Triangle Trip

Tag: car rental

How to save on car rentals in NYC

by Captain G on Sep.11, 2009, under Rental Cars

Here’s a tip that can save you at least $40 a day on your next car rentals in New York City! If you live or work in NYC ((Manhattan or even one of the other four other boroughs) and want to rent a car for the weekend or a day, you would normally pick up the car in the city because it’s the most convenient location. Picking up a car from Manhattan generally comes with a price. Renting from one of the major car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis or National will cost you $90 to $120 per day if you choose to pick up the car from a Manhattan location.

To save up to $40 per day (and sometimes even more if you shop on Hotwire or Priceline), choose LaGuardia Airport (LGA) or JFK Airport as your pick up location and pick any NYC location as your return. Cars rented from JFK and LGA generally cost $50 to $85 a day, depending on availability.

Concerned about one way rental drop off fees? You won’t need to worry. All major car rental companies treat their NYC locations, including Manhattan, as one return location. Most car rental companies actually want you to bring cars from the airport into the city because the NYC rental car locations are usually parking lots, too small to hold enough cars during busy times like weekends. Some car rental companies, like Avis, also reward you for bringing cars back to the airport (see my previous post about one way rentals from/to Newark).

In summary, reserve your rental car to be picked up at LGA or JFK and set the return location to be somewhere in NYC. Hop on a train from Manhattan after work, and head to LGA or JFK to pick up a rental car; drop it off at NYC after you’re done. Here’s one of my previous posts on: How to take public transit to/from JFK.

For a 40 minute train to bus ride, you can save an extra $40 a day to pay for gas! You can mail me a check with a thank you note (actually leaving a comment on this post is fine).

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Why you should NOT put your points in travel reward programs like Asia Miles, Air Miles, etc.

by Captain G on Apr.01, 2009, under Travel Partners

I don’t really understand the concept of banking airline miles on travel reward programs such as Asia Miles and Canada’s Air Miles. These programs seem like a consolidation of all your travel activities (miles, hotel stays, etc.) without the benefits from the airline or hotels. Another very minor advantage is you can also use your miles for other goods like travel gear and electronics, but many US airlines offer that type of redemption option.

What I am trying to say here is:  if you decide to bank Asian Miles on your Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong to Vancouver, you’ll only get Asian Miles but zero Marco Polo miles or benefits. I see the value in Asian Miles if you are flying all sorts of airlines throughout your life and want flexible redemption of miles/points. However, I don’t think you are getting the most out of the Asia Miles program if you only travel with one or two international airlines - say Cathay Pacific and ANA when you live in Hong Kong.

With the consolidation of US airlines and global alliances, all travelers should only need three frequent flier accounts to accumulate airline miles. Make sure your frequent flier account is on one of these alliances: Star Alliance, SkyTeam or OneWorld. Most of the major airlines in any country have membership with one of the alliances. For example, if you live in the Hong Kong, you will only need three accounts:  Cathay (OneWorld), China Southern or Korean Air (Skyteam), and ANA, Singapore Airlines or Thai (Star). You should bank all your air travel on one of the accounts. For redemption, you can easily book your flights on a member airline - i.e., use your Marco Polo miles to book a American ticket from Hong Kong to Chicago.

Once you have enough Marco Polo points in a year, you will get more benefits such as 25% to 100% more miles on every flight — something Asia Miles or Air Miles cannot offer. So forget the airline/hotel/car mileage consolidation programs and stick to an airline or alliance to make your miles pay off.

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One-way car rental between Newark and NYC from Avis

by Captain G on Mar.26, 2009, under Rental Cars

Let me preface this post by telling everyone that I really despise Avis for its poor customer service. I have not rented from Avis in over 10 years due to a really horrible experience at Newark Liberty International (EWR). Ironically this post is about renting from Avis’s Newark facility. I won’t get into the details on my horrible experience; I will save it for another post… Given the latest Avis offer, I may actually consider going back to them to give it a go.

As one of the options to go from Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to NYC, I used to recommend National Car Rental with their one-way rental program. However, National Car Rental has ended its one-way car rental offer between Newark and NYC for $25 a day – which was an awesome deal. Avis has recently picked up the one-way car rental promotion. This means you can rent an Avis car from Newark Liberty International (EWR) and drop it off in New York City for $25 plus taxes or rent the car from an Avis location in NYC and return it to EWR. Here’s the link to reserve at Avis. You can also call Avis and mention AWD #K462601.

The Avis offer only works if you’re going from EWR to NYC on Thursday or Friday and from NYC to EWR on Sunday or Monday. The reason for this offer is Avis needs to get its cars from EWR to NYC for the weekend rentals. As a renter, you’re essentially doing the driving for Avis.

You should also be aware of the following restrictions:

  • One-way rental from EWR to NYC can only be picked up from Thursday after 1PM to Friday 10PM and it must be dropped off by Friday.
  • One-way rental from NYC to EWR can only be picked up from Sunday after 3PM to Monday 10PM. The car must be dropped off by mid-night on Monday.

Also read the fine prints from the link.

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