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akbrian

Amtrak website only lists airport car rental locations

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I recently visited the Amtrak car rental and hotel reservation page in conjunction with a train trip to Portland, Oregon's Union Station;

 

https://www.amtrak.com/deals-discounts/complete-your-trip-with-hotel-car-rental-insurance-more.html

 

Amtrak's car rental page only lists the car rental locations at the Portland, Oregon airport, inspite of the fact that most of the same companies also have downtown locations close to Amtrak's Union Station. You'd have thought that somebody at Amtrak would have informed Points.com, which has their logo on the bottom of the Amtrak rental car webpage, that Amtrak is a railroad and not an airline. I couldn't find anyway to list any location not at the airport, no matter what my input. I solved the problem by not booking my rental car through Amtrak. Not only are the airport locations many miles away from the train station, the rates are much higher than the nearby locations. How absurd. I did drop a note to Amtrak on the subject, but haven't heard anything back. I don't know if this problem applies to all cities, or just to Portland.

 

Edit: Sorry about the botched title, I didn't notice my typo until I posted it.

Edited by akbrian

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For the closest rental car location call Amtrak directly and ask. They have said information available.

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For the closest rental car location call Amtrak directly and ask. They have said information available.

I just used a Google Maps search instead, and then booked with a nearby Hertz directly, using my AAA discount. But what a silly reason for Amtrak to lose a commision. I wonder how long the website has been that way?

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I wonder how long the website has been that way?

 

 

For quite some time. They stopped updating information such as car rentals, parking, connecting schedules because it often changes quicker than the website can keep up with it. Besides, they they think iit isn;t really necessary theses days.

 

Let me show you why...in your own words:

 

 

 

I just used a Google Maps search instead, and then booked with a nearby Hertz directly

 

See...and you're not alone. With the maps embedded in the website which allows you to see updated information and various search engines, they surmised that there are more web savvy users than not. They'll see the information and schedules themselves. This requires less programming, maintenance and updates.

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I wonder how long the website has been that way?

 

 

For quite some time. They stopped updating information such as car rentals, parking, connecting schedules because it often changes quicker than the website can keep up with it. Besides, they they think iit isn;t really necessary theses days.

 

Let me show you why...in your own words:

 

 

 

I just used a Google Maps search instead, and then booked with a nearby Hertz directly

 

See...and you're not alone. With the maps embedded in the website which allows you to see updated information and various search engines, they surmised that there are more web savvy users than not. They'll see the information and schedules themselves. This requires less programming, maintenance and updates.

 

Travelocity, Orbitz, and Priceline all accept Union Station, Portland, Oregon as a search location. Points.com, which the Amtrak rental car page is "powered by" does not. I'd suggest Amtrak use a different vendor or service, or just link to one of the many other reservation services that recognizes train station locations. Sending people out to the airport is worse than not offering the service, in my opinion. It makes them look bad.

Edited by akbrian

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Actually for PDX, it makes sense. MAX makes the airport easily accessible from Union Station, and I think the airport location has better hours than downtown locations - especially at night and on weekends.

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Actually for PDX, it makes sense. MAX makes the airport easily accessible from Union Station, and I think the airport location has better hours than downtown locations - especially at night and on weekends.

 

Not so easy if you've got luggage or kids or elderly passengers with you. Walk several blocks to light rail, change trains once along the way (IIRC--been a couple of years since I've done this), allow a good 45 minutes to an hour to get you to the airport, and then when you've rented your car you've got a long drive back to downtown.

 

Unless you're planning to fly out of PDX at the end of your visit, it's usually easier to rent a car downtown. Several car rental agencies there will pick you up or drop you off at Amtrak.

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Something is either very wrong with the Web Site, or Amtrak is having a problem with the rental car companies. Hertz, Avis, Budget and Alamo all have rental car counters inside 30th Street Station, yet none are shown on the referenced Amtrak Web Pages. Of the above, Hertz is the only one listed at all and that is shown at the PHL Airport location.

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Actually for PDX, it makes sense. MAX makes the airport easily accessible from Union Station, and I think the airport location has better hours than downtown locations - especially at night and on weekends.

It almost never makes sense to use airport locations unless absolutely necessary because of hours. Airport locations have all sorts of higher prices, extra taxes, garbage fees and more. I've rented in downtown locations for half the cost in many cases.

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While true in many places, i have seen many sites where the price at the airport may be like $23, but for the SAME car rented downtown, it may me $45 or $50! And just try to rent from downtown when your train arrives at 6:30 pm on Sunday night!

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