Posts tagged with: car hire

Below is a collection of issues that a travel agent in the USA has had to deal with when it comes to finding people the perfect trip abroad for a holiday, business or just general commuting. There are some truly fantastic examples in here of why perhaps Americans should not be allowed to travel. Or should just be thrown on a plane. It makes for some truly cringe-worthy reading!

I had someone ask for an aisle seats so that his or her hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window.

A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii.  After going over all the cost info, she asked, “Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?”

I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Capetown.  I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Capetown is in Massachusetts. “Without trying to make her look like the stupid one, I calmly explained, “Capecod is in Massachusetts, Capetown is in Africa.”  Her response … click.

A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, “Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state.”

I got a call from a man who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” He said “But they look so close on the map.”

Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay over in Dallas.  When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, “I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time.”

A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am.  I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very fast, and she bought that!

A woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who’s luggage belongs to who?” I said, “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I’m overweight, is there any connection?” After putting her on hold for a minute while I “looked into it” (I was actually laughing) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.

I just got off the phone with a man who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, “I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.”

A woman called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes.” I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, “Yeah, whatever.”

A businessman called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports, I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh no I don’t, I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this he said, “Look, I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.”

A woman called to make reservations, “I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York” The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent: “Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” “Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a Hippopotamus anywhere.” The customer retorted, “Oh don’t be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!” The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, “You don’t mean Buffalo, do you?” “That’s it! I knew it was a big animal!”

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Its finally the kind of weather which we all dream off, and seem to get at funny times, thanks in part to the climate change which is going on all around us. This weekend I had the pleasure of taking a few road trips in the car hire (by the hour if you must know) which me and my better other half use every weekend. We find its cheaper then owning a car, and if booked in advance can be a heck of a lot cheaper then on the day.

When it comes to weekend activities, its fair to say the there are generally a lot of things to do: taking the rubbish out, going to the ‘tip’ ( a place as a child I visited with my father to get rid of all the horrible things from the garden, for years I never was allowed out of the car to go and play in the rubbish but now I am!) and of course just going for drive. It got me thinking however; with a plethora of activities requiring a fairly large car, is it actually worth renting a car or for eases sake.

Its a car yeah.

Its a car yeah.

It could be said that infact my weekend chores could be made a lot easier if we decided to use a van hire firm and essentially killed two birds with one stone.

What do you think?

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Surviving the current economic slump is something which I imagine is something fairly close to the heart for many people. Homeowners, Companies are all the same – they need to find ways of saving money.

Homeowners are notoriously savvy when it comes to making extra money to get by in hard times and the good. From personal experience I remember growing up with a plethora of different student types living in our house, the majority where lovely people who just wanted to save money by living cheaply with a family instead of living in Halls.

One idea which over the last few months which seems to be gaining more and more momentum, especially in larger cities is renting out your car parking space during the week, to commuters who are working nearby. On average the monthly rental amount is around £120 with the price steadily rising in cities where there is a serious issue with parking infrastructure.

London is one such example of how the savvy homeowner can ‘net’ in the regions of £600 a month for a good parking space. An amount definately not to be sniffed at, and a great way of paying of your mortgage quickly.

For many who only rent apartments or house’s, its worth checking with your landlord, and then perhaps even slipping some cash his/hers way as typically ‘sub-letting’ breaks the majority of tenancy agreements. Of course a great thing to say to the landlord is that you are doing it for the ‘greater good’ rather then some extra pennies!

A concern that many perhaps will have after reading the above suggestion is “What about parking my own car?”. This is of course a valid concern and if you really need your car then perhaps this scheme isn’t for you. However, living in the highly evolved society that we happen to find ourselves, the options are endless as to alternatives to owning a car and frankly paying over the odds for the privilege.

To respond to that question would be obvious – Use public transport, walk or even car share with a friend. 3 solutions which perhaps now have been rammed down your throats so hard by the great and good media that they almost seem to be the ‘worst idea’s’ possible. One thoroughly overlooked scheme is short term car hire, which actually provides a very good service and a bigger bang for your buck.

A while ago I wrote about a Urban Car Sharing Schemes which essentially work under the same principle. I, myself tend to use public transport, as the colour of my Driving License has for a long time remained the colour green, thus rendering me a ‘provisional’ driver, something which I hope to change soon. For many it seems that public transport is an unnecessary hassle in the mornings and evening and leads to a stressful day.

For anyone looking for some excellent information and indeed a more well rounded article on the idea of either renting a car in the short term or even using your parking space as a means to earn some extra cash, should visit the Independents article from which this one is based.

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The chief constable of South Yorkshire Police has attacked the Liberal Democrats over criticism of how much forces spend on hire cars.

The party’s home affairs spokesman, Chris Huhne, uncovered figures showing more than £132m had been spent on car hire in the last five years. Police chief, Meredydd Hughes, said it was “more cost effective” to hire cars. He accused the Liberal Democrats of “wasting everyone’s time trying to get publicity for their party”.

This is a story that isn’t a story,” he said.

“South Yorkshire Police is proud of the way it uses the public’s resources.”

The MP’s findings, which are the result of freedom of information requests to all the UK’s police forces, found that the Metropolitan Police force spent the most on car hire – more than £48m. South Yorkshire Police was found to have spent just over £2.5m. Mr Hughes said: “We hire cars to transport officers investigating major incidents such as murder inquiries, terrorist incidents and other major crimes.

Chris Huhne called the figures ‘unnecessarily lavish’

“We also hire specialist vehicles in very bad weather, for example where there are problems like flooding. “This is much more cost effective than owning the cars full time.”

His comments came after Mr Huhne described the amounts as “unnecessarily lavish” at a time “when police budgets are under extreme pressure”. “Hiring cars at appropriate times can save forces money, but if they are being hired while police cars are not in use, it is simply a waste of taxpayers’ money,” he said.

In a statement Mr Hughes said: “The Liberal Democrats would do better to come and ask South Yorkshire Police how we are spending the money rather than wasting everyone’s time trying to get publicity for their party.

Personally I’m of the opinion that the Police in this situation should be able to make the decisions as to how they spend there budget. If this means that they need to rent vehicles to ensure that the job is completed correctly and efficiently then so be it. I would much rather public groups put money back into the economy by using car hire/van rental firms as opposed to spending grossly on a vehicle which might only be used sporadically.

It seems that the Liberal Democrats are thinking only from a PR perspective, trying to make it look like they would try and cut down on public spending at the cost of efficiency. The Police need to be allowed to carry on with the hard decent job that they currently do.

Article Source BBC 1st January – Here

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A place that I have always wanted to go is Dublin. Some interesting information I found out on the net well Wikipedia about the name Dublin was this:

The name Dublin is derived from the Irish name Dubh Linn (meaning “black pool”). The common name for the city in Modern Irish is Baile Átha Cliath (meaning “town of the hurdled ford”) – Wikipedia

Dublin is a very picturesque place as this scanned post card suggests.

My experience of Ireland so far has been fairly limited, well limited in the sense that I was in the back of a horse drawn caravan with my family on what has definitively been rated the worst holiday we have ever ever been on. Bear in mind however that this trip was to Southern Ireland which is a completely different place, I guess the alternative in Northern Ireland would be a Car Hire Dublin firm lending me a modern ‘motor’ for a spin along the delicate streets.

Apparently however the prices for stuff like Beer are slightly more expensive then in the UK, which means despite its reputation as a Stag Do destination its going to be an a certainty that despite how beautiful the area around Dublin is – its going to be fairly costly. That might not just be to your bank account…

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OK so I thought I would compile a short list of what I perceive to be amongst the most popular holiday destinations for those who are looking for something slightly interesting, nights are getting colder and I’m starting to think a quick cheap package holiday might be the way forward.

I have a few ideas which need to be vetted by someone with some more sense then me… and because like all things making the wrong decision as the Daily Mail wrote about fellow blogger Andy Sharman, who had a horrible experience courtesy of Thomson, could leave you feeling slightly sour.

Here are the Possibilities:

Lisbon

Having never been to Portugal or even Spain I’m rather to keen to go to either – Lisbon however seems to be the perfect choice. A supposedly beautiful city located in the southern region of Portugal around the North banks of the River Tagus. The Architecture is meant to be fabulous – and apparently full of Art Nouveau cafés – It seems there could be a lot to discover here! Perfect for a long weekend perhaps…

Lisbon looks nice

Lisbon looks nice

Larnaca

Not being a huge fan of fishing could hinder how good this potential candidate for my winter break could be. Laranaca is a coastal village located in Cyprus, from what I have read about the place it seems to exude ‘a slow, relaxed atmosphere that will help you chill out and escape…’ With Excellent diving facilities located around the area and a short way away from the desert – Rides on a camel seem cleary the best thing to do.

Some of the beautiful limestone cliffs that are omnipresent

Some of the beautiful limestone cliffs that are omnipresent

Ibiza

Perhaps the one place I would like to go to have a rave, with plenty to see and do this is a real contender. It has beautiful scenery and seems to exude the glam – fun atmosphere despite it being indeed a very beautiful place. It could be worth using a Car Hire broker and having a real explore…

Ibiza Coastline

Ibiza Coastline

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Stories of ridiculous excess are nothing new – perhaps they are even OK if you can afford them. This story from News Australia really takes the Micheal.

A MILLIONAIRE in northern China paid four million yuan ($A695,330) for a dog and ordered 30 luxury cars to come to the airport to greet her and the animal, local media reports. The woman and her new pet – a black Tibetan mastiff – flew into Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi province, A convoy of 30 black Mercedes-Benz cars, led by two sports utility vehicles, drove to the airport on Wednesday to pick up the pair, who had arrived from the Tibetan-populated province of Qinghai in China’s northwest. Photos of the event posted with the report showed a committee of dog-lovers holding up a long red banner welcoming the mastiff to Xi’an.

One Expensive Dog

One Expensive Dog

Now I’m wondering whether the car hire firm had to lend their whole fleet to cope with this woman’s demand?

A slightly touching point made at the bottom of the article reads like this…

Research by the Hurun Report, a magazine that tracks China’s wealthiest, revealed in April that 825,000 people had personal wealth of over 10 million yuan ($1.74 million), or 0.06 per cent of the population.

The vast majority of these millionaires have said the global financial crisis has not had any impact on their lifestyle, the research said.

Nice life if you can get it…?

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Mark Butler was pretty love-sick that’s for sure. He wanted his future wife Tonya (and the world) to know how much he adored her, and yes he did succeed.

After agreeing with his Partner that they wanted to use a luxury car rental(prestige car), the 27 year old from Basingstoke decided to make his own amendments to the wedding day transport.

Now I’m unsure whether this is the sweetest or tackiest gesture in the world, but either way it made her seemingly happy. Here’s the deal, the ‘smitten’ train driver decided to plaster ‘Tonya & Mark Just Married 23rd July 2009’ sign-written along the side. (See Photo Below!). Then this is the part which I really find tacky – he then proceeded to have the ‘happy couples’ faces emblazoned along the side of the VW Passat.

The stunt was kept a secret from the other half with only the wedding day photographer and best man in on the gag. After the ceremony held in Basingstoke Registry Office, Mark then presented the ‘gift’ to his recently married wife for photos to be taken in a local War Memorial park, which seems to be a fairly strange place to have photos taken.

Nice or Tacky

Nice or Tacky

Luckily for him the hard work paid off, the new Mrs. Butler was thrilled by the thoughtful token…

I didn’t know anything about it and I was shocked because I couldn’t imagine where the idea came from. I think it just shows how much he loves me, especially with the amount of thought and planning that went into it.

Apparently the car has been getting a lot of attention and beeping from fellow motorists

Tonya’s final words :

…It’s been fantastic.

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Civil Servants from Wales have really frustrated me this week after costing tax payers £88,000 in fines relating to traffic incidents, it has been revealed by Compare Car Rentals.

Civil Servants clearly cant drive Cars

Civil Servants clearly can't drive Cars

This Follows revelations in June that Welsh Civil Servant had run up £5 million whilst using local Car Hire services, whether this included Van Hire for the Local Councils.

The data is taken from the Freedom of Information Act which was publicised by members of the Welsh Assembly Government(WAG) who managed to run up bills of £10,732 by failing to fill up the rental vehicles before returning them.

Kirsty Williams who was amongst the first to expose WAGS ludicrous, was outraged at the WAGS fines calling them ‘shocking’, especially as families in Wales are having to ‘tighten their belts’ due to the current recession.

People in Wales are having to balance their budgets and watch every penny, it is vital that Governments do the same, Too much is already spent on car hire and it seems that civil servants don’t care that taxpayers are picking up the tab for fines imposed for not refuelling.

A spokesman for the WAG admitted that hire cars should be returned with a full tank and that a review was underway thanks to the current situation and that ‘arrangements’ are being made to ensure car hire costs are as low as possible.

Quotes Taken From Wales Online.

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Its almost fair to say that owning & running a car has to be amongst one of the necessary annual expenses that hurts a family financially. Adding up the cost per year for insurance, road tax, parking permits (if applicable) and the mandatory M.O.T test, will no doubt leave you little change from £1,000. Add to that the rising cost of petrol… Back in January this year, after the huge hike in price of oil, it meant that petrol in the UK was amongst the most expensive in the world. Your vehicle in the mean time will have deprecated in value.

For some affording a car is easy, for others it is a constant struggle – what with taking children to school, or driving to a job in another city. The cost grows and grows. For example if someone lives in the country, without the ‘advantages of public transport’ life can be and will be extremely difficult. Whereas in a city the need for a car diminishes slightly with public transport being more frequent and occasionally ‘cheaper’. Of course the easiest way to get rid of this 4 figure sum of your yearly outgoings is simply to get rid of the motor… but of course this is easier said than done!

The city is a place full of ideas, and we at FashionContrast are fans of ingenuity and generally good ideas, which benefit the people who need help the most. This idea despite it being seemingly around for a while has really given me some form of hope for the future and whilst at lunch today after checking a horrible bank balance made me think…

Urban Car Hire clubs are one way of saving money and still in many ways having access to a motor.  The system is straight forward, there are a fleet of cars parked around a given city, which you can book online, some for as little as an hour. Prices vary from as little as £4-£8 an hour, or roughly £28-£65 for a whole day- this all depends on what car you are hiring. You Porsche 911 chaps: this scheme is not for you… There is a annual membership fee however, which is between £25-50. The best thing about this scheme is petrol is not calculated straight away – you will generally get 30-60 miles free and then be charged at the fairly cheap fee of between 19-25p a mile.

This Could be Yours!

This Could be Yours! On Selected Days!

Of course this scheme only works should there be cars located in your area, and equally if they are available at a time which suits you, so planning is paramount. They do however make huge sense and will save you money if you are an infrequent user.

For more information Car Clubs is a great site and as I found out – that car I used to see on the way to work has a purpose!

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