What do Dodo birds, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Drive-in Movie Theaters, free coffee, and regular (leaded) gasoline have in common? They’re all extinct of course! Soon we’ll be adding a new item to this list, and it’s high time we did. Get your pencils out, the “Rental Car Shuttle” is about to die off!
There’s nothing good about a rental car shuttle. They stink like diesel fuel, they’re slow, cumbersome, full of clueless people, and they add at least 30 minutes to your “What time do I need to leave for the airport?” timeline. Honestly, is it that difficult for a major airport to construct enough parking and resources to have a rental car service right there at the terminal?
In some airports, space is a premium. I totally get that. Other airports like DFW or
When you’re coming back to the airport to fly home, the rental car shuttle is your arch enemy. Let’s say that you travel all the time and you can return a rental car and get aboard the shuttle in an efficient and expedient manner. What’s your reward? There’s no reward, only “punishment.” You get to wait. You wait until the bus has the required minimum number of people to leave for the airport. You get to wait for the one guy who left his wallet back in his rental car (there’s always one). You get to wait as the driver turns around to come BACK to the agency to return the rental car keys that “Wallet Guy” forgot to give back to the attendant. You get to wait through the same red-lights that you already waited in to return your car in the first place.
If the airport has multiple terminal buildings, then you get to wait until the bus arrives at the one that your airline is leaving from. It’s brutal because the only thing you can do to improve the situation is to get off the bus early at the wrong terminal because you know it will be faster to take an airport shuttle or to walk to the correct terminal than it would be to wait it out. I’ve heard the sound of many a Rental Car shuttle driver yelling at me as I leave the bus, “SIR, Delta Airlines is in Terminal “A”, this is Terminal “C”, and you need to come back…” I love that sound, especially as it fades in the distance as I get closer to Terminal “A” on foot, than he is in his bus. This is especially true of the
Finally, mercifully, there’s a trend toward the elimination of these archaic behemoths. Look forward to that eventual day with glee. Until then, do what you can to hasten the process. Fill out survey cards; seek out the one rental car agency who is local to your airport terminal. It’s worth it in the long run, I assure you!
EXTRA: If you have questions for Ken regarding business travel, hotels, airplanes, etc, please send an email! Your questions will be recorded and Ken will answer the best ones in his Ask the Expert podcast show.