5 Tips For Landing a Car Rental Upgrade at the Airport

Empresas de alquiler de coches Aeropuerto de Barcelona by Alquiler de Coches
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Life is full of little opportunities for a smoother ride. Most of these revolve around knowing simply ‘how stuff works’ and playing the game in a gracious and friendly manner. When it comes to car rental, you can do a lot with a smile and some small talk rather than the demands and impatience that airport staff too often encounter. Distinguish yourself by playing it cool. At the end of the day, an upgrade is a reasonable request. Be reasonable about it. Know the rental desk routine. Massage it.
Tip 1: The Early Bird
Begin by booking an economy car. In fact, begin by booking the cheapest car. You can always pay for an upgrade to something that better fits your budget when you are at the desk if these tips don’t get you a free upgrade. Then, turn up early. The earlier in the morning you arrive to pick up your car, the less likely it is that the rental agency will actually have an economy car available.
Tip 2: Enquire
It can be this simple. Don’t be overly friendly about it, but do talk to the rental agency staff like they are human beings. Ask how they’re doing. Comment on the weather. Tell them you have a long journey, and casually enquire if there is any way they can make that journey easier. Just as charm can win you that all important airplane upgrade, it may also work with car rentals.
Tip 3: Become a Frequent Driver
Many car hire agncies are allied with loyalty schemes and travel partners. National Car Hire, for example, has 20 travel partners, including Turkish Airlines, HHonors Hilton Worldwide, Club Carlston and Air Europa. Not only will you earn frequent flyer miles by renting from such a company, but your proven loyalty will stand you good stead for negotiating an upgrade. Members of these organisations often have access to discount codes and offers not available to the general public.
Tip 4: Special Offers
Booking online often means reductions. You can save around 30% of the cost of your rental by booking in advance, and taking advantage of special offers. On arrival at the airport you can then pay for an upgrade and potentially come away with a convertible for the price of a hatchback. Doing a little research – knowing ‘how stuff works’ – and shopping around for a good deal can go a long way.
Tip 5: Bonus Cards
Most care rental companies provide bonus cards. These are often a way of simply registering your details with the company so that you don’t have to fill in lengthy forms every time you rent, but range up to premium cards that entitle you to free upgrades if you are a frequent customer.