Alamo Airport Car Rentals

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alex11
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by alex11 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:49 pm

For renting cars via the Alamo website we have always chosen the Pay Now option and did the online check-in.
This has always worked out well.....got off the plane, walked straight to the lot and picked out car.

They now charge a $50 cancellation fee if you choose the Pay Now option and cancel or modify. With choosing Pay Later, you can cancel at anytime with no charge. This seems like the way to go, as the prices are always changing and it allows me to book at a lower rate when the price goes down.

A couple of questions:
1. I still see the option of online check-in with Pay Later. When do you actually pay and can you still go directly to the lot, or do you have to wait in line at the desk?
2. Has anyone had any issues with them honoring the "estimated" pay later price?

Thanks

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Stinky
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Location: Sweet Home Alabama

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by Stinky » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:38 pm

I don’t know the specifics on Alamo -

But with most rental car companies, I’ve been able to sign up for their “rewards” program, and be able to bypass the counter. I give a credit card number and other information to the website. No penalty to cancel the reservation.
It's a GREAT day to be alive - Travis Tritt

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mrspock
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Location: Vulcan

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by mrspock » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:46 pm

Stinky wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:38 pm
I don’t know the specifics on Alamo -

But with most rental car companies, I’ve been able to sign up for their “rewards” program, and be able to bypass the counter. I give a credit card number and other information to the website. No penalty to cancel the reservation.
Alamo has this at a good number of major airports. You can reserve the car "check-in online" as the OP mentioned and then just head right to the garage and grab whatever class of car you rented or lower (I always look for a car with CarPlay/AndroidAuto).

Also, I pretty much never reserve a car ahead of my trip, In 99% of the cases I book it the night before, sometimes while I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my plane. Prices tend to be lower at this time, and I don't have to worry about pay-ahead vs. jacked rates w/ option to cancel, I know I won't have to cancel since I'm sitting at the airport already :) . And no...I never ran into a case where all the rental cars were gone at all rental companies.

UpperNwGuy
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Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:49 pm

Ok... you must be lucky. Last Monday all the cars were gone from all the on-airport rental companies in Charleston. If you didn't have an advance reservation, you waited in a long line for someone to return a car so it could be quickly cleaned, serviced, and rented back out. I don't know what the situation was with the off-airport rental companies, but I refuse to use them.

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celia
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Location: SoCal

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by celia » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:06 pm

I have gone to select my car from 5 or 6 choices, but they were all the same model. I disliked them equally. :oops: Not really a choice.

OP, If you are worried about them not honoring the estimated price, print out the confirmation page and take it with you. I do this for each car, hotel, AirBnb, event I am planning on and put them in chronological order of use in a manila envelope before I leave. (I usually take multi-state trips.)

TravelGeek
Posts: 3100
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 3:23 pm

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by TravelGeek » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:14 pm

mrspock wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:46 pm
Stinky wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:38 pm
I don’t know the specifics on Alamo -

But with most rental car companies, I’ve been able to sign up for their “rewards” program, and be able to bypass the counter. I give a credit card number and other information to the website. No penalty to cancel the reservation.
Alamo has this at a good number of major airports. You can reserve the car "check-in online" as the OP mentioned and then just head right to the garage and grab whatever class of car you rented or lower (I always look for a car with CarPlay/AndroidAuto).
But that doesn’t require the pay now pricing method. You simply register your credit card and drivers license information with them ahead of time. I refuse to do business with rental agencies that don’t have a similar program.

OP, I assume they charge you a cancellation fee because the Pay Now option locks in a slightly lower rate than the post-paid rate. At least that’s the case with Hertz.

I never use pre-paid because I often rebook reservations as prices change. See below.
Also, I pretty much never reserve a car ahead of my trip, In 99% of the cases I book it the night before, sometimes while I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my plane. Prices tend to be lower at this time, and I don't have to worry about pay-ahead vs. jacked rates w/ option to cancel, I know I won't have to cancel since I'm sitting at the airport already :) . And no...I never ran into a case where all the rental cars were gone at all rental companies.
I book as soon as I know there might be a trip, via autoslash.com. And autoslash then monitors my reservation to see if there are lower rates available. I often end up rebooking a couple of times and saving 20-50% of the original price. But there is no guarantee that the lowest price is available at the last minute. For my current rental I happened to check manually shortly before the trip because I realized that I hadn’t heard anything from autoslash. Turns out the current rate was nearly 100% higher than the rate I had booked (and received).

Autoslash recently introduced their own prepaid rates that are cancellable without fee until a few days before the rental date. I don’t use them because they for the most part don’t work with the loyalty programs that let you skip the counter.

Regarding rental agencies not honoring the promised post-paid price... has never happened to me.

For the record, I am not affiliated with autoslash, but I am a very happy customer of their service.
Last edited by TravelGeek on Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mrspock
Posts: 431
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Location: Vulcan

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by mrspock » Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:55 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:14 pm
I book as soon as I know there might be a trip, via autoslash.com. And autoslash then monitors my reservation to see if there are lower rates available. I often end up rebooking a couple of times and saving 20-50% of the original price. But there is no guarantee that the lowest price is available at the last minute. For my current rental I happened to check m ally shortly before the trip because I realized that I hadn’t heard anything from autoslash. Turns out the current rate was nearly 100% higher than the rate I had booked (and received).

Autoslash recently introduced their own prepaid rates that are cancellable without fee until a few days before the rental date. I don’t use them because they for the most part don’t work with the loyalty programs that let you skip the counter.

Regarding rental agencies not honoring the promised post-paid price... has never happened to me.

For the record, I am not affiliated with autoslash, but I am a very happy customer of their service.
Great tip, I'll try this service out! Thanks!

tibbitts
Posts: 9019
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by tibbitts » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:00 pm

alex11 wrote:
Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:49 pm
For renting cars via the Alamo website we have always chosen the Pay Now option and did the online check-in.
This has always worked out well.....got off the plane, walked straight to the lot and picked out car.

They now charge a $50 cancellation fee if you choose the Pay Now option and cancel or modify. With choosing Pay Later, you can cancel at anytime with no charge. This seems like the way to go, as the prices are always changing and it allows me to book at a lower rate when the price goes down.

A couple of questions:
1. I still see the option of online check-in with Pay Later. When do you actually pay and can you still go directly to the lot, or do you have to wait in line at the desk?
2. Has anyone had any issues with them honoring the "estimated" pay later price?

Thanks
I always use Pay Later; you are actually charged when you return the car (maybe earlier if you rent for a very, very long time - I haven't done that for a while.) I have never had, and can't imagine, a rate change for an existing reservation, no matter what the pay terms. Yes you can check-in online and go directly to your car. Increasingly with Alamo you can choose your car, but not everywhere.

But you are seriously mistaken if you think rates will usually, or even commonly, be lower closer to your trip. I've experimented with this for years, since you can of course cancel and re-reserve, but it's been very rare that I've been able to find lower prices. Alamo does have last-minute specials which are guaranteed to not be at any airport you're flying to.

adamthesmythe
Posts: 2913
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2014 4:47 pm

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by adamthesmythe » Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:03 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:49 pm
Ok... you must be lucky. Last Monday all the cars were gone from all the on-airport rental companies in Charleston. If you didn't have an advance reservation, you waited in a long line for someone to return a car so it could be quickly cleaned, serviced, and rented back out. I don't know what the situation was with the off-airport rental companies, but I refuse to use them.
Waiting for an ADVANCE reserved car is not unknown, although rare in my experience.

Once in Vegas I had to pick up the car the day after I reserved.

RudyS
Posts: 1538
Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2015 10:11 am

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by RudyS » Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:34 pm

I used the autoslash special advance purchase arrangement a couple weeks ago in Tampa, and provided my National emerald club number. Went to the Emerald aisle and selected a car. The check out clerk had to manually put my club number in, but no other issue. The price was half of the best "regular" price, and I would have been able to cancel up to 48 hours before pickup with no fee.

magazinewriter
Posts: 346
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 11:39 am

Re: Alamo Airport Car Rentals

Post by magazinewriter » Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:14 am

TravelGeek wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:14 pm
mrspock wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:46 pm
Stinky wrote:
Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:38 pm
I don’t know the specifics on Alamo -

But with most rental car companies, I’ve been able to sign up for their “rewards” program, and be able to bypass the counter. I give a credit card number and other information to the website. No penalty to cancel the reservation.
Alamo has this at a good number of major airports. You can reserve the car "check-in online" as the OP mentioned and then just head right to the garage and grab whatever class of car you rented or lower (I always look for a car with CarPlay/AndroidAuto).
But that doesn’t require the pay now pricing method. You simply register your credit card and drivers license information with them ahead of time. I refuse to do business with rental agencies that don’t have a similar program.

OP, I assume they charge you a cancellation fee because the Pay Now option locks in a slightly lower rate than the post-paid rate. At least that’s the case with Hertz.

I never use pre-paid because I often rebook reservations as prices change. See below.
Also, I pretty much never reserve a car ahead of my trip, In 99% of the cases I book it the night before, sometimes while I'm sitting at the airport waiting for my plane. Prices tend to be lower at this time, and I don't have to worry about pay-ahead vs. jacked rates w/ option to cancel, I know I won't have to cancel since I'm sitting at the airport already :) . And no...I never ran into a case where all the rental cars were gone at all rental companies.
I book as soon as I know there might be a trip, via autoslash.com. And autoslash then monitors my reservation to see if there are lower rates available. I often end up rebooking a couple of times and saving 20-50% of the original price. But there is no guarantee that the lowest price is available at the last minute. For my current rental I happened to check manually shortly before the trip because I realized that I hadn’t heard anything from autoslash. Turns out the current rate was nearly 100% higher than the rate I had booked (and received).

Autoslash recently introduced their own prepaid rates that are cancellable without fee until a few days before the rental date. I don’t use them because they for the most part don’t work with the loyalty programs that let you skip the counter.

Regarding rental agencies not honoring the promised post-paid price... has never happened to me.

For the record, I am not affiliated with autoslash, but I am a very happy customer of their service.
Thank you to TravelGeek and others who have mentioned AutoSlash. A few months ago the cheapest one week rental I could find in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada was $632 CAD from Alamo. I tried AutoSlash and they found a Hertz rental through Priceline for $321 CAD. (Hertz posted rate was over $1k.) I just returned the car and everything went well.

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