On a recent trip to Florida, I was planning on renting a car, but then I stupidly lost my driver’s license a few days before. So I had to cancel the reservation. What really hurt was the fact that, like a fool, I’d made a “Pay Now” reservation with Avis to save about $15. Well, I learned to never do that again as Avis charged me $50 to cancel the reservation within 24 hours of the scheduled pick-up time. If I didn’t pay that, I would’ve been stuck with the whole fee ($107).
The tip I bring you from that story is to seriously weigh the advantages of pay-in-advance rates. Even when you think you’re 100% going on a trip, or you’re 100% going to need a rental car, things happen. You get sick, there’s bad weather, you lose your license, etc. I don’t think pay-in-advance rates are worth it, especially if you’re only saving a few dollars.
As for my troubles with Avis, I initially tried calling and pleading with a representative but the agent, based in Mexico City, wouldn’t waive the fee and told me that she couldn’t care less if Avis lost me as a customer. (If you ask me, big corporations trying to save money by outsourcing call centers and, even worse, giving them no power, is backfiring.) But when I tweeted my displeasure, the savvy folks on the Avis social media team reached out and refunded me the $50, which was nice. I’m not sure if they would’ve done that for anyone or if it was simply because I have a large following, but in any case the second lesson here is that it’s always worth taking your case to social media. You can also file a claim with your travel insurance provider (I have a yearly plan with Allianz and am one of their global ambassadors).
- Here’s Where to Start Your Search for Rental Cars
- There’s No Additional Driver Fee With Costco Travel Rental Cars
- The Trackable Wallet That’s Difficult to Lose
Have your own tip? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,267!
Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Just fill in your email address and check the Daily Travel Tip box—and you’ll have Johnny’s best tips, straight to your inbox each day!
If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check the Daily Travel Tip box on the same page and you’ll receive an email with a link to update your JohnnyJet.com preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.