NEW YORK -- Following is a roundup of developments in the car
Avis. Avis said it has extended the deadline on
its Club Red Travel Agent Booking program to June 30. In addition,
the time in which rewards can be redeemed under the incentive
program has been extended to Aug. 25.
The program offers agents such incentives as TWA miles,
electronic products from Sony and Hitachi, Ramada Hotel
certificates, CDs from MCA Records and movies from Universal
Studios Home Video.
Agents must enter their Club Red membership code with each
weekend, weekly, monthly and mini-lease booking.
Agents earn double points for rentals that include a
To join the program, agents should call (800) 555-9733 or access
the Avis key word "Red" in the CRSs.
Thrifty. The names of travel agents who sign up
clients to join Thrifty Car Rental's Blue Chip Express Rental
program are being entered into a drawing to win a seven-day
Caribbean cruise and other prizes. Blue Chip is a program available
at 80 of Thrifty's highest-volume locations in North America.
Agents can register clients by filling out applications on
Thrifty's Internet site -- www.thrifty.com -- or at its CRS sites. The
sweepstakes, available through Nov. 15, will also reward two
second-place finishers with a three-day Caribbean cruise, including
air fare. In addition, three agents will be awarded a lunch from
the car rental firm each month.
Thrifty also said it is paying 15% commissions on bookings made
for St. Martin and St. Barts through July 31. The commissions are
available on all standard rates and will be automatically awarded
The company said it has opened or is planning to open locations
in Italy, Mexico, Sweden, the U.K. and Zimbabwe as follows:In Italy, at an in-terminal facility at the Florence Airport
and a downtown location near the Florence railway station.In Mexico, at airport locations in Acapulco, Ixtapa-Zihuataneo
and Guanajuato and a suburban location in the Zona Rosa district of
Merida. Thrifty currently has 30 locations in Mexico.In the U.K., downtown locations in Derby, Harrow, Lincoln,
Royal Tunbridge Wells, Stevenage and London's West End. In
addition, suburban locations in Loewstoft, Mansfield, Merton,
Milton Keynes, Nottingham, Swindon, Wakefield and Wimbledon. These
and extant sites give Thrifty 68 locations in the U.K.In Sweden, a suburban facility in Linkoping, giving it seven
sites in the country. Additional locations are planned for downtown
Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo and Ornskoldsvik.In Zimbabwe, downtown locations in Victoria Falls and Bulawayo,
with plans to go in airport terminals in both cities. The company
has an existing facility at the Harare Airport.
Budget. Budget Rent a Car said it acquired its
franchise operator in Quebec, Compact Rent a Car. The company
operates 22 locations, and its subfranchisors operate another 23
locations throughout Quebec.
The company also said it named Robert Barton vice president of
tour and travel. He will be responsible for developing
international business. Barton previously worked with Cruise
America, a recreational vehicle rental and sales company purchased
several months ago by Budget's parent company.
Dav El. Dav El Chauffeured Transportation
Network said it plans to introduce Mercedes-Benz 420 SELs and
Lincoln Navigator four-by-fours to its fleet, starting in June in
New York. The vehicles will be available in other Dav El markets
next year. Rates will be $85 an hour, with a two-hour minimum and a
Hertz. Hertz is paying agents 15% commission on
bookings made under its Hertz Affordable Europe promotion. The
promotion gives U.S. and Canadian travelers the opportunity to get
"Free Days" on rentals booked through June 30 for pickup through
When prepaying a weekly rental of five or more days, Affordable
Europe customers can receive their first rental day free at
participating Hertz-owned locations in Belgium, France, Germany,
Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland
and the U.K.
Customers picking up their rental in the U.K. by June 30 can
receive their first two rental days free.
Agents must request "Free Day" at the time of reservation.
Payless. Payless Car Rental said it plans to
open locations in Cairo, Egypt; Brandon, Fla.; Burlington, Wis.,
and Traverse City, Mich.
Dollar. Dollar Rent A Car is offering
discounted weekly rates on Dodge Neons, Stratuses and Caravans at
more than 45 cities through June 30. Rates start at $119 in Tampa
and Miami, Fla.
Also, Southwest Airlines' in-flight magazine, Spirit, is
offering coupons worth 10% off Dollar rentals through Feb. 28. The
discounts are good at cities served by both Dollar and
Dollar also said it has opened an in-terminal location at the
airport in Columbus, Ohio.