Since we provided you information with what to do in case you get bumped from a flight, we’d like to follow that up with what you should do if you find yourself at a car rental counter, suitcase in hand, hearing those words made famous years ago by comedian Jerry Seinfeld, “Sorry sir, we’re all out of cars”.

This is not as rare as you might think. Since car rental companies do not require a credit card as a deposit to hold a car reservation (not yet at least), no-show rates often times hit over 30%. This means while car rental companies think they are sold out, they actually have over 20% of their fleet sitting in the parking lot. This is not good, for anyone. The solution: OVERBOOK and take your chances.

Scott Mayerowitz puts an entertaining, and factual spin, on this problem.

When car rental reservations aren't honored

Scott Mayerowitz, Business Writer for the Associated Press


“We're sorry, sir, but we don't have any cars left.”

That was my unpleasant welcome to Michigan by Hertz.

I had a reservation. They saw the reservation. The problem: Hertz hadn't actually saved me a car.

So here I was, just off a plane in Kalamazoo, suitcase in tow and no car. I wasn't the only one stranded and — I later learned from my cab driver — it happens somewhat regularly.

After the initial shock, all that kept flashing through my head was a 1991 Seinfeld episode where a car rental firm doesn't have Jerry's reserved car.

"But the reservation keeps the car here. That's why you have the reservation," Seinfeld says. "You know how to take the reservation, you just don't know how to HOLD the reservation. And that's really the most important part of the reservation: the holding."

Reserving a car is different than almost any other travel product.

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