Reminder: Always Double Check Your Reservations Before Traveling (Especially With Hertz)

Jul 12, 2011

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I have to admit, I am not the most organized traveler. I often don’t make reservations until the last minute and when I do, I rarely print out the confirmation. Perhaps I trust electronic travel booking way too much or I don’t like wasting paper – I never print confirmations (which has gotten me in trouble in the past with immigration officers who want proof of return tickets). I know I should do it – at least when traveling internationally, but I rarely have access to a printer and it always ends up working out, so I have gotten into this bad habit of “going with the flow.”

Today, I got burned by that habit. I had reserved a car with Hertz, but it doesn’t participate in #1 rewards and you can only make reservations over the phone. When I was in Madrid, I Skyped the Hertz #1 desk and for about 30 minutes confirmed a reservation for a convertible. The woman went through every single pain-staking detail of the reservation, including that I cannot “drive the vehicle outside of the country.” No worries ma’am- I hope to not drive the car into the ocean! (Maurtius is an island nation).

She quadruple confirmed the rate/insurance/etc etc etc etc so I thought I’d be set upon landing in Mauritius. Wrong. I breezed through immigration in less than 2 minutes and surprisingly my bag was also on the carousel (bravo Air Mauritius and MRU airport baggage handlers!), yet the Hertz rep just gave me a bizarre look when I gave him my name. He only had 1 reservation that day and was not interested in helping me create a new one. Something about their office being closed. Weird.

Since I had a great experience with Europcar for my Costa Brava adventure, I walked over to their counter and the rep immediately offered to get me a car – even a convertible at the same price Hertz had quoted me. The only catch was that it would have to be delivered to my hotel, but he arranged a taxi for me (at my expense) to my hotel – which ended up being 40 euros.

So in the end it all worked out, but I wasted 30 minutes fixing the error, but I should have re-confirmed with Hertz before hopping on my 11.5 hour flight from CDG-MRU. Just a friendly reminder to all of you to do the same.

PS: I am going to write to Hertz to let them know my dissatisfaction with the situation. Do you think I am owed any compensation? I’m thinking I’d be happy with a voucher in the amount of the extra cab ride cost that I wouldn’t have had to pay if they’d had my car as originally reserved. Then again I wasted an hour of my time between making the reservation and making the new one at Mauritius airport. Or should I just drop it and be thankful I have the opportunity to even be in Mauritius? Thoughts?

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