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Airstud
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Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:40 am

I had a big scare Friday morning when it appeared to be the case, for about an hour, that I had suffered thread title. I checked in to yon Sheraton Denver West in Lakewood CO half-asleep on my feet, remember holding the car key in hand, but next morning, as I was fixin' to check out, couldn't find it. An hour of panic, despair, self- hatred and fury at the heavens later, I found the blamed thing, but before that happy moment, I wondered how Hertz would address this sort of thing. Would they actually send someone from their DEN site with the spare key, and how titanic a fee would be incurred?

Obviously I've got religion now about key-keepage, but I still wonder what would happen.
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bill142
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:41 am

I think this kind of thing is mentioned in the rental contract.
 
ltbewr
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:58 pm

I know if you lose the key, and due to the special 'chips' in the key to prevent theft, you could face major charges for replacement and rescue. Recent rentals at Enterprise in NYC suggested lost key fees in excess of $200. It also may mean other charges due to delays in return in the car or a replacement card.
 
rwy04lga
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:40 pm

Taking the tram to the parking lot at Disney World, the driver said 'If you've lost your keys, flag down the white van'. I said to my wife, 'Only an idiot would lose their keys'. Long story short, I flagged down the 'white van'. The 'white van guy' opened the door with the jimmy bar, took out the ashtray, read the code numbers that were printed on the bottom of the ashtray, my duplicate keys were made in 10 minutes.
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skywaymanaz
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:30 pm

I'm always paranoid about rental car keys and little tiny things in the rental agreement. When I was in college I worked for a rental car company. This was an in town location in Flagstaff, AZ so we didn't have to many passengers arriving or departing by air. I remember one time we did have a passenger depart by air we advised the renter we did not have a counter at the airport. They were told by me they should put the keys in an envelope, date and sign it then leave it at the airline ticket counter as we had an arrangement with the airline for this. The customer decided on their own that was too difficult so they locked the keys in the car instead without telling anyone. When I later contacted them they agreed I had told them to leave the keys at the ticket counter but they assumed we had spares in our office and would retrieve them that way. We didn't and I was more than happy to pass along the locksmith fees to the customer on their credit card per the rental agreement. I ended up charging them for another day rental too because it took several hours to get a locksmith out there. In case you think I'm being vindictive about that this was during the busy summer season when all our cars were rented every day. That car was needed by an insurance company customer while their vehicle was being repaired following an accident. We'd have held another car back for them if we'd known getting the one from the airport would be such a nightmare  
 
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cjg225
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:33 pm

Just rented a car for the first time last week. I didn't lose the keys, but it was a bit anxiety-inducing to be responsible for another's car for a few days. For some reason, I felt more concerned about it getting damaged or stolen than I am about my own car (even though my own car is much nicer).

The big Hertz GPS system probably contributed to that, because it clearly pegged the car as a rental, and perhaps more prone to a breakin, perhaps someone thinking it contained a traveler's money or belongings.
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mt99
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:43 pm

This is a cool report on why the rental agency keeps BOTH keys on the same key chain..

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/bu...do-rental-car-companies-make-money
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pacificjourney
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:46 pm

True Story.

Several years ago some tourists from India decided to ignore "stay behind the ropes' sign at one of our glaciers and 2 of them were subsequently killed under a big piece of ice falling of the glacier.

Rescuers unable to reach the bodies for several days in case they too got squashed.

Turns out their rental car keys were in one the deads pocket so the rental company ended up charging them for new keys and extra days for the car being not returned and for having to collect the car by tow truck from a remote place - about $1800 . They of course got shit for their "heartless attitude but not from me, entirely these idiots fault.

Sidenote - the dead guy who had the keys was under 21 (not supposed to be driving the car) and had no license.
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chrisair
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:34 am

Quoting mt99 (Reply 6):
This is a cool report on why the rental agency keeps BOTH keys on the same key chain..

Both keys? Christ, when I rent from National they have more stuff on the key rings than I've ever seen: at least three keys, a valet key, three key fobs, that "buy this car" advertisement, some rings and a whole host of other crap. If I'm able to shove the keys into my pocket, my jeans have a humongous lump in them.

I hate car rental companies at times...
 
blueflyer
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:31 am

Quoting chrisair (Reply 8):
I hate car rental companies at times...

Maybe you should hate National. I rent from Hertz and Avis, it's two keys and a key fob, although given the size of some "keys" nowadays, even that is a bit much.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:11 am

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 9):

Heck, some cars I get from Enterpise (mostly Nissan Altima/Maxima) come with two keyless entry things and that's it due to the push to start button
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Goldenshield
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:31 am

Quoting airportugal310 (Reply 10):
Heck, some cars I get from Enterpise (mostly Nissan Altima/Maxima) come with two keyless entry things and that's it due to the push to start button

The keyless entry thing IS the FOB, and they both have two physical keys hidden in them. I LOVE the keyless systems, but at the same time, I fear them if something goes wrong.
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cptkrell
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:54 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 6):
This is a cool report on why the rental agency keeps BOTH keys on the same key chain..

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/bu...do-rental-car-companies-make-money

The explanation being ease of having both sets with the car when it goes to liquidation doesn't wash to me. I guess they've never heard of computers and UPS (or USPS, for that matter) to get the second set from point A to B when deciding to sell?

And with the popularity on "On-Star" type systems and keyless entry/start, one would think the rental companies could just provide the customer with a code on the rental document that the renter could use accessing On-Star via phone to get the buggy going in an emergency. Just thoughts...
all best; jack
 
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Tugger
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:30 pm

Quoting mt99 (Reply 6):
This is a cool report on why the rental agency keeps BOTH keys on the same key chain..

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/bu...do-rental-car-companies-make-money

.
The report humorously metions how impoosible it is to cut the cable the keys are bound with. And they are right, that cable is near impossible to cut... however... if there is a Home Depot in the area, their chain and cable section has a cutter that is very convenient... But who would ever do that just to not have that huge lump of keys and fobs in your pocket and be able to give one to your wife during the week long vacation?  
.
Quoting cptkrell (Reply 12):
And with the popularity on "On-Star" type systems and keyless entry/start, one would think the rental companies could just provide the customer with a code on the rental document that the renter could use accessing On-Star via phone to get the buggy going in an emergency. Just thoughts...

....." And if you want to add our convenient SkyMoneyGrab service to your rental the fee is just $12.95 a day. It can help with directions or find a restaurant nearby, and adds piece of mind should you get lost, or you can do a remote unlock should you lock your keys inside (*however if you lose the keys/fobs there is a $200 dollar change so don't do that!)." ...the agent says with a smile....
 

Tugg

[Edited 2014-03-09 10:36:26]
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Kiwirob
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:49 pm

Interesting topic, I must say apart from renting a car in the US last summer I've never been given both sets of keys for any rental in Europe or NZ. It must be a US only thing.
 
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johnboy
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:15 pm

This happened to me for the very first time this past Thanksgiving.

Rented a car from SFO at one of those shady rental car firms at the very end of the counter in the Rental Car Center, which went fine and dandy. Drove hubby and myself down to the Central Valley and promptly "lost" the keys while shopping at the local Target.

Can't tell you what a sick feeling it was to reach into my pockets and NOT feel the keys. I was frantically looking everywhere, even in the trash can where I threw a soda cup before entering the store (it's funny how pure terror will have you rummaging thru a gross trash can).

Long story short, I called the company, they gave me the VIN and they said I could get a key made at the local dealership, which was gonna cost a cool couple of hundred bucks -- if they had been open (it was T-giving Day). The other alternative was to tow the car to the nearest airport, which was either SJC, LAX or SFO.

No bueno.

Thankfully, I had dropped the keys in one of the shopping carts and someone returned them about an hour later to the customer service desk, where I was camped out. Definitely one of the pitfalls of renting from an "off-brand" company.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:51 pm

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 12):
The explanation being ease of having both sets with the car when it goes to liquidation doesn't wash to me. I guess they've never heard of computers and UPS (or USPS, for that matter) to get the second set from point A to B when deciding to sell?

I'm sure a bean counter has looked over this newfangled thing called UPS and decided that, progress be damned, keeping the keys together from rental to rental is cheaper than building a key warehouse to store and dispatch the second key from.
 
StuckInCA
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:08 pm

Quoting chrisair (Reply 8):
Both keys? Christ, when I rent from National they have more stuff on the key rings than I've ever seen: at least three keys, a valet key, three key fobs, that "buy this car" advertisement, some rings and a whole host of other crap. If I'm able to shove the keys into my pocket, my jeans have a humongous lump in them.

I'm usually forced to use National due to a corporate contract. Man I hate them. The giant ring of flair attached to the key ring is absurd. It can not go in a pocket.

I'm waiting for them to start attaching a laminated copy of the owner's manual to the things.
 
cptkrell
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:35 pm

Quoting tugger (Reply 13):
....." And if you want to add our convenient SkyMoneyGrab service to your rental the fee is just $12.95 a day.

I was thinking that an On-Star type service wouldn't be more than $2.95/day rather than $12.95/day.

Quoting blueflyer (Reply 16):
I'm sure a bean counter has looked over this newfangled thing called UPS and decided that, progress be damned, keeping the keys together from rental to rental is cheaper than building a key warehouse to store and dispatch the second key from.

I was hoping for a smiley face with that (sure you just forgot). An item is, though, a warehouse wouldn't necessary...just file the extra set in the delivered-to location. That, of course, requires thinking beyond "how can we screw them today?"

A late thought to me is when we rented in Reno for last summer's air races (from National) I don't remember there being a big wad of stuff on the keychain. Our first was a Fraud Fracas (nice li'l car, BTW) which 86'd a tire after two days. We filled it and National was at RNO, close to Harrah's where we were staying. We drove back and they immediately traded for a new Impala (REAL nice car, BTW). I don't remember a big wad of stuff on that keychain, either. Maybe I wasn't paying attention? Off-thread note: I don't recommend Harrah's in Reno to stay.
all best; jack
 
varigb707
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:17 am

Quoting Airstud (Thread starter):
I wondered how Hertz would address this sort of thing. Would they actually send someone from their DEN site with the spare key, and how titanic a fee would be incurred?

If you have/had the time to get to the location where you rented your Hertz vehicle, folks out there would gladly have a made key to you, free of charge (providing you'd presented your rental agreement and proper ID).

That'd be possible at any major corporatge locations (DEN/LAX/DFW, etc).
If you rented out of a LICENSEE (that's a business authorized to use Hertz's name and privately owned, then you may be charged something).

If you were running out of time and close to your flight departure, your best option would be contacting the location you rented from, explain the situation, inform where the car would be parked so that they'd dispatch a tow truck. Then you'd be charged a towing fee.

However, a quick check on the glove compartment would be suggested. A spare key should be in there along with a copy of the Hertz Self Insured Policy Agreement.

Cheers.
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:40 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 14):
I've never been given both sets of keys for any rental in Europe or NZ. It must be a US only thing.

Having rented three cars from Hertz in Australia over the past couple of months, each one had both sets of keys wired together on the same key ring.
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Airstud
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:05 am

Quoting varigb707 (Reply 19):
If you have/had the time to get to the location where you rented your Hertz vehicle, folks out there would gladly have a made key to you, free of charge (providing you'd presented your rental agreement and proper ID).

Thank you very much for that info, varigb.

(Note to self: Never ever ever leave rental agreement locked in car ever again  )
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mirrodie
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:57 am

Hawaii on our honeymoon several years ago. At a popular ice cream place in Maui when I can't find my keys. Its a very small area and I am searching the floor, garbage cans, etc.

Finally concede I somehow LOST them and call the rental agency. An hour later, they drive us the extra set.


The NEXT day we're asleep in our hotel room when the phone rings. The lady on the other end is apologizing about how all rental keys look the same and Hawaii, being the tourist haven it is, is littered with keys that all look alike. Turns out she accidentally took my keys from the counter, thinking they were hers. She later realized it and tracked us down.

I was happy to know she had the good sense to call and apologize. She was a big wig in LA and offered us Laker seats. Very nice.
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Goldenshield
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:27 am

Quoting johnboy (Reply 15):
Rented a car from SFO at one of those shady rental car firms at the very end of the counter in the Rental Car Center, which went fine and dandy. Drove hubby and myself down to the Central Valley and promptly "lost" the keys while shopping at the local Target.
Quoting johnboy (Reply 15):
Definitely one of the pitfalls of renting from an "off-brand" company.

I don't quite follow your logic there. The car rental company was shady because of a mistake of you made?
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mad99
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:06 am

Quoting KiwiRob (Reply 14):

Interesting topic, I must say apart from renting a car in the US last summer I've never been given both sets of keys for any rental in Europe or NZ. It must be a US only thing.

I don't think i've ever been given two keys? I was in america last month and from what i can remember just the one key. Same in canada??

Here in Europe, never the two keys together
 
melpax
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:21 am

Quoting RyanairGuru (Reply 20):
Having rented three cars from Hertz in Australia over the past couple of months, each one had both sets of keys wired together on the same key ring.

Must be a new thing in these parts. On holidays a couple of weeks back, rented from Avis in Tassie, and then Europcar in Sydney, was only given the 1 key for both rentals. Back in 2000, I worked for an 'off-brand' rental firm, there were a few times where we had to go out & re-possess a car where the renter hadn't returned it. Keeping the spare keys in the office came in handy.....

Still remember one repo where I drove to the renter's home with our mechanic for 'protection'. Our car was in the drive, I knocked on the door with Pete standing behind me nursing a crow bar.... No awnser, so I jumped in the car (an almost brand-new Corolla) and got outta there. The car smelled like a couple of wet St Bernards had spent a week in it, the contents of the car included a fine for streetwalking....

The boss was happy to get his car back, but the car spent the next week in the workshop with all windows down in an attempt to get rid of the dog smell.....
 
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RyanairGuru
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:39 am

Quoting melpax (Reply 25):

You might be right that it's a new thing as it did stick out in my mind, and I agree that Europcar don't so it might be Hertz only?
Worked Hard, Flew Right
 
chrisair
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:17 am

Quoting StuckInCA (Reply 17):
I'm waiting for them to start attaching a laminated copy of the owner's manual to the things.

OH GOD. Don't give them any ideas! I do like that Ring of Flair though. Has a certain ring to it.  
Quoting blueflyer (Reply 9):
I rent from Hertz and Avis, it's two keys and a key fob,

I rent from Hertz and Avis (more than National, actually) and it's almost as bad. My car the other day at LAX was perfect. A key fob with the plastic #1 from Hertz. I could actually fit them in a pocket!
 
varigb707
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:59 am

Quoting Airstud (Reply 21):
Thank you very much for that info, varigb.

you're welcome.
First, I said 'hey' and then I said 'now'. "Hey Now!" - Hank K.
 
romeobravo
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:03 am

Quoting skywaymanaz (Reply 4):
This was an in town location in Flagstaff, AZ so we didn't have to many passengers arriving or departing by air.

hah, funnily enough this is where i rented my car from when i lost the keys in senoda.

thankfully i'd left it in a shop and when i went back they had them.
 
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johnboy
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:13 am

Quoting Goldenshield (Reply 23):
I don't quite follow your logic there.

You are correct...you're not following my logic.

Shady = one of those companies that you've never really heard of before at the end of the counter.

It had nothing to do with my mistake.
 
YVRLTN
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 5:39 am

I lost the key to the rental Mercedes of my wedding car! (Which was 8 years ago tomorrow   )

It ended up snowing hard, my best friends tie ended up in my jacket pocket where I swear the keys were and we scraped the snow all the way from the car to the house, checked behind the toilet, had my friend pull over on the motorway and search his trunk in case some bizarre switch over happened, but it was never found.

As it was a Merc there was not a key, just a chip fob thing. It was supposed to be very expensive to replace and as I hired it from EDI airport, they could not do keys there and had to send off to head office for chips plus courier fees. I left the issue with my new father in law and departed off to PRG on honeymoon... not sure how he did it, but the rental company took so long to even order the replacement (the car was parked at the bottom of the hill near my inlaws house as the wretched rear wheel drive thing refused to get up the hill) my father in law got it done for no charge!
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Goldenshield
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:28 pm

Quoting johnboy (Reply 30):
You are correct...you're not following my logic.

Then you have pretty poor logic.

You are patently blaming losing the car keys squarely on the fact that you rented from a different rental car company than you are used to.

Quoting johnboy (Reply 15):
Thankfully, I had dropped the keys in one of the shopping carts and someone returned them about an hour later to the customer service desk, where I was camped out. Definitely one of the pitfalls of renting from an "off-brand" company.

It's all right there in that paragraph. You are squarely placing the blame of something that you did onto the company that you rented from.
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coolian2
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 25, 2014 2:19 am

Should do what I did. My partner de jour was unloading the car when I put the keys on the back seat to help her lift a suitcase. She manually centrally locked the car just after I'd absent mindedly closed the door out of habit.

In a 110 degree Nashville day, when we had plans, did not make me popular.

Lucky the hotel let us check in, but I sure as hell heard about it!
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blueflyer
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RE: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Mar 25, 2014 4:27 am

Quoting mad99 (Reply 24):
Here in Europe, never the two keys together

Europe is a bit of a different market and the risk of having the spare key in Barcelona and the car in Oslo is far smaller than, say, the car in Los Angeles and the spare in Miami.

For one thing, each country subsidiary (or licensee) owns their fleet, so even if it goes out of country one-way, they'll try and bring it back in-country as soon as possible. In the US, car rental companies move their fleet around during Spring and Fall so they have more cars in winter in Florida, and more cars in tourist spots outside Florida in the summer.

For another, one-way rentals are far less common than in the US. Over here, one-way rentals are cheaper and replace the train in many places. Say I need to go from Dallas to Oklahoma City to Chicago. I'll probably rent a car one-way for the first leg and fly for the second.

In fact, one-way rentals are so cheap here I use them instead of a cab to go to the airport! If I am leaving for more than a few days and my outbound flight is too early for me to ask someone to drop me off, I don't want to leave my car at the airport (unsafe or very expensive depending on the lot I choose). I'll pick up a car from the local Avis location the day before and drive myself the 20 miles to the airport where I drop it off.

Quoting cptkrell (Reply 18):
just file the extra set in the delivered-to location.

I don't think the problem is storing the key somewhere, I think the issue is putting in place the infrastructure to keep track of the keys and their usage, so if one goes missing, there is a history to fall back on. It is far cheaper to count the keys on the return and charge the customer if somehow, by miracle, one fell off...
 
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johnboy
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Re: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Tue Jun 28, 2016 4:58 am

I'm so sad that I didn't see the reply from Goldenshield some two years ago!

In fact, i'm not blaming them for my mistake. I'm blaming myself for the mistake, and also the mistake of renting from a company who has VERY few locations outside of airport, if something does go wrong.

Christ on a Cracker.
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: Lost Rental-car Key Thread

Wed Jul 06, 2016 5:59 am

I've rented from National numerous times and found them to be a good company. No problems in exchanging cars while on a trip when my turn signals topped working. No problems when I was rear-ended on another trip (minor damage to one tail light). But I did lock both keys in one car, near El Paso, when they were on a ring that could not be cut open. AAA opened the car for me after an hour wait. No big deal. But I never liked those two keys on a single ring.

Just after reading this thread we flew to Birmingham, Alabama, and a nice new Hyundai Santa Fe was waiting for us. To my surprise the two keys (fobs that have the keys folded inside them) were on a ring that was easily opened. When I expressed my surprise to the National clerk she told me that she thought all their cars had such rings.

This Hyundai had Kentucky license tags. It made me wonder whether the key ring arrangement might depend upon where a car actually entered the National fleet. In any event, it was comforting to be able to have a keep in two pants pockets and not have to worry about locking them both in the car.
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Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos