Fun Stuff

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places, Part 3: Craigslist Hookup Leads to Extortion and Stolen Rental Car


Country singer Johnny Lee is a favorite among the AutoSlash team. Well, he's a favorite of the older members of the AutoSlash team; the younger members are only familiar with him because I include his greatest hit in stories where relationships go awry and rental cars come into play. Two recent examples include a scenario where life wasn't great at the Super 8 and a pickup attempt gone awry at an Enterprise. Today's cautionary tale of "Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places" comes from Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, where a Craigslist hookup gone awry has resulted in charges of theft, extortion, and an arrest warrant from the Harrisburg Bureau of Police!

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Hertz and Uber Offer Prizes as Part of the Inaugural National Business Traveler Day

National Business Traveler Day

Ordinarily, we make fun of themed commemorative days. National Plan for Vacation Day was one exception because that's a strong reminder to think about summer vacation and even holidays as far distant as Thanksgiving, Hanukah, and Christmas early in the year while the most desirable vehicles are still available! After all, the best chance of getting the lowest rates on a rental is by booking as far in advance as possible (330 days). We then began to see ads for the inaugural National Business Traveler Day (NBTD) -- presented by Upside -- show up on our Facebook timelines. All the ads were for prizes related to first class upgrades but had no connection to rental cars at all. Yet the NBTD sweepstakes has many more partners including rental car companies and ride-hailing services, with a large number of prizes available.

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Every Rental Company has a Unique Code (Part 2)


In Part I yesterday, we left off with a quick brainteaser about matching the rental car company to their appropriate vendor code. Google was (and is) allowed (of course) but we wanted to provide a bit of a challenge. So if you haven't tried the match game yet, feel free to hop back to yesterday's post, break out a pencil, and come right back to see the answers below. So which two-character code matches which rental car company? More after the drop!

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Every Rental Company has a Unique Code (Part 1)

Breaking the Code

When you reserve a rental car or book airfare, cruises, or hotels, there's software on the back end that takes the information you requested and puts it into a specific format all major global travel providers are able to recognize. We talked about how the vehicle you reserve has standardized codes from a trade organization called ACRISS where every car can be represented in four characters - for instance, a standard convertible with automatic transmission and air conditioning gets converted to "STAR": S - standard, T - convertible, A - automatic transmission, R - air conditioning.

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Criminal Steals Rental Car for Long-Distance One-Way Trip, Surrenders Voluntarily When Done

Welcome to Montana

There's a reason rental car companies rarely offer after-hours returns in major cities today; rental car theft. When allowed, a renter returns keys in a dropbox but -- per the contract -- the renter is responsible for the vehicle until it's checked in by staff the next morning. The renter is also responsible for any extra day charges until the site reopens! We're not fans of unattended returns and a story out of Amherst, Massachusetts reiterates one reason why. The story starts on February 1, when an individual breaks into the dropbox for returns and makes off with a car.

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