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CarRentals.com’s Hidden Shuttle Ride

An unexpected shuttle ride may be in your traveling future if you decide to book on CarRentals.com.

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CarRentals.com’s Hidden Shuttle Ride

ACE Rent A Car image

How far from accurate is the above search result from CarRentals.com? About a mile.

The truth is there’s no ACE Rent A Car agency at Palm Springs Municipal Airport; the actual location is about a mile away from the airport. ACE offers a free shuttle service where you call them after your flight lands but that’s not the issue, according to a TINA.org reader.

The reader wrote that CarRentals.com indicates ACE is at the airport with the search result above. “Only after looking through the much smaller and detailed information further on in the (booking process),” said the reader, “does one notice that no, you have to pick up the car almost a mile away…”

TINA.org found that CarRentals.com, which is a division of Hotwire, indeed does not offer much in way of a disclosure regarding the actual ACE location. A Google map on the left side of the reservation page appears to be the only indication that the rental car company is in fact a mile or so removed from the airport. But one has to zoom out before the airport appears within the margins.

Hat tip to Orbitz for being more straightforward with the actual location.
Hat tip to Orbitz for being more straightforward with the actual location.

ACE is the only car rental agency out of nine offered at Palm Springs Airport whose vehicles aren’t available for pickup directly at the airport. Other discount travel websites are more straightforward about ACE’s location.

RELATED: Avoiding a Vacation Nightmare

Orbitz, for instance, discloses in its search results that ACE is “off terminal 2.0 mi SE.” And Priceline and Expedia reveal that shoppers who choose ACE must take a shuttle to pick up their vehicle.

Consumers search travel sites to compare deals that they hope will save them money as well as time. ACE’s rental prices at Palm Springs Airport are among the lowest. An unexpected shuttle ride may not be much of an inconvenience unless you are in a rush but when it’s not adequately disclosed like on CarRentals.com, it’s a slight to consumers.


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