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Dropping rental car off in time to catch flight

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by JerryD, May 11, 2015.

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  1. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    Our trip is not until October, but I am a planner. I have a rental car booked for our trip, and it is the first time renting a car. Our flight arrives at 8am on Saturday, and I am setup to pick up the rental at 9am. Is that a large enough window? Or should I change the pick up time?

    And on drop off, our flight leaves at 7:15am on Wednesday, setup to drop the rental off at 5:00am. Will that give me enough time to get to the airport and through the process to catch my flight?
     
  2. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Your pickup time should be good:
    - you are only flying from Texas so even if there was a headwind it shouldn't be enough to significantly slow your flight (plus most likely from your direction you are likely to have a tailwind)
    - an 8AM flight is probably the first flight of the day for that craft so it should be all ready to go at departure time with no prior delays from previous trips
     
  3. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    sounds about right. You usually have half hour to an hour window when picking up a car. Depending on your airlines and how many bags you will have arriving at 8 am should get you to the rental facility before 9 but even if you get to the facility after 9 they should hold your rental to 9:30 or maybe 10. That happened to me once, my flight was delayed a few hours and when I arrived 3 hours later they already gave away my car. Nowadays if i'm delayed I will try to call the rental agency (phone number is usually on the reservation) to inform them of my delay, just in case.
     
  4. liteman

    liteman Old Timer

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    I too am a planner, and a nervous one. I always rent from Thrifty with Blue Chip so I skip the counter. I usually book for a half hour after arrival and my car is always ready. Returning makes me more nervous so I book for 5 am return for a 7 am flight and usually get there before that. Return is always smooth, the bus always ready to go, and I end up at the gate plenty early.
     
  5. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    Thanks for y'all's responses.

    That is good to know. This is our first time flying out this early, so I wasn't sure how busy the return and the airport will be. I am booked through Costco with Alamo. I signed up for the 'Alamo Insider' which should allow me to skip the counter.

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Is this your first time renting a car or just the first time renting a car in Vegas?
     
  7. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    First time renting in Vegas. First time with Dollar.
     
  8. Champster1

    Champster1 High-Roller

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    Sign up for dollar express. They will ask you for your flight number and basically only allow you to put in an arrival time that is within 10-20 mins of your arrival. I imagine that their computer alters it if you flight is late since the program knows when you are scheduled to land. When you get to the McCarren car rentl center you go stright to the garage. Your name "Should be" on a screen with a stall number next to it. Just did it 2 wweks ago. From bag carosel to vegas strip in less than 30 mins.

    Returning allow your self at least 90 mins from car rental return to airport (i.e. if your flight is at 1 pm then be on the shuttle no later than 11:30). I've never had to wait more than a couple of mins when I return my car (for my reciept). Ditto for the shuttle back to the airport. Left last Monday after fight weekend. In and out of Dollar in mins!!
     
    March Madness...here I come !!
  9. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    Sign up for Dollar's "fast lane" club or whatever they call it so you can skip the counter and go downstairs to the garage and right to your car.
     
  10. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    My mistake, I meant Alamo. Don't know why I said Dollar.

    I signed up for 'Alamo Insider' which from my understanding will allow me to skip the counter.

    Thanks.
     
  11. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    An hour is good if you are checking bags. You can do an even earlier pickup if you are only doing carry on. it's takes 10 minutes max from the airport to the center via shuttle and I've never waited more than five minutes for a departure. For return, add 30 minutes max to your regular departure time when cabbing it. That should cover travel to the center, time to fill up, returning the car which should take a two minutes and shuttling back.
     
  12. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    I've never known a rental car company to be really strict about the pick up time. If you're within a couple of hours no problem. Once you get your bags it's very quick to get to the rental car place, they have several shuttles and they go quickly. And at the time you are returning early in the morning you should be fine too. So many cars are rented in Vegas that they have it down and it's very efficient.
     
  13. JerryD

    JerryD Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the info leo and Vic.

    So it looks like I can move my pickup to just half hour from wheels down. That way I'm not getting to the rental hub before my pickup time.
     
  14. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    That will work. I'm always amazed at how fast the bags are on the belts at McCarren. Then it's a minute or less to the car rental shuttle and you're on your way. Renting a car in Vegas is awesome, so many fun things to do away from the strip/downtown casinos.
     
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