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Passenger Trains > Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?


Date: 11/25/02 09:21
Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: lakeshorelimited

Hi all.. I welcome any of your suggestions/comments about rental cars. In Janruary, I should be taking my girlfriend back to college at the end of her semester break. I\'ll be travelling from Springfield, and I\'ll meet her on the LSL for our trip to Buffalo. She doesn\'t have a car in Buffalo for us to use, so we\'re thinking of renting one to do chores and get anything she needs for the next semester.. (By the way, we\'ve previously used Buffalo\'s excellent mass trans. system and haven\'t used a car on my previous 3 visits this Fall.. however the prospect of trying to do this during the snowy month of Janruary seems a little risky!)

So, I noticed that Amtrak has partnered with Hertz and guest rewards members get discounts and rewards points bonuses. I notice that there is a promotion running through March. Also, Buffalo-Depew has the yellow Hertz phone, which tells me that the station is one of the destinations served through the partnership. This will make my pick-up drop-off situation much easier.

So here\'s my question- Has anyone used the Amtrak/Hertz partnership to rent a car? How do the promotional rates compare to basic or promotional rates that I could get with another rental comapny? Is it significantly better to go with Enterprise per se, or are those rates comperable with Hertz? If they\'re pretty close, I\'ll go with Hertz due the convienence and bonus points on my guest rewards card. How easy did you find it to make a reservation? How\'s the customer service at Hertz? I\'ve had good luck with Enterprise in the past. Comments, suggestions? Thanks!



Date: 11/25/02 10:14
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: striperjack

Hi LSL My wife and I are doing the same research for our Feb. trip to Fla. We used both Hertz and Enterprise, We used Enterprise months ago in Flagstaff, they were great! We had a bad time with Hertz last year in Albuquerque, we dropped off our rental at station with a full tank of gas per instructions a month later we got a bill for a full tank af gas at their out of sight price,s. We had no proof of payment and spent time back and forth trying to prove we are not liars, so I would advise keeping all reciept,s for a while.I hope you get some good answers to your post and don,t mind if I keep track also. Good Luck: Jack



Date: 11/25/02 11:34
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: jdb

I use Hertz because the company I worked for has a corporate contract with them and a retiree benefit lets me still qualify. At many locations they will pay the taxi fare from the station to the rental location. Sometimes this information isn\'t given to you and I make sure I ask about it when making the reservation.

Call whatever rental agency you like and get their rates and compare to the AMTRAK/Hertz. Ask about corporate rates, AAA, student, AARP, Paradise Bakery I Love You Card, etc., etc. (they will have a discount for something) If you are flexible (doesn\'t sound like you are in this case) you might get a good mid-week or week end rate. Also compare fixed miles per day against unlimited miles.

jb



Date: 11/25/02 12:47
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: prr60

The Amtrak Buffalo Hertz location is, as you described, a telephone. The actual Hertz location is at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, about 2 miles north of the station. For Hertz/Amtrak reservations, Hertz will reimburse taxi fare from Amtrak Depew to the airport up to $20 round trip. That should easily cover it.

I agree with the prior post, check all the rates and check them often. AAA can get you a discount at Hertz, and other groups can get similar discounts at Hertz and the other guys. A cab from Amtrak to the airport shouldn’t be more than $5 each way, so if you can save $10 using someone other than Hertz, or by using Hertz without the Amtrak tie-in, go for it. Even after you make a reservation, keep checking rates. Right now, most of the rental companies have advertised promotions that end prior to the holidays. A new batch of car rental promotions will appear after the holidays so even if you book now, you may be able to get a better rate by canceling and re-booking in January.



Date: 11/25/02 13:16
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: GBNorman

I have had occasion to use the Amtrak/Hertz "partnership" twice.

First time Was June 2001 at Albany. The pickup us over at the Omni Hotel which was a Hertz reimbursed cab ride away. Return was at the station using a key drop box.

Other time was Feb 02 at Orlando; there was an attended counter open for arrival of #92 and also for the return for #1.

At the moment, I have quite a favorable bias towards Hertz for during the Nov 16 weekend, on a rental originating at White Plains Airport, I managed to leave the headlights on when parked at the Riverside, CT station (my own car takes care of that little detail). Upon returning from NY at about 11:45PM and reporting my misdeed to them, they were willing to send out a tow truck at that hour which arrived about 1AM, and had me a rolling in five minutes.

Their one time tag line "you don\'t just rent a car, you rent a company" proved quite true in this instance; I kind of think they have me as a customer for life.



Date: 11/25/02 14:10
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: wabash2800

My experience has been with Hertz, Enterprise and Dollar. Hertz is usually good but Enterprise seems to be going for the marketshare by going the extra mile. I used Dollar in D.C. once with horrible results. I waited about 2 hours for a car.



Date: 11/25/02 14:39
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: kimheusel

We took a trip to Albuquerque last month and used the Hertz partnership arrangement. Fortunately, we didn\'t run into the problem that a previous poster did. Grabbed a taxi in front of the station for the ride to the airport. The $11 fare was deducted from our rental price. Dropped the car off at the station with no problems. It was a good arrangement and the cost was comparable to most of the other companies I checked.

Kim



Date: 11/25/02 15:02
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: bratkinson

A couple years ago, Hertz restored their counter in the Milwaukee station. So, I switched from walking 2 blocks to rent from National to walking 50 feet to Hertz.

Thus far, all my experiences have been positive. Nary a problem with the people, the car, or the Guest Rewards points from Hertz. Just make sure that when you make your reservation and again when you check in, that they have your Guest Rewards number. About 45 days after the rental, the points are in your account!



Date: 11/25/02 15:05
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: GBNorman

I detect some agitation that with the Amtrak/Hertz partnership, participants have to be taxied to the airport to pick up the auto. I acknowledge the only locations at which autos are actually at the depot are ORL and WAS.

Lest we forget how many airports nowadays have "walk to" facilities for picking up the auto. Sure, Newburgh (SWF) and White Plains (HPN) have such, but I guarantee you you will not find same at the likes of LGA, EWR, ORD, LAX.



Date: 11/25/02 15:34
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: striperjack

I did not mean to give the impression I was complaining about the taxi ride to the airport, it was the fact they charged us for gas we had bought when we left the car at the depot, but live and learn. We are going to Orlando and try Hertz again, I wonder what happen,s when the train is late, will the counter stay open till the train arrives? Jack M (LSL:I hope I am not taking up too much space on your post)



Date: 11/25/02 16:05
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: jdb

I think Orlando has more than one location so at least one should be open 24 hr.

Something else to consider. When Hertz has more than one location and one is at the airport you can find that there are different rates because the airport location may have to charge some kind of "airport taxes." In the past Portland, OR airport location was/(is?) higher than the downtown location. The Starlight comes in late after the downtown location closes and you have to go to the airport and pay more.

If you are going to be driving some place other than Orlando you may find that you can get off the train one or two stop earlier than Orlando and find a more convenient rental location, cheaper.

For instance: If you are taking the northbound Starlight from California to Portland and your plans include the Oregon Coast, get off in Eugene. The Hertz location is in the Hilton, open 24 hours a day, less than a train length from the station, and cheaper than any of the locations in Portland. You can get off in Eugene, rent the car, and be at the coast before the Starlight gets to Portland. And you save money.

Try this: Use your favorite search engine yellow pages. Search for AMTRAK, Orlando. Should come up with a map and an interactive map. Click on the interactive map and for nearby businesses enter Hertz. It will show the Hertz locations and how far from the station.

jb



Date: 11/25/02 19:55
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: lakeshorelimited

striperjack wrote:

> (LSL:I hope I am not taking up too much space on your post)
>
> [%sig%]

LOL! Not at all, Jack!! Thank you for contributing.. as I said, all comments, opinions, and questions are welcome.. if you can get some good info from this post too, then I\'m glad!

Tim



Date: 11/25/02 22:19
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: hmd929

lakeshorelimited wrote:
>
> So, I noticed that Amtrak has partnered with Hertz and guest
> rewards members get discounts and rewards points bonuses. I
> notice that there is a promotion running through March.
>
> So here\'s my question- Has anyone used the Amtrak/Hertz
> partnership to rent a car?

Hi Lakeshore,

I\'ve used Hertz to rent cars in conjunction
with my Amtrak travel. I use the Auto Club
(AAA) as my promotional discount rather
than Amtrak. Though the Amtrak discount it
is just as good, I\'ve gotten use to using
the Auto Club and its on my #1 profile. The
only problems I\'ve ever had are as follows:

1) Difficulty getting my Hertz bonus points
posted to the Guest Rewards account. They
are usually not posted and I have to write
Hertz to get them posted.

2) The Hertz location in Austin, TX is not
available except through a supervisor at
the 800 number. They tell customers to
pick up the yellow phone in the station,
but the station was closed and locked when
I arrived in Austin on a Friday morning.
The actual Hertz office is only a few blocks
away, but it was difficult to find out the
address and how to get there from the
station. The phone number of that office
is not posted either, so I could not have
them pick me up. Eventually, I found the
office location and my cousin gave me a
ride to pick up the car.

Most other experiences with Hertz/Amtrak have
been positive! Good luck.


Howard Dean
Alameda, CA



Date: 11/26/02 07:51
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: royaltrain

I rent almost exclusively with Hertz, and my experiences have almost always been very positive. If you rent as often as I do (about five times a month) you should be a member of Hertz #1 Club. At my level which they call President\'s Circle I get about six or seven free cars a year--a really good deal. I don\'t use Amtrak discounts as I found CAA/AAA better. Also rates on the weekends are usually far cheaper than during the week. As for Buffalo and the yellow Hertz phone, you may want to bypass it and call the local hertz office at the Buffalo Airport (about five minutes up Dick Road). The person of the yellow phone won\'t tell you that Hertz will pay the taxi fare to their office, but in fact they do. One other point. Are you over 25 years old? If not, you may have to pay a hefty surcharge. Also if you have a premium "gold type" credit card it will almost always include the Collision Damage Waiver, saving you about $15.00 a day.



Date: 11/26/02 11:38
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: kimheusel

When I rented at Albuquerque, I used the yellow phone. I told the person who answered that I had reserved a car and was at the Amtrak station. He said to take a cab to the airport and that Hertz would reimburse me, which I already knew, but my point is that he did tell me about the reimbursement when I called. You need to get a receipt from the cab driver, however.



Date: 11/26/02 16:42
Re: Experiences with Amtrak/Hertz partnership?
Author: GBNorman

A further point to consider for those Members who don\'t believe in carrying more currency than actually necessary.

At locations where you will be transported to the airport for your auto, be mindful that you will in all liklihood have to pay for the taxicab using currency. However, your reimbursement from Hertz will take the form of a credit line on your settlement; that of course is reflected with a lesser amount billed to your credit card.

Just a thought for those who see no reason to carry around a "wad" (and represent a more attractive "mark" than otherwise).



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