozen times without issue. The most recent was Feb. 2020—pre pandemic.

Have things changed so much as to worry about this? Book through Costco. Very good rates. No prepay. Easy to cancel if needed. I suspect (though can’t verify) that Costco renters get better treatment. No rental company wants to tick off Costco.
Ron Ronnerson
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Ron Ronnerson »

goingup wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:40 pm
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm My understanding from having read others’ experiences is that when you reserve a rental car for Hawaii, whether or not you actually have your car waiting when you arrive can depend on what travel booking site you use. For example, if you use Expedia, Costco Travel, or book direct through the car company (e.g., Alamo).

Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
We’ve rented cars on Oahu, Big Island and Kauai more than a dozen times without issue. The most recent was Feb. 2020—pre pandemic.

Have things changed so much as to worry about this?
Yes they have. Cars are hard to find these days in Hawaii and are renting at high prices (like around the same cost as a hotel room).
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CardinalRule
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by CardinalRule »

goingup wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:40 pm Have things changed so much as to worry about this? Book through Costco. Very good rates. No prepay. Easy to cancel if needed. I suspect (though can’t verify) that Costco renters get better treatment. No rental company wants to tick off Costco.
Of course they have changed, which is the reason for the OP's post. Lots of 'horror' stories in the media as travel resumes and there aren't always enough cars to go around. It will take some time for the current supply imbalance to get resolved.
stats99
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by stats99 »

goingup wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:40 pm [quote=Kookaburra post_id=6062276 time=<a href="tel:1623521860">1623521860</a> user_id=159523]
My understanding from having read others’ experiences is that when you reserve a rental car for Hawaii, whether or not you actually have your car waiting when you arrive can depend on what travel booking site you use. For example, if you use Expedia, Costco Travel, or book direct through the car company (e.g., Alamo).

Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
We’ve rented cars on Oahu, Big Island and Kauai more than a dozen times without issue. The most recent was Feb. 2020—pre pandemic.

Have things changed so much as to worry about this? Book through Costco. Very good rates. No prepay. Easy to cancel if needed. I suspect (though can’t verify) that Costco renters get better treatment. No rental company wants to tick off Costco.
[/quote]

Have things changed?

Yes!

1. Post pandemic supply shortages
2. Hertz bankruptcy
3. World wide “chip” shortage impacting new car and fleet production and massive price increases for used cars
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Sandtrap
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Sandtrap »

Nowadays, no guarantees. But experiences vary.
For example, I live in Hawaii, rented a car direct from Enterprise 3 blocks away. Went to pickup the prior reserved and confirmed “specific” rental car.
No car
None available
Nada
I had to wait awhile for them to either get one or one to come in for a return. With patience, it worked out.
This has happened 2
3x in the last 4 years at various agencies.
Why?
Unsure…..

I found it best to be very early and try to push for a car and prompt service. Agencies and staff seem to be overwhelmed and often understaffed.

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adamthesmythe
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by adamthesmythe »

I've rented cars many times and I was satisfied that I knew how to do it to get an appropriate balance between convenience and a fair rate.

Now- I believe things have changed, and I am not confident that what worked in the past will work now.

In particular- I don't think you can absolutely count on a car being there and I think there is even less expectation than previously that you will get the type reserved.
seawolf21
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm My understanding from having read others’ experiences is that when you reserve a rental car for Hawaii, whether or not you actually have your car waiting when you arrive can depend on what travel booking site you use. For example, if you use Expedia, Costco Travel, or book direct through the car company (e.g., Alamo).

Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
It doesn’t matter how you book. If there is no car on the lot during peak times you have to wait regardless of booking channel.
confusedinaz
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by confusedinaz »

If you reserve through Costco and the rental agency doesn't have a car for you, you can rent a similar car from any other service and Costco makes the original company reimburse you for the cost difference. I had this situation happen once and had no problem getting the reimbursement after notifying Costco travel.

Of course, if there aren't any other cars available, that's probably not helpful. :D
Doctor Rhythm
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Doctor Rhythm »

Haven’t been there post-pandemic, but never had a problem with car availability in Hawaii on a dozen trips, and this is usually booking with third-tier/discount companies like Advantage. Caveat is that I couldn’t care less what car I rent: subcompact? midsize? minivan? Fine, as long as the price is good.
MiddleOfTheRoad
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad »

I booked through Chase travel portal in Feb at a very good rate. We are landing in HNL in a couple hours. Will let you guys know if we actually get a car.
z91
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by z91 »

Doctor Rhythm wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:01 pm Haven’t been there post-pandemic, but never had a problem with car availability in Hawaii on a dozen trips, and this is usually booking with third-tier/discount companies like Advantage. Caveat is that I couldn’t care less what car I rent: subcompact? midsize? minivan? Fine, as long as the price is good.
goingup wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:40 pm We’ve rented cars on Oahu, Big Island and Kauai more than a dozen times without issue. The most recent was Feb. 2020—pre pandemic.
Yeah, see, the problem is these experiences are pre-Covid. Covid has hammered the rental market. Rentals are $300+ a day, *if* you can get a reservation.
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HE Pennypacker
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by HE Pennypacker »

Yea I'm looking at Maui for August and it is crazy. I might give Turo a try instead
lucha
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by lucha »

Turo can get canceled at the last minute and you have no recourse. I booked through Hawaii Discount REntals and they booked it at Budget at the airport... another friend said that when he booked through Hotwire the office where he was going to pick up (not at the airport) was closed and when he called they didn't have anything for him. So i called Budget to reconfirm... gave my booking number to an automated system which reconfirmed my reservation and luckily it was there at the airport when I arrived! (They actually gave us a Camaro convertible instead of the economy car I had booked because they only had those and Jeeps)
MiddleOfTheRoad
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by MiddleOfTheRoad »

MiddleOfTheRoad wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:12 pm I booked through Chase travel portal in Feb at a very good rate. We are landing in HNL in a couple hours. Will let you guys know if we actually get a car.
So we got a somewhat well used car. >30k miles on it. Otherwise it’s standard rental car. Looks like there are a bunch of cars in the parking garage for rentals. So if you have a reservation, it will be honored.
pindevil
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by pindevil »

"Reserve" a car with two different agencies if going to a high demand area (Use the pay at the counter option). I've been screwed twice in the past with rental car companies running out of cars. They told me they will overbook because apparently not everyone shows up who makes a reservation. So my solution to book two and use one probably doesn't help but it's really unpleasant when you're the one getting screwed. The walk up prices at the rental agencies are ridiculous, so makes sense to have a backup booked.
If you are 100% sure you are going you might try the prepay option directly with the rental car company if available. I've never done this but you would think they would actually reserve a car for someone who prepaid, right??
Wannaretireearly
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Wannaretireearly »

confusedinaz wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 4:49 pm If you reserve through Costco and the rental agency doesn't have a car for you, you can rent a similar car from any other service and Costco makes the original company reimburse you for the cost difference. I had this situation happen once and had no problem getting the reimbursement after notifying Costco travel.

Of course, if there aren't any other cars available, that's probably not helpful. :D
Great to know this! I just booked 9 day car rental thru Costco at Kona, Big Island (roughly $1100 for an economy car).
Crazy thing is there is now no availability for my Dec/Christmas dates anymore!! (Any type of car). Nuts.
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MishkaWorries
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by MishkaWorries »

I've heard tourist are renting uhaul trucks and vans as back up to be sure they have some form of transportation once they are on the island.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Pacific »

One of the problems is that when one actually can get a rental car for any number of days available, the person then "extends" the rental. Then the vehicle is not returned on time so as to be available for the next person.
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goingup
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by goingup »

z91 wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:26 pm
Doctor Rhythm wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 5:01 pm Haven’t been there post-pandemic, but never had a problem with car availability in Hawaii on a dozen trips, and this is usually booking with third-tier/discount companies like Advantage. Caveat is that I couldn’t care less what car I rent: subcompact? midsize? minivan? Fine, as long as the price is good.
goingup wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:40 pm We’ve rented cars on Oahu, Big Island and Kauai more than a dozen times without issue. The most recent was Feb. 2020—pre pandemic.
Yeah, see, the problem is these experiences are pre-Covid. Covid has hammered the rental market. Rentals are $300+ a day, *if* you can get a reservation.
Thanks, I wasn't aware that this was such a widespread situation. We'll be booking a car for Hawaii travel early next year so maybe supply will have caught up with demand by then. One change I can make is to try to arrive in the early afternoon rather than late evening, as we do sometimes. I'd rather deal with a problem at 1pm, rather than 10pm.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by brian91480 »

Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
kanjoos
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by kanjoos »

We just came back from Maui. Had no issue with midsize car from Enterprise. From what I saw everyone looked happy at car agency area with no long lines so I assuming everyone was able to get the car as well.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:55 am
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
It does sounds like 1985. In 1985, travel agencies would have had clout with air/hotel/rental partners as majority of bookings went thru agencies. Thus commissions were paid.

I don't think that's going to happen today with current car rental shortage in Hawaii. Travel agent is going to be placed on hold like everyone else and still can't magically make a car available if none are available and that's assuming you can even get your OTA (such as Expedia) on the phone to begin with.
mnnice
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by mnnice »

I was in Oahu in May and was pretty worried about having my reservation filed. I was especially worried when I walked up to the Enterprise lot and there where like four vehicles total and one was a box truck and another was a 12 passenger van.

I ended up with a Jeep Grand Cherokee and paid $312 for 8 days (all taxes and stuff). It sounds like the going daily rate is about what I paid total.

Uber and Lyft were super variable. The prices kept changing radically in a 10 minute span and often one was twice what the other was.

Anyway I was thankful for both the car and the excellent price.
brian91480
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by brian91480 »

seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:13 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:55 am
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
It does sounds like 1985. In 1985, travel agencies would have had clout with air/hotel/rental partners as majority of bookings went thru agencies. Thus commissions were paid.

I don't think that's going to happen today with current car rental shortage in Hawaii. Travel agent is going to be placed on hold like everyone else and still can't magically make a car available if none are available and that's assuming you can even get your OTA (such as Expedia) on the phone to begin with.
I thought the same thing about 6 months ago. But I've gotten to know a travel agent in the past year... an endangered species of today's workforce. I've also gotten to know several people in her circle who have been clients... and I've heard a few stories from them. Agents still have clout.
BogleFan510
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by BogleFan510 »

Like all things in Hawaii, when a guest, a bit of humble kindness goes a long way. I suggest being very nice when picking up the car. If there is a wait, you just might do better than complainers.
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Kookaburra
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Kookaburra »

Duplicate
Last edited by Kookaburra on Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Kookaburra
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Kookaburra »

BogleFan510 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:28 pm Like all things in Hawaii, when a guest, a bit of humble kindness goes a long way. I suggest being very nice when picking up the car. If there is a wait, you just might do better than complainers.
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seawolf21
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:03 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:13 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:55 am
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
It does sounds like 1985. In 1985, travel agencies would have had clout with air/hotel/rental partners as majority of bookings went thru agencies. Thus commissions were paid.

I don't think that's going to happen today with current car rental shortage in Hawaii. Travel agent is going to be placed on hold like everyone else and still can't magically make a car available if none are available and that's assuming you can even get your OTA (such as Expedia) on the phone to begin with.
I thought the same thing about 6 months ago. But I've gotten to know a travel agent in the past year... an endangered species of today's workforce. I've also gotten to know several people in her circle who have been clients... and I've heard a few stories from them. Agents still have clout.
I don't see how any agent especially mom-n-pop agents can pull a car out of thin air. If you're dealing with an OTA, it may take awhile just for them to pickup the phone while you are at the counter.

The problem is not confirmed reservations are not resulting in cars. The problem is confirmed reservations not resulting in a car at the confirmed time. Reports from earlier this year is even if you are elite you still have to stand in line for cars to be returned/cleaned as the lot is bare.

While the elite line is shorter than the non-elite line, there is still a wait. As one point some agencies have resorted to taking down phone numbers and tell renters to make their own way to their hotel and will receive a text to come back when a car is available because the wait stretched into hours waiting for cars to be returned.

Let's say the rental company does tell you your reservation cannot be honored. Your agent is somehow is able to book a new reservation with another agency because they have clout. Then why didn't the agent book with this company to begin with? You will then still have to stand in line at the new company and wait behind all those others ahead waiting for cars. In order to make use of this clout, how do you find which travel agent has clout and which doesn't and clout with which rental company?

The situation appeared to have improved. Recent reports last couple of weeks at Hertz/National OGG/HNL are cars are readily available under the "pick your car" model (Ultimate Choice/Emerald Aisle). Some of the cars are even low mileage.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:13 pm, edited 9 times in total.
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snackdog
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by snackdog »

I think with the higher July and August rental rates Uber may be a cheaper alternative.
brian91480
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by brian91480 »

seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:48 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:03 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:13 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:55 am
Kookaburra wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 1:17 pm Can folks weigh in with their experience as to which options are or are not highly reliable in terms of your reserved car actually being there when you arrive?

Thank you
I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
It does sounds like 1985. In 1985, travel agencies would have had clout with air/hotel/rental partners as majority of bookings went thru agencies. Thus commissions were paid.

I don't think that's going to happen today with current car rental shortage in Hawaii. Travel agent is going to be placed on hold like everyone else and still can't magically make a car available if none are available and that's assuming you can even get your OTA (such as Expedia) on the phone to begin with.
I thought the same thing about 6 months ago. But I've gotten to know a travel agent in the past year... an endangered species of today's workforce. I've also gotten to know several people in her circle who have been clients... and I've heard a few stories from them. Agents still have clout.
I don't see how any agent especially mom-n-pop agents can pull a car out of thin air. If you're dealing with an OTA, it may take awhile just for them to pickup the phone while you are at the counter.

The problem is not confirmed reservations are not resulting in cars. The problem is confirmed reservations not resulting in a car at the confirmed time. Reports from earlier this year is even if you are elite you still have to stand in line for cars to be returned/cleaned as the lot is bare.

While the elite line is shorter than the non-elite line, there is still a wait. As one point some agencies have resorted to taking down phone numbers and tell renters to make their own way to their hotel and will receive a text to come back when a car is available because the wait stretched into hours waiting for cars to be returned.

Let's say the rental company does tell you your reservation cannot be honored. Your agent is somehow is able to book a new reservation with another agency because they have clout. Then why didn't the agent book with this company to begin with? You will then still have to stand in line at the new company and wait behind all those others ahead waiting for cars. In order to make use of this clout, how do you find which travel agent has clout and which doesn't and clout with which rental company?

The situation appeared to have improved. Recent reports last couple of weeks at Hertz/National OGG/HNL are cars are readily available under the "pick your car" model (Ultimate Choice/Emerald Aisle). Some of the cars are even low mileage.
I thought the same thing... 6 months ago.
seawolf21
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 10:20 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:48 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 9:03 pm
seawolf21 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 2:13 pm
brian91480 wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 8:55 am

I know this will sound like 1985... but...

You can book with a travel agent. When things go wrong, instead of you dealing with the person at the counter... you call your travel agent. It's like having a cheat code. Everything gets handled while you sit back and relax.
It does sounds like 1985. In 1985, travel agencies would have had clout with air/hotel/rental partners as majority of bookings went thru agencies. Thus commissions were paid.

I don't think that's going to happen today with current car rental shortage in Hawaii. Travel agent is going to be placed on hold like everyone else and still can't magically make a car available if none are available and that's assuming you can even get your OTA (such as Expedia) on the phone to begin with.
I thought the same thing about 6 months ago. But I've gotten to know a travel agent in the past year... an endangered species of today's workforce. I've also gotten to know several people in her circle who have been clients... and I've heard a few stories from them. Agents still have clout.
I don't see how any agent especially mom-n-pop agents can pull a car out of thin air. If you're dealing with an OTA, it may take awhile just for them to pickup the phone while you are at the counter.

The problem is not confirmed reservations are not resulting in cars. The problem is confirmed reservations not resulting in a car at the confirmed time. Reports from earlier this year is even if you are elite you still have to stand in line for cars to be returned/cleaned as the lot is bare.

While the elite line is shorter than the non-elite line, there is still a wait. As one point some agencies have resorted to taking down phone numbers and tell renters to make their own way to their hotel and will receive a text to come back when a car is available because the wait stretched into hours waiting for cars to be returned.

Let's say the rental company does tell you your reservation cannot be honored. Your agent is somehow is able to book a new reservation with another agency because they have clout. Then why didn't the agent book with this company to begin with? You will then still have to stand in line at the new company and wait behind all those others ahead waiting for cars. In order to make use of this clout, how do you find which travel agent has clout and which doesn't and clout with which rental company?

The situation appeared to have improved. Recent reports last couple of weeks at Hertz/National OGG/HNL are cars are readily available under the "pick your car" model (Ultimate Choice/Emerald Aisle). Some of the cars are even low mileage.
I thought the same thing... 6 months ago.
So how would one actually be able to make use of this?

How do you find a travel agent with clout? If mom-n-pop how do you find the ones with clout and ones without?

If OTA, hit or miss just getting to a person. I was on hold for about two hours just to speak to someone at Expedia last week…. Twitter non responsive.
Last edited by seawolf21 on Mon Jun 14, 2021 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Pacific
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Pacific »

Here is the Honolulu Star Advertiser article today about the rental car debacle in Hawaii:

https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/06/ ... -clearing/
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ponyboy »

If you rented a car, they'll have something there for you. THere has been many times where we rent economy, they have no economy, so we're upgraded. They cant just not give you a vehicle if you have a reservation.
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ResearchMed
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ResearchMed »

Pacific wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 3:25 am Here is the Honolulu Star Advertiser article today about the rental car debacle in Hawaii:

https://www.staradvertiser.com/2021/06/ ... -clearing/
Someone was apparently trying to rent out a car at the airport for $10,000 per day [no typo here].
There was no comment when they were asked if that was a typo in the listing.

For that amount, one could probably find a local driver in a NICE car to drive you wherever you want to go!

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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by Nate79 »

ponyboy wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:25 am If you rented a car, they'll have something there for you. THere has been many times where we rent economy, they have no economy, so we're upgraded. They cant just not give you a vehicle if you have a reservation.
Sure they can. They are doing it now. Haven't you heard about the people waiting hours or even the next day for a car to show up and be available for your reservation?
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ponyboy »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:13 am
ponyboy wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:25 am If you rented a car, they'll have something there for you. THere has been many times where we rent economy, they have no economy, so we're upgraded. They cant just not give you a vehicle if you have a reservation.
Sure they can. They are doing it now. Haven't you heard about the people waiting hours or even the next day for a car to show up and be available for your reservation?
No, I havent heard those stories. I have heard that prices are through the roof at the moment though.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ResearchMed »

Nate79 wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:13 am
ponyboy wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 7:25 am If you rented a car, they'll have something there for you. THere has been many times where we rent economy, they have no economy, so we're upgraded. They cant just not give you a vehicle if you have a reservation.
Sure they can. They are doing it now. Haven't you heard about the people waiting hours or even the next day for a car to show up and be available for your reservation?
Right. If there are NO CARS, then... how can they give you a car?
A separate question involves whether there is/was/could be some better way at least to try to match the reservations with actual/expected inventory available. Even this is tricky, given that a car could need servicing, be returned late, etc.

Is there any difference in ability "get a car" under such conditions if one only has a reservation vs. having already pre-paid in full?

We've always "just made a reservation" and also check back occasionally to see if we can find a better rate, in which case we cancel the more expensive one and keep the less expensive (at same or different vendor).

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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by bowest »

Join the loyalty program for the rental agency. I had luck with Hertz on Kauai in late May. Hertz Gold (which is free) and President's Club (higher tier) members had cars ready while everyone else was waiting 2-3 hours as Hertz turned around cars. I had a similar (pleasant) experience at LAX.

Situation should be the same with other agencies. Even the lowest loyalty tiers should get you some preference if they are constrained.

And make sure credit card and license are current, active and on file. Do what you have to do to avoid the counter. YMMV
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ResearchMed »

bowest wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:29 am Join the loyalty program for the rental agency. I had luck with Hertz on Kauai in late May. Hertz Gold (which is free) and President's Club (higher tier) members had cars ready while everyone else was waiting 2-3 hours as Hertz turned around cars. I had a similar (pleasant) experience at LAX.

Situation should be the same with other agencies. Even the lowest loyalty tiers should get you some preference if they are constrained.

And make sure credit card and license are current, active and on file. Do what you have to do to avoid the counter. YMMV
Good to know.

In Hawaii, especially these days, IF there are any cars (!), can Gold members find a car already waiting in a spot for them? That was always very handy, but we haven't rented from Hertz in a while, as we found far better prices elsewhere. But now, full "Hertz prices" in Hawaii would probably be very welcome indeed.

We have reservations to go to Hawaii mid December, but these Covid variants are giving us some concerns. But we still have time to decide...

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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by dbr »

ResearchMed wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:38 am
bowest wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:29 am Join the loyalty program for the rental agency. I had luck with Hertz on Kauai in late May. Hertz Gold (which is free) and President's Club (higher tier) members had cars ready while everyone else was waiting 2-3 hours as Hertz turned around cars. I had a similar (pleasant) experience at LAX.

Situation should be the same with other agencies. Even the lowest loyalty tiers should get you some preference if they are constrained.

And make sure credit card and license are current, active and on file. Do what you have to do to avoid the counter. YMMV
Good to know.

In Hawaii, especially these days, IF there are any cars (!), can Gold members find a car already waiting in a spot for them? That was always very handy, but we haven't rented from Hertz in a while, as we found far better prices elsewhere. But now, full "Hertz prices" in Hawaii would probably be very welcome indeed.

We have reservations to go to Hawaii mid December, but these Covid variants are giving us some concerns. But we still have time to decide...

RM
But then I have had the experience of arriving at Hertz Gold (not Hawaii) pre-pandemic and being told to go inside and get in line because there isn't a car for me. Maybe my membership is the infamous "tarnished gold" rather than "bright gold."
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by ResearchMed »

dbr wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:47 am
ResearchMed wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:38 am
bowest wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:29 am Join the loyalty program for the rental agency. I had luck with Hertz on Kauai in late May. Hertz Gold (which is free) and President's Club (higher tier) members had cars ready while everyone else was waiting 2-3 hours as Hertz turned around cars. I had a similar (pleasant) experience at LAX.

Situation should be the same with other agencies. Even the lowest loyalty tiers should get you some preference if they are constrained.

And make sure credit card and license are current, active and on file. Do what you have to do to avoid the counter. YMMV
Good to know.

In Hawaii, especially these days, IF there are any cars (!), can Gold members find a car already waiting in a spot for them? That was always very handy, but we haven't rented from Hertz in a while, as we found far better prices elsewhere. But now, full "Hertz prices" in Hawaii would probably be very welcome indeed.

We have reservations to go to Hawaii mid December, but these Covid variants are giving us some concerns. But we still have time to decide...

RM
But then I have had the experience of arriving at Hertz Gold (not Hawaii) pre-pandemic and being told to go inside and get in line because there isn't a car for me. Maybe my membership is the infamous "tarnished gold" rather than "bright gold."
But there were cars on the lot?
I suppose that's just the staff being too swamped (or lazy?) to put the cars out for Gold members?

Of course, Hawaii is currently totally different...

I remember one late night arrival at a small Hertz location, using their shuttle from the airport. Tiny branch... tiny office with what looked like a very small mall parking lot, but with only one relatively short "island", with cars on both sides, and the office at one end.
I saw my name on the sign, and promptly moved a bit to the left of everyone else, went to a car and got in. The looks on the faces of the other people...!
I worried a bit that someone would think I was just stealing a car and call the police. That's what it could have easily looked like. :shock:

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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by dbr »

ResearchMed wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:59 am

But there were cars on the lot?
I suppose that's just the staff being too swamped (or lazy?) to put the cars out for Gold members?

Of course, Hawaii is currently totally different...

I remember one late night arrival at a small Hertz location, using their shuttle from the airport. Tiny branch... tiny office with what looked like a very small mall parking lot, but with only one relatively short "island", with cars on both sides, and the office at one end.
I saw my name on the sign, and promptly moved a bit to the left of everyone else, went to a car and got in. The looks on the faces of the other people...!
I worried a bit that someone would think I was just stealing a car and call the police. That's what it could have easily looked like. :shock:

RM
Cars were coming and going so fast I really don't know. I think they are turning around returns as we waited. But the really aggravating thing is the agent spent ten minutes arguing with me about an upgrade. I had to just keep saying "Is this the car and price I reserved?" until he gave me the car and price I reserved.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

bowest wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 8:29 am Join the loyalty program for the rental agency. I had luck with Hertz on Kauai in late May. Hertz Gold (which is free) and President's Club (higher tier) members had cars ready while everyone else was waiting 2-3 hours as Hertz turned around cars. I had a similar (pleasant) experience at LAX.

Situation should be the same with other agencies. Even the lowest loyalty tiers should get you some preference if they are constrained.

And make sure credit card and license are current, active and on file. Do what you have to do to avoid the counter. YMMV
This matches up with recent on the ground reports. As mentioned earlier, elite had to wait earlier this year as well but recently Hertz/National (select your own model from designated rows) had cars waiting for eligible members to select.

For National I just canceled and rebooked when I noticed initial reservation with additional driver listed triggered Counter service. Whereas identical reservation without additional driver added qualifies for Executive Aisle service. I'll just add the additional driver at the exit booth.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by jhsu802701 »

The only two solutions I can think of are:
1. Wait until next year to visit Hawaii.
2. Use Lyft or Uber to get around.

If I were planning on visiting Hawaii, having to pay several hundred dollars per day for a rental car would be a deal breaker for me.

I've heard that some tourists have rented moving trucks, which has been a problem for locals who need moving trucks for actually moving.
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by heartwood »

Anyone with first-person pick-up experience at Alamo at HNL in the last week or so?

I've got reservations for Sept and Oct and then for Jan/Feb/Mar 2022. Prices keep going up, but my main concern is the OPs concern, how to ensure the car is there.

I'm booked through Costco at Alamo. As a check, as of right now Costco shows no cars available for reservation 6/15 - 6/22 at Alamo/Avis/Budget/Enterprise. Going direct through Alamo says the same, no cars for reservation for those dates.

So any actual first-person pickup from HNL in the last week or so? Do they have cars?
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Re: Hawaii Rental Car: Best Way to Book to Ensure Your Car is Actually There

Post by seawolf21 »

heartwood wrote: Mon Jun 14, 2021 12:29 pm Anyone with first-person pick-up experience at Alamo at HNL in the last week or so?

I've got reservations for Sept and Oct and then for Jan/Feb/Mar 2022. Prices keep going up, but my main concern is the OPs concern, how to ensure the car is there.

I'm booked through Costco at Alamo. As a check, as of right now Costco shows no cars available for reservation 6/15 - 6/22 at Alamo/Avis/Budget/Enterprise. Going direct through Alamo says the same, no cars for reservation for those dates.

So any actual first-person pickup from HNL in the last week or so? Do they have cars?
If your reservation is for September, what’s happening now really wouldn’t matter other than things will improve over time. Many kids are back to school by then and more time for fleets to be rebuilt. The constraint is already less severe that two months ago as National Emerald Aisle now have idle cars available for Emerald Club members to “select their own vehicle” instead of having to wait in line for a vehicle. National and Alamo share the same vehicles with Enterprise.

This is now turning into a case of the media being behind the times. If you have a reservation from the major players you will be fine.
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