As the busy summer car-rental season begins, prices are expected to climb. “In early June through the end of August, these rates will spike,” said Neil Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group, which tracks the car rental industry. Last July, for example, the average rate for a weekly airport rental of a compact car booked seven days ahead was $369.62, or 56 percent more than the $236.73 charged in March, according to the Abrams Travel Data Index. Here are some tips to keep costs down.
Let go of name brands. Look beyond Avis, Hertz and other big national chains to independent agencies like Payless and Fox Rent a Car. Because of lower operating costs, their cars, which can be found at Web sites like CarRentals.com and CarRentalExpress.com, typically cost 15 to 30 percent less than rentals from mainstream agencies. Another company with an unfamiliar name, at least to most Americans, is the German agency Sixt, which has begun opening branches in the southeastern United States, including in Atlanta, Miami and Orlando, Fla. To boost brand recognition, the company, whose fleet includes BMWs, Mercedes-Benzes and Volkswagens, is offering deep discounts. For example, a Mercedes C-class cost $38.81 a day in late May at Sixt’s Orlando airport location, according to a recent search. By comparison, the lowest rate offered by Hertz for the same dates was $50.57 a day for a Kia Rio or similar economy car.
Dig for virtual discounts. Search for discounts and coupons on sites like Promotionalcodes.com and CouponWinner.com, or type in the name of a rental company and “coupon code” into Google to see what turns up. Rental car companies offer discount codes to members of frequent flier programs, and other organizations they partner with, including AAA, Costco and BJ’s, so check those sites if you’re a member. But don’t stop there. Most major car rental companies allow you to combine discount codes with a coupon code. For example, a full-size car from Hertz over Memorial Day weekend at Washington Dulles airport was $255.71 in a recent search. Plugging in the discount code 62455 for United Airlines frequent fliers and Hertz’s promotional coupon code, 168210, brought the price down to $160.02.
Track rates through Autoslash.com. This site, which continually checks for lower rates and coupons until your trip date, can be used in one of two ways: You can track the price of a rental booked elsewhere, or you can book directly through Autoslash, which currently works with Payless, Sixt, Fox and E-Z Rent-A-Car, and the site will apply any discounts it finds.
The drawback with the second option is limited inventory. Major companies don’t like the idea that Autoslash capitalizes on the fact that consumers can usually change or cancel car reservations at any time without penalty. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, as well as Hertz and Advantage, recently pulled its inventory from the site, as my colleague Ron Lieber recently reported. Enterprise, which owns National and Alamo, won’t let AutoSlash list its cars either.
Avoid the airport. Off-airport locations are typically cheaper than airport locations, which tend to tack on fees that can raise the price by 30 percent or more. For example, a compact rental from Hertz at Boston Logan International Airport over the Fourth of July weekend was recently listed at $50.49 a day, or $219 a week with taxes at Carrentals.com, a unit of Hotwire. By taking the subway to the Arlington stop and walking a couple of blocks to the local Hertz lot, a traveler could cut costs to $39.98 a day, or $146.65 with taxes for the week.
Reserve the car for longer than you need it. This may sound counterintuitive, but tacking an extra day on to that weekly rental or even adding a couple of hours to extend it over a weekend — with no intention of returning the car that late — can actually lower your rate. The strategy takes advantage of lower prices aimed at leisure travelers who are more likely to travel on weekends, said Marty Paz, a telecommunications manager from Las Vegas who has become something of a car rental pricing sleuth since he began avidly renting cars to pad his frequent flier account. (Last year alone he rented more than 100 vehicles, accumulating a quarter-million miles.)
Mr. Paz said you are essentially tricking the system into thinking you’re booking a two-day weekend rental, which typically has a lower base rate, with the goal of returning the car early. For example, the rate for a midsize car rental from Alamo at the Las Vegas International Airport, from noon on Thursday, June 7, to noon on Friday was recently listed on Alamo’s Web site for $35.95 (or a base rate of $27.27 plus $11.41 in taxes and fees). But extending the return time to 2 p.m. — two hours after the weekend rates “officially” kick in — drops the base rate to $15.18 a day. Though the overall estimated cost shows an additional $10.12 extra in hourly charges, you can still return the car at noon and get the lower rate, said Mr. Paz, who added, “Oops, you got there early.”
Negotiate. Even after you’ve booked the best possible rate, it can be worth swinging by the rental counter to see if you can finagle your way into a better car. “You don’t ask, you don’t get,” said Mr. Abrams, the rental car consultant. Success with this strategy can depend on everything from the type and number of cars on the lot to the mood of the clerk, he added. But some companies are happy to put you in a bigger, or less popular, vehicle for the cost of a compact — if it’s in their interest.
“I frequently need minivans for the volunteer activities I do with teens,” said Marty Paz, the car-rental rate hacker, who has noticed by perusing the parking lot that there is often a glut of minivans at one location he frequently rents from on the weekend. “Often times I’ve reserved an economy car for a Friday and just offered graciously: ‘If there’s a van, I’ll take that. I don’t mind,’ and for the price of the economy car I get the minivan.” (A larger vehicle, of course, will require more fuel.)
Prepay. Taking a page from hotels, rental car companies are offering discounts of up to 20 percent to travelers willing to prepay. In a recent search for weekly rentals at Boston Logan International Airport in mid June, for example, Hertz was offering economy cars for $173 a week at the “pay now” rate. The “pay later” rate was about $30 more. The trade off for locking in a low-rate? Cancellation penalties ranging from $10 with Budget to $50 if canceling within 24 hours with Hertz. And don’t forget about Priceline.com and Hotwire.com, which offer deep discounts to travelers willing to be locked into a preset price before finding out the rental car company.
2/14/13, the Hufffington Post rated Bozeman as one of the top 5 International gay travel destinations. There are some faults in the brief blog post from, namely the tow mentioned local businesses, The Robin and Boodles, have been out of business for over 3-years. Oh well, glad to see that Bozeman is getting some well deserved press for being as open-minded and welcoming as we actually are. One thing the blog post did have right and that is “the whole point of being in Bozeman is not being in Bozeman.” Check out the full Huffington Post article.
As we recommend to all visitors who come to Bozeman, go downtown and visit the wonderful, locally owned shops on Main street. Spend an evening on the town- eat at Montana Ale Works or the Emerson or somewhere else local, have drinks at the Baccus or Plonk- then get out of town. Bozeman is a very cosmopolitan town and has many wonderful offerings- by Montana standards. Chances are if you are a visitor to Bozeman you have better restaurants, nightlife, shopping, and music then we do here. However, this is not why you come to Bozeman. You come to enjoy the spectacular offerings you do not have at home: mountains, skiing, Yellowstone National Park, rivers, lakes, etc. Get out and enjoy!
P.S. Having hosted a number of my gay friends in Bozeman, singles be warned, there are not many other singles out there and you have to look hard to find.
FORT WORTH, TX—American Airlines and US Airways stunned the aviation industry Thursday upon announcing the two air travel titans have combined in an $11 billion merger that sources say will unite the industry powerhouses into the world’s largest and most complete pain in the ass. “Today we embark upon a bold and unprecedented new venture into customer frustration,” American CEO Tom Horton said of the historic alliance, which analysts predict will pose an immediate threat to rivals United and Delta in the air travel industry’s key areas of flight delays, lost luggage, and useless customer service. “When you take our general administrative incompetence and integrate it with our new partner’s long-proven inability to meet flyers’ needs in any capacity, you’ve got a brilliant new model in passenger aggravation and travel plan disruption. This truly will be the leading entity in the hassle industry.” Horton also confirmed the new multi-billion-dollar headache hopes to fuck up more than 4,000 flights a day.
What is the best car rental agency in Bozeman, reviews
We decided to do a little research on publicly posted reviews of the car rental agencies in Bozeman. Most of what we can find is via Yelp.com and Google Places/ Local. Below you will find copied text directly from Yelp and Google (and wherever else available) as well as screen shots and links. Please note these were all captured 2/13/13, and of course subject to change. Use as you see fit. We will soon do another post comparing the pricing of all rental car agencies in Bozeman.
If one is to judge reviews posted on the internet, here are the results. 1) Phasmid Rentals. TOTAL: 63-points
Budget Rent-A-Car”I get annoyed when you get to the counter of a rental car place only to find out that they don’t have the type of car you reserved and payed for. I had paid for a full size car only to be greeted with a Chevy Cruz. Being on vacation and trying to go with the flow- I gave it a shot- even though I was pretty sure it was a compact car. It was, so I went back in to the counter. Matt at the desk was helpful, but still tried to tell me that was all that was available, and luckily a Chevy Impala had just gotten cleaned– a full size car was now mine for the week (thanks to Matt) just like I had reserved. I would not call the car clean, but after I wiped down the inside we were good to go.” Yelp reviews Budget, Bozeman
Here is the lone posted Google review of Budget Rent A Car Bozeman:
“We had a confirmation for a Grand Cherokee 4WD or similar. We got a Hyundai Santa Fe which is a boring car in all repects (and sold new at a lower price than the Grand Cherokee). Budget argued that both cars were in the same category and that they had no alternative to offer. We were extremely disappointed, especially after having rented a Grand Cherokee from Budget in Toronto the day before. We’ll think twice before renting from Budget again.”
Hertz is by far the biggest rental car agency at the Bozeman Airport. At one stage (not sure if it is true anymore), Bozeman was Hertz’s most profitable franchise in the entire Northwest. Anyway, here are the Yelp reviews of Hertz Bozeman:
There are some very shocking reviews/ statements of the Bozeman Airport Hertz franchise. Overall of 7-reviews gained a 2-star average. Here is an excerpt from one: “I will never rent from this Hertz location again. My friends and I rented a car from here. We had a 7:00am flight out of the airport, and so we arrived at the airport at ~5:45am and left the car in the designated off hours rental car drop off area. The desk wasn’t open (which it should have been at that time as the security line was already ~30 minutes long for a very normal time for a morning flight – 7am…). When we arrived home, we received a call saying that we left the car with thousands of dollars of damage, which is absolutely false. Another car in the parking lot must have hit us or something.
The parking lot either has no security cameras (which can’t be the case…it’s an airport where security is critical!), or Hertz is just too lazy to pull the tapes, so we are helpless to make a case. Completely ridiculous. Very poor management. No way I ever rent from these guys again.”
There are numerous reviews listed on Yelp of Hertz BZN charging for damage that the renters did not do to the vehicle as well as being overcharged at the rental counter.
There is one review posted via Google: A Google User reviewed 11 months ago
Very good customer service! Rented cars here two separate times during a vacation. Both reservations were for compact cars. I received a Subaru the first time, and the second, a brand new Camaro and didn’t have to pay a penny more! Fun and unexpected way to spend my last two days in Bozeman. Only downside is the limited mileage policy. Very nice service representatives.”
This company shows no loyalties towards its long time returning customers. Everytime I rent from them they come up with some bogus charge days after I return the car. I would advise anybody looking to rent a car to go elsewhere.
Was just notified 2 days after I returned my rental car that I am being charged for a rock chip in the window…this will be the last time I or or company ever rent with National/Alamo
I’ve heard from multiple sources that these guys will look to nickel and dime you every way they can. I would advise you to take your business elsewhere!!
Quality Poor to fair
Shady business practices. Charged me for something several days after I returned my car. “We noticed it a few days later.” Thank you for being the worst place to rent from!”
Thrifty at the Bozeman Airport was certainly once thought to be a very strong franchise. We found 2-reviews on Yelp for Thrifty Car Rentals Bozeman. One of these in particular, is pretty rough:
“Don’t do it. I like the poeple who run the joint but Thrifty Rent A Car are unethical and ruthless.
I rented a car and got a flat tire driving on the highway. No off road, no dougnuts in the driveway. When I returned the car the staff said no problem and had me fill out an incident report.
I’ve since received a bill for a new tire and “administrative fees”!
What!!!!!!!!! Your tire blows out and I have to pay for it? Why am I responsible for normal wear and tear on your vehicle? Even if I do have to pay for the tire what about the 20,000 miles it had on it? Why do I have the privilege of buying a new tire and paying you an admin fee on top of that?
Would my family have to pay for my funeral AND the tire if I went off the road from the blowout? Can they charge you an admin fee from the funeral home?
I’ve since checked to see if I’m responsible for this on the web and, to be fair, the results are mixed. However the overwhelming number of complaints on http://www.consumeraffai… from rental companies are about Thrifty.
Local owner dude you are probably O.K. but find another company franchise because Thrifty are scumbags.”
Google Reviews, Thrifty BZN:
“Overall Poor to fair
I have never taken the time to right a review before, but given the negative experience I felt compelled. I travel to Bozeman often on business and have found it convenient to pick up a rental at the airport. I have used Thrifty because my company has a great rate with them. I called today to extend my rental two days and was told “no way…I need that car back at 4pm”. When I asked why the manager could not extend she said “…its Labor Day weekend we are over booked and that rate is way too low”. I’m not objecting to Thrifty making money – but don’t treat a customer poorly b/c you didn’t manage your reservations properly. How about suggesting other rental car companies that might have availability? Her rude behavior has insured that I won’t ever use Thrifty again (in Bozeman and elsewhere) and I spend 70-80% of my time on the road.”
Avis is the second largest franchise at the Bozeman Airport next to Hertz, even though still roughly half the size. Overall one star from Yelp and Poor to Fair from Google. They only have one review listed on Yelp for Avis Bozeman, Airport. Granted, not a good review: “Avoid at all costs. The most uncooperative staff I have ever dealt with.” However, being that they are the second biggest at BZN and only have 1-review is maybe a good sign? Looking at the lone posted Google Review, one may think differently.
“AVIS Rental Car in Bozeman Montana Airport, is seriously the worst rental experience in my life. I had a reservation that was made through my insurance company for a Premium Car, when I arrived to get the car I got a Mid Size car, which I would classify as a compact car. A Chevy Cruze. When I called two days before the reservation to find out what type of car I was getting I was told a Lincoln Town Car or Cadillac. This was a far cry from one of those. I have 3 children I need to haul around town, plus two huge band instruments including a Tuba. Monday was fun taking the kids to school. I went to return the car two days early stating that I had to rent something else because it was not big enough I didn’t get a I am sorry or hello or anything. I got a lady in the office making faces at me and the young guy at the counter not saying a word. Just typing something into the computer and then giving me my paper work. I then went next door to the Enterprise counter and rented a bigger vehicle. From the very beginning I never got a hello how are you, how is your day, I got nothing. To be treated rudely and then to be placed in an unwanted car was just unexceptable.”
Phasmid Rentals is an off-airport rental car agency located about a mile east of the Bozeman Airport. They are an independent rental car agency in business since 2010. Phasmid rents Chevrolet Suburbans and Subaru Outbacks only. Both new vehicles and used vehicles. Phasmid Rentals is the only Yelp listed review for Bozeman that is positive. Two Yelp reviews are listed, both 5-stars. Additionally, we noticed on their Yelp review page that they had numerous ‘filtered reviews‘. Upon entering the Captcha code we found 11 additional reviews for Phasmid Rentals. 10 were 5-star reviews, 1 was a 4-star review.
Here is one Yelp review:” This is an excellent company. They will not only rent you a clean, new, vehicle (I had an Outback which was like new) but also any gear you need. Fishing rods, coolers, tents, bear spray and prob anything else you need.
Nice personal touch as you will be picked up at baggage claim and don’t have to deal with an anonymous corporation. The owner, Will, is also an excellent source of info for your trip/vacation.
All at competitive prices. I will use again.”
Looking at Google reviews, there seems to be the same positive thoughts for this rental car company.
“I really want to help see this business grow, because Bozeman Rental Cars/ Phasmid is hands down the best rental car agency I have ever used. I rent from them pretty regularly for business and am always pleased with the Subaru Outback they give me, the fact they know my name and have a super easy contract, there is no waiting in line, no going through the airport hassle, etc. This is the way renting a car should be!”
“Way better than any franchise experience, and a great locally owned company.”
Ressler Rentals is a Toyota Rent-a-Car franchise based about 12-miles south of the Bozeman Airport. They offer all new models of Toyota vehicles to rent, with airport delivery service. Although they do not have any Yelp reviews, they do have numerous positive reviews on Google, both with an Excellent overall rating:
“Ressler is such a great place to rent cars in Bozeman! I rent regularly for business and the service is always excellent! The cars are also in great shape and price is a good value, especially compared to the options at the airport!”
“Tanya was great made sure my rental was ready to go for my vacation and that i could easily drop it off when i was heading out of time…”
Journey Rent-a-Car is the newest off-airport rental car agency in Bozeman. They are located roughly 10-miles south of Bozeman Airport at the Carriage House car wash. Journey rents used vans, cars (example Chevy Malibu), and Suburbans. They offer airport shuttle service. Although no Yelp reviews have been made (no Yelp listing was even found for their business), they have very positive Google reviews as well.
“Excellent experience. The best value for a large SUV and the reservation process was seamless. They were at the airport when we arrived and brought us back at our convenience. They had the paperwork ready when we got to their so I just signed and was on my way. GREAT JOB!! Will defeinitely use them again on our next visit.”
“Journey Rentacar was great. Incredibly accommodating to my schedule for both the pick up and the drop off. Very helpful in adding a ski pod to the top of the car at the last second. Very well priced. Would definitely recommend to anyone i know needing a car in the area. Thank you again”
“Journey Rentacar was outstanding to work with! Josh was super helpful to our hunting crew and we got the best rates around on a Ford 12 person Van. Thanks Journey!”
Journey, 30 Homestake Dr. Bozeman, Mt 59718(406) 551-2277
Enterprise has a location at the Bozeman Airport and also an off-airport location downtown. Recently, Expedia and other search engines are positing ‘Shuttle to location’ via rental car searches for BZN. Their off-airport location is just west of downtown Bozeman on Main Street, about 14-miles from BZN. Enterprise does not have any Yelp reviews. However, seemingly like the other franchise rental car agencies in Bozeman, has negative Google reviews, although they do also have one positive review. Enterprise Airport does not have Yelp or Google reviews.
“Watch out for this company!!! We live in Bozeman, Mt. After renting a vehicle recently at the Main Street location, we were told that we couldn’t have “unlimited miles” and would only be allowed 200 miles a day with 25 cents for each mile over, because of a new law in montana, we were also told that none of the companies in Montana were offering unlimited mileage. We trusted the agent but after checking with the other car rental companies in the area we found out that the Enterprise agent was lying to us. All of the other car rental companies offered free unlimited miles and told us there is no such law. We will never rent from Enterpise again. Please be careful if you decide to do business with these people.”
“I needed a rental for several days while my California car was being repaired here in Bozeman after it broke down while touring Yellowstone. After having the car towed to Bozeman, I rented a Bozeman Enterprise car on Sat., available only for two days. It had to be returned 8 AM on Mon, which I did. I was promised at the time, (and on the very first day by female Rep.) a second car would be available for me today, Tues. I called this morning (Tues) for a pickup at my near-by hotel but was told by the male Rep there was no record of my reservation and that no car would be available for me until Wed afternoon at best. Not only did they screw this up, but to add insult to injury, the Rep didn’t even offer an apology for the inconvenience. I even had to press him to put my name down for the very next available car if one was returned today. In contrast, everyone else I’ve had to deal with since my car’s breakdown in Yellowstone has been friendly, helpful, efficient and considerate of my circumstances.”
“I rent A LOT of rental cars,(travel for my job)Therefor I have used just about every company out there. Enterprise is The BEST by far. They have great service and honest people who will take the time to look for what is best for THEIR customers. I ALWAYS refer my friends and family to rent from the Main street office in Bozeman MT. So, if your coming for a visit our beautiful state, or just need a car for a day..Enterprise Rental car’s are the one to call. A Loyal Customer A.N. Flores P.S the airport Location Also has great service too.”
Enterprise Airport 850 Gallatin Field Rd #7 Bozeman, MT 406-388-7420
1238 W MAIN ST
BOZEMAN, MT 59715-3254
Tel.: (406) 586-8010
There are no Yelp reviews for Alamo’s Bozeman Airport location. Their are two Google reviews posted for Alamo, both with a Poor to Fair rating. “Was just notified 2 days after I returned my rental car that I am being charged for a rock chip in the window…this will be the last time I or or company ever rent with National/Alamo”
“Quality Poor to fair”
Alamo 5 Gallatin Field Rd Belgrade, MT 59714 406-388-4457
We are pretty they exist as they have paid their concession fees to the Bozeman Airport, however, we cannot find any reviews on Yelp or Google for the Bozeman Airport Location. They are the smallest on-airport rental car agency at BZN, posting only a 2.2% market share. Perhaps with the reviews of other on-airport rental car agencies, no news is good news.
Dollar Car Rental
850 Gallatin Field Road,
We have just heard of a person taking an introductory flight class with Summit Aviation at BZN. $69 for a half-hour, hands on flight course. Just to get up in the plane and see the mountains from a different level is totally worth it. Sign us up, this sounds AWESOME.
We have been hearing about it for a while now, and rumor has it construction will start soon. A recent conversation with Belgrade Chamber of Commerce divulged the construction plans for a new I-90 straight into BZN interchange. The plan looks likes it will cross through the TMC Gravel Pit (where will all the roosting geese go?) and straight into the current airport entrance. Meanwhile, a temporary road will be built west of the airport.
How will this effect the airport and surrounding businesses? Well, traffic on Frontage road, Bozeman to BZN will certainly decrease. I would venture a guess for residents of downtown Bozeman, taking the 7th street exit to Frontage Rd to the Airport will still be the best option. Those west of town, in the sprawl behind 19th may take Valley Center to Alaska to the airport? Certainly, those coming from West of the airport (all 12 of them) will use the new exit, because let’s be honest, the Amsterdam Road through Belgrade exit takes all of 5-minutes. Clearly the $37-million interchange is of less value…
We all know majority of airport users are heading right down Jackrabbit to Big Sky and West Yellowstone. Maybe they will use the new interchange to hop on I90, drive 1-mile (dodging 70-mph Semis), and then exit off to Jackrabbit?
At one stage we heard the Federal Government pulled $5-million of funding, however, it seems everything is back on track. As it was explained to us, TMC will get there own direct gravel pit access (great news as having their trucks pull out onto Frontage rd can be terrifying), the Railroad will lose 2-whistle stops, and BZN gets a direct portal from the highway.
The airport authority is posting $3-million to this project, and they are likely the only benefiting parties. All for the creation of jobs, but building for the sake of building isn’t the most logical move in this humble servants opinion. I would think that $3-million, heck the $37-million, would be much better spent on advertising and promotion of Bozeman as a tourist destination!
Shared from the ‘Official’ Bozeman Airport website:
BZN Announces expanded summer 2013 New York Service
February 4, 2013
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) today announced a fifty percent increase in non-stop flights to New York/Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) for the summer season 2013 compared to summer 2012. Located just 14 miles from Manhattan, EWR serves the entire New York-New Jersey metropolitan area. The flights will be operated by United Airlines.
United will operate the service using Airbus A319/A320 aircraft in a two-class configuration. Flights will operate twice weekly; Saturday flights will operate June 22, 2013 through August 31, 2013. Sunday flights will operate June 30, 2013 through August 25, 2013. Flights are scheduled to depart EWR at 8:25 a.m. and arrive BZN at 11:07a.m. The return flights are scheduled to depart BZN at 12:00 p.m. and arrive EWR at 6:00 p.m.
These flights are made possible by the cooperation and contribution of 17 entities through the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce, Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and the Yellowstone Club in conjunction with a Department of Transportation Small Community Air Service Development Grant (SCASDG).
United also operates year-round service between BZN and Denver, with seasonal service to Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
About Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport
Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport serves as a year-round gateway to Yellowstone National Park. BZN also serves the recreation areas of Big Sky Resort, Moonlight Basin and the Bridger Bowl Ski Area as well as the business centers of Bozeman, Belgrade and Livingston and higher education at Montana State University. For more information about Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport go to http://www.bozemanairport.com
United Airlines and United Express operate an average of 5,472 flights a day to 381 airports across six continents. In 2012, United and United Express carried more passenger traffic than any other airline in the world and operated nearly two million flights carrying 140 million customers. United is investing in upgrading its onboard products and now offers more flat-bed seats in its premium cabins and more extra-legroom economy-class seating than any airline in North America. In 2013, United became the first U.S.-based international carrier to offer satellite-based Wi-Fi on long-haul overseas routes. The airline also features DIRECTV® on nearly 200 aircraft, offering customers more live television access than any other airline in the world. United operates nearly 700 mainline aircraft and has made large-scale investments in its fleet. In 2013, United will continue to modernize its fleet by taking delivery of more than two dozen new Boeing aircraft. The company expanded its industry-leading global route network in 2012, launching nine new international and 18 new domestic routes. Business Traveler magazine awarded United Best Airline for North American Travel for 2012, and readers of Global Traveler magazine have voted United’s MileagePlus program the best frequent flyer program for nine consecutive years. United is a founding member of Star Alliance, which provides service to 194 countries via 27 member airlines. More than 85,000 United employees reside in every U.S. state and in countries around the world. For more information, visit united.com or follow United on Twitter and Facebook. The common stock of United’s parent, United Continental Holdings, Inc., is traded on the NYSE under the symbol UAL.
Cheaper parking with better service for BZN does exist
Off-airport parking is nothing new, but it is now for the Bozeman Airport
Recently our ‘sources’ have brought to our attention a company that is offering discounted airport parking for BZN. Well, this is not exactly true- but it is pretty close. We recently had a chat with Will Casella, owner of the off-airport rental car and gear agency Phasmid Rentals who is beyond this new company, Bozeman Park and Shine.
Unnofficial Bozeman Airport Guide (UBAG): So, please explain to me how and what Bozeman Park and Shine is?
Will Casella (WC): Well, even though parking at the Bozeman Airport is pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things ($7/ day for ‘economy’ and $10/ day for ‘premium’) it is still paying for nothing, and that bothers me. Especially in the winter when your flight arrives at 11:00pm and you are worried if a) your car is going to start b) if you will break your leg walking across the parking lot, and c) if you can even find your car buried under 3-feet of snow. And to have the opportunity to pay for such a privilege! So I figured there has to be a better way.
Discounted off-airport parking exists at pretty much every other airport in the world, however, there are a couple of issues at hand with the Bozeman Airport that have led us to tweak our offerings away from standard cheap parking. First, the price. $7 per day is pretty reasonable. Charging less than that is tough to justify from a business perspective. Further, we just do not have the volume of parkers to get into the whole shuttle bus, cheap parking model. So we figured that instead of charging less for the same product, we will charge the same for a completely different product- and this is how Bozeman Park and Shine came about.
The first business I ever started was an Autodetailing business when I was 12, so cleaning cars is nothing new to me. So why not combine the convenience and reduced price of off-airport parking with something every one loves; a clean car and actually getting something for your money!
UBAG: So please explain to me how it works.
WC: First, you call or email in advance to schedule your drop-off. Next, at the appointed time you stop off at the office, right off of the Frontage road a mile and a half east of BZN. A member of our team then jumps in your car and drops you off at the departures terminal. On your return to Bozeman, call the office when your flight lands and a member of our team will pick you up right outside of arrivals in your freshly cleaned car. As a result: you no longer have to slip across an icey parking lot, you don’t have to worry about your car starting, and your car looks like new.
UBAG: This sounds luxurious! So how much does this cost?
WC: This is the thing, what we charge is the same price, or less, than what Bozeman Airport charges for parking only. Typically for a week of parking and a very thorough exterior hand car wash we charge $49- same price as the airport parking. Right now, until February 28, 2013 we are running a promo: $35 for up to a week of parking and an exterior car wash.
UBAG: That is a smoking good deal, especially considering I do not think there is an automatic car wash in Bozeman that is less than $10. Anyway, what if I do not care what the outside of your car looks like but want the inside cleaned?
WC: Not a problem. We handle everything from basic inside cleaning to full detailing. All for typically less than our auto detailing competitors. We are able to do this because our wash bay and cleaning goods are all paid for by our main business, the rental cars, lowering our operating costs. We also work with a number of local providers who are able to complete other tasks to your car while you are gone; windshield repair, oil changes, tires, and even mechanical repair. We can get all of those unpleasant things you have been putting off doing done- while you are away.
UBAG: So I can be playing golf in San Diego and you can be doing all of my dirty work. I like it, sign me up!
Bozeman Park and Shine is located at Phasmid Rentals, 32 Dollar Drive, Belgrade, MT 59714. www.BZNparking.com, info@BZNparking.com, 406-922-0178.
Information and resources for visitors to BZN, Bozeman, Big Sky, and Yellowstone