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Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: davemchine
Date: March 22, 2013 11:43PM
I've always been a budget traveler but I'm ready to dabble in greater comfort. Lets starts with planes. I have significant back problems so a move to first class would possibly be helpful. I always fly Alaska and when I check their website it seems like the first class tickets are always gone even if I schedule way ahead of time. Am I missing something? Do I need to join some kind of "club" to get into first class? Educate me please.

For rental cars I also usually went with the cheapest. This time I went with enterprise because I heard they were better. I paid an extra $100 for a ten day rental. Unfortunately the service was poor and we were given a dirty car with ripped seats. I've contacted customer support so hopefully I will receive some compensation. Again, what should I do to get better service if I'm willing to spend a little more? Do I need to join some kind of car rental club?

Thanks for any advice. I've traveled a little bit but not a lot and always to the same locations. Kauai and Phoenix mostly.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: ADent
Date: March 23, 2013 12:28AM
I have always had the best experiences with Hertz and Avis.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: Drew
Date: March 23, 2013 12:43AM
FlyerTalk has numerous boards on most aspects of travel, including specific car rental and airline companies. That's where I go for travel questions. For example, here's a link to the Alaska Airlines board.

[www.flyertalk.com]
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: Thrift Store Scott
Date: March 23, 2013 02:40AM
I second the recommendation of Flyertalk.com for travel-related advice. If it can be complained about, someone there has complained about it in great detail, and if there are tricks to avoid the source of the complaint, someone there will post them.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: March 23, 2013 06:16AM
I typically use Hertz. I rarely have had an issue with a dirty car. You'll have to go up in car class to get something that's really comfortable.

Avoid the Chevy Cruze at all costs - this tends to be a common mid-size rental vehicle lately. Absolutely horrible, uncomfortable ride.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: samintx
Date: March 23, 2013 07:26AM
My travel agent gets me 1st class (business class) but then I book a year in advance.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: rgG
Date: March 23, 2013 08:42AM
Join the frequent flyer club of the airlines you fly most. That usually gets you better access to some of the perks.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: DP
Date: March 23, 2013 09:09AM
I have never had issues with Enterprise and I would recommend them. But they are franchises and it would be the management that lets dirty cars go out. And try a travel agent like sam says. They have faded with the internet but they can be very helpful especially when things don't always work as planned.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: March 23, 2013 09:42AM
I wish I could AFFORD to fly first class.




__________________________________
There’s a guy wearing overalls with no shirt.
Which I think we all know is the International uniform for the last guy you’ll ever see.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: davemchine
Date: March 23, 2013 02:19PM
Bazooka man, I understand. I only fly about three times a year and I've only recently decided the additional expense might be worthwhile. You may have read in my prior posts that I had back surgery last month after four years of difficulty. I wake up every morning and my first thought is "ow." That is the only reason I am considering first class. I do not mean to complain. I'm still upright, I'm walking further and further every day and physical therapy begins when I return from my anniversary vacation. So I have a lot to be grateful for. A month ago I thought I would need a cane. Now I'm walking again. So life is improving. Sorry to dump. Probably the meds making me talkative.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: March 23, 2013 03:20PM
1. Join Hertz Gold--better service, sometimes better prices, especially on weekends. If you qualify for AAA, AARP, etc., that will get you a discount. Or get best prices via Kayak.com, but then you can't get the Gold service (they drop you off closer to your car, no standing in line, etc.)

2. Airline--well, lots of folk like Alaska Air and Virgin Air; a few like JetBlue. On some of the lower tier airlines, if there are seats available, you can upgrade for $100/1000 miles. But most of the 1st class seats go to the frequent flyers who get automatic upgrades.
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Re: Travel advice, cars and planes
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: March 23, 2013 04:16PM
Is the bulkhead good enough? Can you reserve early enough to get it?
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