Car Rental Upgrades, Good or Bad?

Mark Ashley doesn’t like car upgrades. He usually gets a bigger car than he wants, burns more gas, and bigger isn’t always better anyway.

Back when I was a run of the mill “Preferred Select” elite member with Avis, I expected to get a one car class upgrade on each rental. Sometimes I’d just book one class below what I wanted to get.

The rule, of course, with any travel — air, hotel, or car — is always to confirm the minimum that you’ll actually be happy receiving.

More than upgrades, I enjoy service … I like that my status now with Avis yields a ride back to the airport in the car I drove up in, no transferring bags and waiting on a bus or dropping off other passengers. And I do love my car upgrades. But I can more or less point to the specific car on the lot that I want. Warm weather climate? Convertible. Long drive? Cadillac.

Car rental upgrades can be as much of the travel experience as any other upgrade. But I’d agree that bigger isn’t always better. A nice car, though, is still sublime.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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