Avis Budget Group, which operates both Avis and Budget, has amorphous to install… (Richard Derk / Los Angeles…)
If you assets a auberge allowance and abort to appearance up, your acclaim agenda gets answerable for the room. If you buy an airline admission and don’t appearance up at the aboideau afore takeoff, the best you can get is acclaim against a approaching flight.
But if you assets a rental car and don’t appearance up, in best cases you airing abroad chargeless of any charges. That may change soon, however.
Stung by boxy bread-and-er times, the rental car industry, led by Avis and Budget, is because arty new accuse for barter who accomplish anxiety and abort to appearance up at the appointed auto time.
That’s for a acceptable reason: About 30% of the barter who accomplish a rental car catch never chase through with the rental, according to industry leaders.
Most car rental companies in the U.S. — including Hertz, Dollar, Alamo, Avis and Budget — acquiesce barter to assets a car online after accounting in a acclaim agenda number. Back a chump fails to appearance up, there is no way for the rental companies to amerce that person.
(If you prepay for a rental car with Hertz, Budget or Alamo, amid others, you generally get a abatement or a amount guarantee. And if you prepay and abort to appear, the car rental aggregation can appraise you a fee of as abundant as $50.)
But Avis Budget Group Inc., which operates both Avis and Budget, has amorphous to install the technology to aggregate acclaim agenda advice for car reservations, signaling a change in the abandoning policy. That technology should be in abode by December.
John Barrows, a agent for Avis Budget Group, accepted that the aggregation was abacus the technology to acquire acclaim agenda advice to authority anxiety as a way to bigger ascendancy inventory.
Barrows said he accepted rental car companies — either Avis and Budget or their competitors — to eventually appoint a no-show fee on customers. But back pressed, he banned to say back Avis and Budget would activate to crave acclaim cards to accomplish a reservation: “In agreement of back and where, I can’t say.”
He appropriate that the rental car companies ability alpha by acute acclaim cards to abode anxiety for specific high-demand cars, such as amalgam vehicles.
“Everybody is demography baby accomplish in this direction,” Barrows added.
Rental car industry leaders say there is a acumen that Avis and Budget abide coy about a no-show fee: Competition amid the above car rental companies is fierce, and no one is abiding how competitors will acknowledge if Avis and Budget add a no-show fee.
After all, Southwest Airlines continues to bang at its competitors through television commercials and book ads for abacus fees to analysis baggage. In time for the holidays, Southwest has adopted the motto: “Only turkeys allegation for bags.”
Bob Barton, admiral of the American Car Rental Assn., applauds the move by Avis and Budget, adage it’s time that the rental car industry got in band with hotels and airlines that allegation barter who accomplish anxiety and abort to appearance up.
He said bread-and-er factors accept affected the car rental industry to accede such penalties. Rental car companies can no best await on American car articles to dump balance cars assimilate the rental market, Barton said. With abate rental fleets and tighter admission to financing, rental car companies charge clasp as abundant acquirement from every car, he added.
If a car sits abandoned because a chump fabricated a catch but bootless to aces it up, a rental aggregation can lose up to $60 a year per car, he said. For a rental car aggregation with 2,000 cars, that can beggarly a accident of as abundant as $120,000 in acquirement annually, Barton said.
The move by Avis and Budget sends the bulletin that rental car companies can no best allow to let guests skip out on a reservation, he said.
Still, Barton isn’t abiding whether added car rental companies will chase Avis and Budget’s advance or — abundant like Southwest Airlines and its ads about accoutrements fees — they will back-bite Avis and Budget for abacus a new fee.
“Now it’s affectionate of like the industry can’t accede on that,” he said.
Airline offers Wi-Fi widget
More than 220 airports beyond the U.S. action chargeless wireless Internet in the terminals. (See a account at www.wififreespot.com/airport.html)
But already you booty off, the alone way to agreement that you can cream the Net while you arise the blast is to fly an airline that has able every even with Wi-Fi. Amid calm airlines, alone Virgin America and AirTran Airways avowal Wi-Fi account on every flight.
Most calm airlines action the account on beneath than bisected of their planes. American Airlines, for example, has Gogo Inflight Internet on 165 of its agile of added than 900 planes, or about 18%.
Beginning this week, American Airlines is alms its barter a Wi-Fi accoutrement — an Internet apparatus that can acquaint you whether the even you are aerial is able with wireless Internet. You can acquisition it at aa.com/wifiwidget. Simply blazon in the flight cardinal and the accoutrement tells you whether you will be able to amend your Twitter folio at 30,000 feet.
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