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Amtrak and Hertz available at MIA or FTL


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#1 Idon'tFly

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 02:04 PM

I'm planning our 2nd trip NYP-MIA Silver Meteor...problem: I don't see any car rentals nearby (like the one at ORL). What would be the best way to secure a car rental?? Is it easier at MIA or FTL?? I have a preference for Hertz b/c of my AAA discount, but I'm also willing to try another is its priced right & convenient. ORL was just so convenient, but it's a 4 hour drive. I also heard the Amtrak and Hertz was working together, any truth to that?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
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#2 AlanB

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 03:30 PM

From the Miami Amtrak station you'd have to cab it to a rental car place. My suggestion, get off Amtrak at the Hollywood station. Then catch a Tri-Rail train to it's final stop in Miami it will arrive on the same track most likely. From there you can take the airport shuttle over to Miami airport and have you choice of rental car companies.

Not sure about Miami, but sometimes Hertz will pay for the cab from the station.
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#3 alanh

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:02 PM

When there's a Hertz local edition nearby they will almost always pick you up or comp a cab. MIA is handled by the Miami Central HLE office. Just be sure the office is open when you arrive as the HLE offices may have short hours. You'll need to call the local office to coordinate the pick up.

Edited by alanh, 13 October 2010 - 05:03 PM.


#4 me_little_me

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:07 PM

From the Miami Amtrak station you'd have to cab it to a rental car place. My suggestion, get off Amtrak at the Hollywood station. Then catch a Tri-Rail train to it's final stop in Miami it will arrive on the same track most likely. From there you can take the airport shuttle over to Miami airport and have you choice of rental car companies.

Not sure about Miami, but sometimes Hertz will pay for the cab from the station.


Bad idea. Rentals at the airport can cost double the price renting in town. Higher prices, fewer discounts and more taxes and fees.

#5 acelafan

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 05:54 PM


From the Miami Amtrak station you'd have to cab it to a rental car place. My suggestion, get off Amtrak at the Hollywood station. Then catch a Tri-Rail train to it's final stop in Miami it will arrive on the same track most likely. From there you can take the airport shuttle over to Miami airport and have you choice of rental car companies.

Not sure about Miami, but sometimes Hertz will pay for the cab from the station.


Bad idea. Rentals at the airport can cost double the price renting in town. Higher prices, fewer discounts and more taxes and fees.

I haven't found that to be the case...www.carrentalsavers.com has helped me out many times.

If you take Alan's suggestion, the new Miami consolidated rental car center is just across the street from the Miam Tri Rail station. I think you can literally walk about 50 feet and enter the new building on the ground floor.

When Amtrak gets moved to this new intermodal center it is going to be a huge improvement with much better ground transportation options.

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#6 alanh

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Posted 13 October 2010 - 10:30 PM

I haven't found that to be the case...www.carrentalsavers.com has helped me out many times.

If you take Alan's suggestion, the new Miami consolidated rental car center is just across the street from the Miam Tri Rail station. I think you can literally walk about 50 feet and enter the new building on the ground floor.

When Amtrak gets moved to this new intermodal center it is going to be a huge improvement with much better ground transportation options.

My experience is that airport locations have lower base rates, but often have insane amounts of taxes and fees (50% or more of the base rate) added on.

I've used the local offices when riding Amtrak and it's worked well. Like I said, though, be sure to check the hours.

#7 Idon'tFly

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 11:20 AM

Thanks everyone for your helpful suggestions. I'm gonna go ahead and make some calls at Hertz to get more info.
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#8 Idon'tFly

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Posted 17 January 2011 - 11:54 PM

Here's an update on my situation:
I decided to arrive at the Hollywood station because it seemed to be in a more pleasant area. Miami was very questionable but now I regret changing my mind (I'll explain below). I reserved a car rental with Amtrak Hollywood Hertz and called to ask about pick-up and drop-off procedures. Well that didn't go well at all. If anyone knows about the Silver Service, the only trains that service Hollywood, arrive pretty much after 5:30pm. The manager suggested that I book the car rental the day after because they close at 5:30pm (the office technically closes at 6:00pm) and they were not willing to accommodate me when I arrive, no matter which Silver Service I choose. I asked about the $10 cab reimbursement to the Fort Lauderdale International Airport (posted on their website) and the manager stated that only applies if and he said "if" the Hertz at the airport choose to honor my reservation. So of course I complained that for a Hertz company that used "Amtrak" in it's name and not accommodate any of the Amtrak passengers with only a half hour window, seemed completely ridiculous and even false advertising.

So I am almost starting from scratch with the car rental. So far I might only incur a total of $50 more with cab and extra fees for renting at the FLL airport.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

-Thanks everyone!

Ohhhh…BTW: the Miami Amtrak was willing to stay open till 7:00pm to arrange a pick up and even open 1 hour earlier to get me to my departure in the morning. I will keep this in mind, when I plan for winter 2012
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#9 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 05:26 AM

That sounds about right for Hertz customer service.

I've generally found airports to have much better service hours and thanks to priceline and hotwire they're generally no more expensive than any given remote rental site. In fact in some cases they're substantially cheaper. I tend to rent standard, mid-size, or full-size cars for anywhere from a few hours to a few days and this experience has been pretty consistent in dozens of cities across several states. The one part where you get screwed as a train passenger is when there's no easy and accessible public transportation to the airport and you're forced to hail a cab.

Edited by daxomni, 18 January 2011 - 05:32 AM.

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#10 Shanghai

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:51 AM

I often find that I must take a taxi from the Amtrak station to the airport to get
a rental car. My wife once asked me why do we take the train when we go to the airport
to get the car?? Because I like traveling by train!!
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#11 Railroad Bill

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 06:00 PM

Was very interested to read your post since wife and I are planning our trip to Key West in February and wanted to detrain at the Hollywood station as well. :D

The hotel in which we are staying does offer a free shuttle to the Ft Lauderdale airport so we are trying to decide whether to taxi to our hotel, (about a mile or so up the road from Amtrak station), get settled and then ride over to the Hertz Rental at the airport, get our car and then drive back to the hotel so that we can get an early start for the Keys the next morning. :huh:


I suppose we will just do the opposite on our return by dropping off the car at the airport and taking the shuttle back to our Hollywood hotel before departing the next morning on the Silver Meteor. :)

It does seem to be a little hassle because Hertz's so called Hollywood Amtrak Hertz station is practically useless for arriving trains from the north. :angry2:
But at least the train rides back and forth from Ohio to Fla should be fun :P

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#12 GG-1

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Posted 18 January 2011 - 10:36 PM

It does seem to be a little hassle because Hertz's so called Hollywood Amtrak Hertz station is practically useless

Aloha

I hope you don't take this question wrong. But why use a car rental Co. or any other co. that will not provide the service you need or want?

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#13 me_little_me

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 10:54 AM


It does seem to be a little hassle because Hertz's so called Hollywood Amtrak Hertz station is practically useless

Aloha

I hope you don't take this question wrong. But why use a car rental Co. or any other co. that will not provide the service you need or want?

I agree. Even though I have a Gold membership in Hertz, I found that Enterprise was not only less expensive but because they have many small, personal offices, dealing with them is much better. I found Hertz in Denver, for example, were not helpful when arriving by train. I gave up on them.

Airports generally charge huge taxes and fees which are passed on to the customer who rents there. Because Enterprise often has off-airport locations that not only charge less but allow me to avoid airport fees, I have become a convert. And I can call the actual person who rented me the car and turn it in to that person a week later.

#14 battalion51

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 08:53 PM

If you're going to rent from Ft. Lauderdale Airport you are FAR better off to get off the train at the Ft. Lauderdale station. It's just a short ride from there to the airport. Something else you may consider attempting is with Enterprise sometimes they develop a relationship with local hotels to where they will leave the keys to a car with the front desk for you to pick up on arrival. When I was with Marriott in Maryland we did this frequently as a service to our guests. Heck, they may even do this with an Amtrak agent (doubtful, but stranger things have happened).

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#15 Meat Puppet

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 08:58 PM

If you get off in West Palm Beach there is a free shuttle bus every 30 minutes from the Amtrak station to the airport.
Rental rates at PBI airport are lower than MIA.

#16 AlanB

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 02:48 PM

If you're going to rent from Ft. Lauderdale Airport you are FAR better off to get off the train at the Ft. Lauderdale station. It's just a short ride from there to the airport.


I agree with this, get off at Fort Lauderdale instead of Hollywood. Just talk with your attendant first to ensure that he/she knows that you're going to jump early. There are shuttle buses from the train station to the airport, should you wish to save cab fare.

Note: If you're returning via Amtrak, be careful about boarding at Fort Lauderdale. While it's unlikely, there is still a slight chance if you have a sleeper that they'll mark you as a no show in Hollywood and resell your room. If indeed you are doing a return in a sleeper from Hollywood, I'd suggest getting to the airport early enough to return the car, take the shuttle to the train station, and then ride TriRail from Fort Lauderdale down to Hollywood.
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#17 battalion51

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 04:56 PM

You could also check in with the FTL agent, have them let the Hollywood agent know to pass it along to the crew. I'd be shocked if the crew re-sold the room that fast though. There's so much happening between WPB and MIA I doubt they'd even have the energy to find someone to sell it to. They're pretty used to passengers changing their boarding/de-training locations on the SFRC, that it won't be the first time, and I'm sure not the last.

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#18 Railroad Bill

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 11:50 PM

Well, Plan A went by the wayside after checking car rental rates between Hertz and Enterprise. Since we are renting a mini van, I compared the rates at the Fort Lauderdale airport and the two local Hertz and Enterprise agents just down the road from our hotel in Hollywood. What a difference!. Almost $100 more with Hertz than Enterprise and Enterprise offered a Caravan or Town & Country vs a Kia :rolleyes: And that was with a AAA discount for Hertz.

So we are getting to our hotel after detraining at Hollywood and arranging for Enterprise to pick us up the next morning, do the paperwork and should be on our way by 8:30am.
We will then drop off the car on our return and they will drop us off at the train station before our Silver Meteor arrives around 9am. :)

In this case there was a substantial difference between airport rental cost and the local agents- not sure if that is typical since we rarely rent from an airport vendor. :mellow:

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#19 highballing

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 12:35 AM

Sometimes and I do mean sometimes depending on location super shuttle will pick you up and take you to the airport rental car place for a little cheaper then a cab ride. Depending distance and location. I have found super shuttle to be cheaper and sometimes a cab to be cheaper it just depends on the situation and something to look into. You can also post on one of the many rideshare websites that you need somebody to pick you up at where ever and go to where ever. You will give them $$$ in return. You will be amazed how many responses you will get sometimes.

Edited by highballing, 21 January 2011 - 12:46 AM.


#20 me_little_me

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 10:50 PM

Well, Plan A went by the wayside after checking car rental rates between Hertz and Enterprise. Since we are renting a mini van, I compared the rates at the Fort Lauderdale airport and the two local Hertz and Enterprise agents just down the road from our hotel in Hollywood. What a difference!. Almost $100 more with Hertz than Enterprise and Enterprise offered a Caravan or Town & Country vs a Kia :rolleyes: And that was with a AAA discount for Hertz.

So we are getting to our hotel after detraining at Hollywood and arranging for Enterprise to pick us up the next morning, do the paperwork and should be on our way by 8:30am.
We will then drop off the car on our return and they will drop us off at the train station before our Silver Meteor arrives around 9am. :)

In this case there was a substantial difference between airport rental cost and the local agents- not sure if that is typical since we rarely rent from an airport vendor. :mellow:


As I said, airport rentals are often significantly higher.

Some suggestions if using Enterprise:

Look for discounts.
Look for free upgrades. You may be able to pay for a lower class car and get your desired bigger one.
Sam's Club member? You get a discount.
Member of their "Plus" club? You may find a better deal.

Even after setting up the deal, I found two discounts including the Sam's one and they twice reduced my cost when I called Enterprise and gave them the discount info.

Edited by me_little_me, 21 January 2011 - 10:52 PM.





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