Alamo Rental Cars. Never again.
We recently went on a trip for spring break. We flew into a west coast city from a Midwestern city, so there's a 2 hour time difference. Our flight was scheduled to get in at 10:50 PST and we had a rental reserved through Alamo.
As often happens, our flight was delayed, so we were an hour late getting in. So this is now close to midnight PST, and close to two in the morning according to what our bodies are feeling from our time zone. We got our luggage and went to the area where you wait for rental car shuttles. There were no rental counters at this airport. So we saw shuttles for other rental companies at least 3-4 times each, but never an Alamo shuttle.
Finally after about 1/2 hour, my DH tries to call Alamo and gets some information saying they're closed. I then call and have quite a time getting to anywhere that will let me talk to a live human. Finally, I get disconnected! Not happy. Call back and this time, I opt for roadside assistance. I know it's not right, but it's the middle of the night and I just want our car. She asks where we are and then proceeds to tell me that THAT RENTAL SITE IS CLOSED!! They closed at 11:30, and they'll reopen at 4:00 a.m.! There was NOTHING in our reservation that said that the desk closed at 11:30. There was no signage around the waiting area. I got mad at that point, and said I have 3 kids, it's the middle of the night, and I'm not waiting around until 4 a.m. I did tell her that I don't blame her, but this is highly frustrating to have a rental that is paid for and have no way to get it. At this point, she said 'Oh, you've paid for it?' Yes, it's paid for, which is why the option of spending more money on an airport hotel or a different rental car just to fix THEIR problem is not appealing (thought this, didn't say this; a lot of scenarios were catapulting around in my head right then). So I told her that yes, it's been fully paid, and she then told me that National is a sister company of Alamo, and they would honor our reservation. She's telling me this and as soon as I heard it, I started waving my DH and 3 kids toward the National shuttle that's parked in front of us. We finally got our car, and it was even a bigger car than we expected, so that was one bright spot.
But what REALLY annoys me is the fact that even if our plane had been on time, there was a very likely possibility that we wouldn't have made it to the rental counter before they closed. So why did Alamo allow that reservation to be made, knowing that there was a real possibility that they'd leave their customers stranded at the airport? There should be checks in their system to prevent that. And keep in mind....I couldn't even talk to a human until I called an incorrect department; their system disconnected me. Customer service (except for the roadside assistance girl) was definitely in the toilet for this transaction.
We finally got to our hotel and crawled into bed at about 2:30 a.m. PST, or about 4:30 a.m. from what we were used to. I'm surprised our kids could still function.