Flights To Jordan: Tourist Attractions You Should Know About

Petra, the capital of the Nabataean Arabs, is a city in Jordan that was carved into rock two thousand years ago. It remained unknown to the Europeans until the 19th century. This is the first impression of Jordan, a major tourist attraction.

Petra is known as the Rose-Red city and is a wonder of the world. There is a one kilometer path carved in the rocks, which is the only entry or exit point. Jordan has plethora of monuments in a wide range of architectural design. Temples and tombs are beautifully constructed by expert hands. They are made out of rare and priceless stone. Jordan is also a land of mesmerizing beauty and contrasts, from the Jordan Valley, which is fertile, and vivid, to the remote desert canyons of Wadi Rum, immunity and still.

Jordan also offers scenic wonders like the blue waters of the Red Sea, palm-filled lands and the lifeless Dead Sea. The Dead Sea, 392m (1286ft), is the lowest point on earth, and glistens by day and night in a dry landscape. One can have a delightful experience by visiting this attractive destination on flights to Jordan. Jordan is a safe place to be in and holiday goers should seriously consider visiting this land, given the rich history and striking ambience that makes it a paradise for tourists.

Flights to Jordan from International Destinations

Flights to Jordan from international destinations connect to Queen Alia International airport. The national carrier, Royal Jordanian, connects to cities worldwide. It offers daily flight into the city through the year. Other major airlines that serve Jordan are the Emirates, Qatar Airways and Turkish Airlines.

The best course of action while booking flights to Jordan is to look for good deals online, and choose one that suits you the best. Some websites offer comprehensive services, which include booking flight tickets, accommodation, transport while in the country and more. It might be a good idea to use such services for a completely hassle-free trip.

Book Affordable tickets to Jordan

There are various methods for booking affordable flights to Jordan. Getting in touch with an experienced travel site can be the first step towards getting cheap tickets.

Here are some additional tips when booking tickets

1. To be eligible for special offers and discounts, go with a particular airline.

2. Wait for the right moment to book tickets. The wait can sometimes get you drastically low prices.

3. Get round trip tickets, which can cut down the cost of travel.

4. Try getting tickets on a smaller airline. They sometimes are cheaper than bigger carriers.

5. There are savings in air travel costs for children, defense officials and senior citizens. Be sure to ask for them.



Source by Janet Jhon

How Did Punta Cana Get So Popular?

Punta Cana, located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, has become internationally renowned as a beautiful tropical vacation paradise with luxurious, eco-chic, value-priced, accommodations. In fact, Punta Cana has now become the #1 tourist destination in the entire Caribbean — and this amazing transformation has occurred over just 28 years! This news has been reported in many of the popular travel magazines and travel websites. I want you to know that this stat is based on REAL data, not just marketing hype. The stats are gathered by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, a non-profit which keeps close tabs on 29 countries in the Caribbean Region.

Below, I will discuss this data in more detail. My discussion will center around the data released in 2010 as the Caribbean Tourism Organization has not yet published the December stats for 2011 so there is not yet a complete data set for that year. However, if you study the data available for the first 11 months of 2011, the overall trends remain the same.

The Dominican Republic received more non-resident airport arrivals than any other country in the Caribbean, easily beating out Cuba, the second most popular tourist destination. The following is a quick reference list for you to view the top 10 Caribbean destinations along with the total number reported for non-resident airport arrivals:

1. Dominican Republic – 4,124,543

2. Cuba – 2,531,745

3. Cancun Mexico – 2,106,485

4. Jamaica – 1,921,678

5. Puerto Rico – 1,369,814

6. The Bahamas – 1,368,053

7. Aruba – 825,451

8. The US Virgin Islands – 691,194

9. Martinique – 476,492

10. St. Maartin – 443,136

Now, let’s break these stats down even more into European travel, US American travel, and Canadian travel. Europeans pick the Dominican Republic overwhelmingly as their #1 favorite Caribbean vacation spot. Their next favorite is Cuba. The United States has a close 4 way race between Cancun Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Cancun edges out the other 3 but the Dominican Republic gained 6.8% in just one year and this trend is continuing. Punta Cana is now the #1 destination within the Dominican Republic for US Americans, replacing Puerto Plata on the north coast, which used to be #1. Canadians also seem to really like the Dominican Republic, especially Punta Cana, choosing it as their second favorite Caribbean vacation spot after Cuba. Please note that United States residents are not allowed to travel to Cuba.

So, with this convincing data in mind, let me ask:

How did Punta Cana get so popular?

With many popular tourist destinations, it would be difficult to pin-point one specific thing that made the area soar in popularity. Not so with Punta Cana. On the Punta Cana coast, which stretches for about 39 miles from Bavaro in the north to Cap Cana in the south, there is one easily identifiable event that took place in 1984 that changed literally everything and completely transformed this region into the mega-popular tourist destination it is today.

Do I have your curiosity piqued yet? Keep reading…

Punta Cana is absolutely gorgeous. It offers expansive silky white sandy beaches with a warm sparkling blue sea lapping along its shoreline. It is so inviting it calls you in – some say it even “seduces” you. When you add to that the thick grove of coconut palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze along the entire coast in this region, you have the iconic Caribbean paradise seen on post-cards sent to those back home who weren’t lucky enough to go on the trip but who will surely wish they had.

However, before 1984 few people really knew about this tropical gem. It remained largely undiscovered by most world travelers until the construction of the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). In Spanish, the official language of the Dominican Republic, this international airport is called, “Aeropuerto Internacional de Punta Cana.”

You see, no matter how spectacular a place is, if you have no convenient and reasonably priced way to reach the area, it won’t be seen by many people. Before the Punta Cana International Airport was built, the tiny air strip that had been built in 1971 could not handle the large size jet planes. Furthermore, in order to get there from another country, you had to fly into Santa Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, and then endure a 4 hour bumpy bus or taxi ride to Punta Cana. The unpaved road was narrow and full of gigantic potholes. The road would also wash out in heavy rains and motorized vehicles were sometimes held up by horse traffic, making the pace miserable for weary travelers wanting to get to their hotel.

The air traffic of the PUJ has grown by leaps and bounds and is on course this year (2012) to serve more than 4 million people! It now receives far more traffic than the next busiest airport in the capital of Santo Dominigo. There is no other privately funded airport in the world that even comes close to this degree of business success.

People come to Punta Cana from all over the world now. International airlines that serve the Punta Cana Airport are Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, Delta, JetBlue, KLM, Spirit, United, US Airways, and Westjet. USA 300, recently defunct (as of January 30, 2012), was established by Apple Vacations and served PUJ for a long time as well. Canadian charter airlines to the Punta Cana Airport include Air Transat, Sunwig, Skyservice, and Canjet. They run during the cold bleak Canadian winters.

So, an area that began with very humble beginnings about 4 decades ago, now commonly provides beds for more than 70,000 people at one time. Punta Cana has definitely established itself as one of the top places world travelers think of going. And… there’s no end in sight for the growth of this area. The approximately 39 mile Punta Cana coast has essentially been a “gold rush” for the major hotel corporations, especially the Spanish owned ones, since the area was opened up by the international airport. Classy high rise resorts, perfectly sited to take advantage of the view, have sprung up almost overnight. The infrastructure has also vastly improved as money for big projects has poured in.

The Europeans and the Canadians seemed to have “discovered” Punta Cana before the US Americans did. However, over the last 10-15 years, the US Americans have been rapidly catching up. In fact, this has happened at such a quick rate, entire resorts have been built to cater specifically to the US Americans as the customs of the Europeans and the Americans sometimes clash a bit within the resorts, although some US Americans prefer the European ambiance.

US Americans and Canadians in the Eastern Standard Time Zone can depart on a direct flight in the morning and arrive in Punta Cana by mid-day with no jet lag as the time zones are the same, except during daylight savings time when it is only one hour different. Even a trip from the west coast of the United States or Canada is a relatively easy trip when you compare it to other equally exotic destinations.

The Punta Cana Airport also fits in nicely with the Dominican landscape and makes a nice first impression when tourists enter the country. It has an open-air design with a picturesque thatched roof made of palm fronds. All of the materials used to build the airport were brought in from local sources including palm, local wood, and native coral. This was a very intentional effort by Frank Rainieri and the other investors in Grupo Punta Cana who privately funded the airport. Since they were under-funded for a project of this magnitude, Frank Rainieri approached a Dominican architecture major at Pratt University. He agreed to do it at no charge to establish a name for himself. He has since become quite famous and has been paid well for other projects in the Dominican Republic.

Originally, Grupo Punta Cana attempted to get the Dominican Republic government to fund, or at least partially fund, the building of the international airport but after 8 years they found they had to fund it privately entirely on their own. They should be credited for their vision and persistence because a privately funded airport of this magnitude had never been built before. They did have the much needed approval and cooperation of the Dominican Republic government though or the project would have never gotten off the ground.

So, there you have it. The tourism success of the Punta Cana coast hinged on one thing: building an international airport capable of giving tourists easy and affordable access to this beautiful paradise. It took incredible vision and perseverance.



Source by Alexander Tilanus

Cheap Miami Flights Worth Your Money

Money is precious and no traveler would like to waste their hard-earned cash on substandard deals and inferior service given by any airline. For that purpose a list of famous and trusted airlines with cheap offers has been made for the sake of convenience of travelers. Now cheap Miami flights often tend to go low on the service quality. We believe that all travelers deserve special treatment and quality. For that purpose, it is always smart to consult guides like this information for better flights. If you are going to Miami then here are some cheap Miami flights worth every dime in your wallet. Satisfaction is warrantied.

Miami is the city of warm sunshine and summer fun. Most travelers visit this state during the winters. The warmth and coziness offered by this city is found no where else. That is why most airlines tend to take advantage of this situation and offer high priced deals that average travelers can not afford to buy. We do not want our travelers to suffer such burdens on their budgets. Therefore here are several cheap Miami flights worth your hard-earned money.

US Airways offers one of the best discounts on a Miami flight. At a low-rate like $ 261, who knew they could actually afford a non-stop flight to Miami? One of the best features of this airline is its mileage counting. If you are a regular traveler of this service, you are likely to receive bounties and other provisions after completing certain mileage counts. At such a low rate, you can easily manage to go to Miami and, also, come back. That means the easiest and most affordable trip for you and your loved ones.

Delta Airlines is famous for its cordial staff and delicious food. If you are planning to go to Miami then consider their cheapest and lowest tickets offered. At an affordable $ 282, you are promised a relaxing journey to the city full of vibrant colors and cultural diversity. Departures usually take place at night for the sake of convenience of the travelers. Arrivals take place in the morning. Stops are made at several city capitals. You can buy gifts and other sweet items for your loved ones on your way. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided at designated times. Friendly staff assures you of a peaceful journey worth every cent of your money.

Continental Airlines offers the cheapest deals along with the best services for tickets to Miami. True to its reputation, it continues to provide its passengers with premium quality and impressive service. With tickets that range from $ 230 to $ 430, it does sound a little expensive for the common middle-class traveler but it promises the best of service and the smoothest of journeys. That makes it worth your time and money. Services like food, movies on-air, comfortable seats and other caring hosts and hostesses make your trip memorable.

United Airlines offers perfect deals at the cheapest rates on different and special occasions for instance The Puerto Rico Carnival. Cheap tickets from Miami can help you reach your dream land of South American excitement and festivity. With cheap offers like $ 230 to $ 280, you are guaranteed the best and easiest trips to the hub of delirious fun and color. United Airlines remains famous for light trips and easy airfare. No wonder it continues to rank among the highest and most well-respected airlines in the United States of America.

Aeropostal makes your traveling lighter, easier and cheaper. With offers like $ 190 to Miami, you could not ask for less. This airline is famous for its scrumptious food, informative staff and on-air entertainment programs like movies, board games and other amusing activities. If you are a student, the airline promises to offer you special discounts. Amiable staff and confident pilots make sure your trip is an easy and enjoyable one. You can even avail to other special offers. These offers include free mileage count and other opportunities you would love to try.

It is really especially anticipated that you enjoy your trip to Miami. Always remember to stay safe by consulting local travel guides for more information related to your trip to Miami. Remember to spend money on the right airlines. Never settle for less.



Source by Lucille Jewett

Airline Reservation – Travel at Low Airfares

Every individual needs an opportunity to go on a vacation once in a while which is why large numbers of people are going on vacations. However, going and planning for vacations can be a bit stressful when it comes to finance, particularly when going when airplanes are concerned. With the airfares going higher day by day, it looks, the cost for airline reservation can turn out to be too much, particularly when going out with the whole family. It is quite feasible to look at the budget of air travel prior to airline reservation as budget airfares enable you to fly wherever you want without added expenses. Large numbers of air lines are opting for the budget airfare travel to keep flying costs low and to attract more and more people towards their airline.

If possible to make airline reservation 14 days before the schedule date, as you may find lower rates of tickets. Or, try to make your airline reservation as early as possible to take full benefits of the super low fares that various airlines offer. As the earlier you will book the tickets the more time you will get to compare air fares amongst different airlines. Moreover, you can also check for more discounts on internet for airline reservation which also includes hotels and cab reservation. There are some great packages that could definitely save your loads of money.

Always remember, before you do airline reservation, make certain that you have looked at the airlines routes and also the total time it will take to reach the destination. Sometimes, you may secure low air fare if you change flights for one or more than one time. Once the air line reservation is done, hang on for the verification email that you may receive shortly after paying for the tickets. Various airlines also have e-ticketing arrangements that allow you to print your ticket at home. However, in any case make sure that you keep all the information at safe place and reconfirm the take off and landing day and dates and times.

There are various travel agencies that offer the facility of air line reservation for various destinations, but takes loads of commission for booking the ticket. However booking with an agent can be quite expensive but it lessens the burden of standing in queues and waiting for the reply and ticket print out.

In addition, like the airline reservation hotel reservation is also very essential before going on a holiday, as some hotels remain booked almost in every season and due to which you may have to seek foe the hotel after reaching the destination, which may take your loads of time and money as well. Book the hotel in the off season and when doing hotel reservation make sure to book a room with adequate number of beds required, and also verify the total price including service charges and taxes.

Many hotels do not include taxes in the room rate, so calculate your total hotel price. Furthermore, inquire for any other costs involved as well. Make proper airline reservation and hotel reservation and enjoy maximum of your holidays.



Source by Kengism Gradem

The Best Options for an Overnight Stay at a Stansted Airport Hotel

With relationships living in Denmark, my family and I often take the short flight from Stansted to Billund in Denmark for holidays or family celebrations. Flights to Denmark from Stansted are with Ryanair which means more often than not the flights departs at 7am. For years, I used to pack up the family and car and drive round the M25 at 4am in the morning so I could make a check in at 5.30am. As you can imagine this is not fun especially with young kids. When I realized that it did not break the bank to stay in a hotel the night before my flight, things became a lot easier.

Over recent years, I have stayed in all the branded hotels serving Stansted; these include the Hilton, Premier Inn, Express Holiday Inn and the Radisson Blu. So when we talk about an airport hotel and what's most important to us, it comes down to price, price to the airport, transfers, price, parking options and lastly PRICE.

The best deals I've had are all at the Premier Inn; quite often I have paid under £ 30 for a double room that normally includes an extra single bed. To get that price you need to plan ahead and pre book in advance; if you do not prices will creep up to £ 55 or even £ 70-80 if you turn up on the day. I can not fault the Premier Inn in Stansted, it's a reasonably priced new hotel with a good bar / coffee bar and restaurant, the rooms are clean and of course. Transfers run every 30 minutes and cost £ 3 each way and the transfer bus takes 4-5 minutes. Located next door to the Premier Inn is the Express Holiday Inn.They share the transfer bus with Premier Inn and are opposite the Mid Stay Parking lot. Again, good deals can be found if you pre book in advance, £ 45 for a double room is a pretty good price and quite often you can get offers that include your breakfast for free.

The Hilton hotel was always my preferred choice when I first started staying the night before my flight. The staff are very helpful and the restaurant has a really good buffet style arrangement. The hotel is in a quiet location, even though it's located within 5 minutes transfer time of the terminal. The Hilton has a small gym and an indoor swimming pool; this was great for the kids until the hotel made a rule about certain times kids can use the pool.

The best hotel by far is the Radisson Blu, located right next to the terminal. Its convenient location means you can actually walk to the terminal within a few minutes. The hotel has large, comfortable rooms and a good selection of restaurants within its open plan atrium.

Eating at the hotels restaurants has the added bonus of great views of the nightly acrobat show. This was a fascinating surprise to me the first time I stayed at the Radisson. There is a 19 meter column reaching the roof, containing the hotels wine bottles. Every so often, the bar girls will strap themselves into harnesses and start flying up towards the roof to pick out the wine, doing cartwheels and somersaults as they go.

Entertainment aside, the Radisson is a fabulous hotel although of course you have to pay a little more for your stay. I've paid £ 130 for a double room, but quite often I have seen offers for as little as £ 70 which I think is a great deal considering the close proximity of the hotel to the terminal.



Source by John J Cooper

Los Angeles

Come … know the city of los angeles

Los Angeles, nicknamed 'The City of Angels' is the second largest city in the United States. The name Los Angeles has a Spanish origin where Los means 'The' in Spanish and Angeles mean 'Angels'. Historically this famous city was founded in 1781 by the then Spanish Governor Felipe de Neve. Today it is like every one's dream to be there at least once in his lifetime. Los Angeles has some famous streets whose names you can not fail to hear: Sunset Boulevard, that takes you from the ocean to downtown Los Angeles, Santa Monica Boulevard, the Rodeo drive and many others. It also has some famous neighborhoods like Beverly Hills, Malibu, Santa Monica and of course the absolutely-not-miss-able, the name that every one genetically knows 'Hollywood'. The list goes on …

Los Angeles is located in the southern part of the state of California and has a huge population of around 3.8 million according to the recent estimates. Today this city is the buzzword for glitz, glamour, media, art, business and economy. The racial mix in Los Angeles has one of the highest diversity in the world.

The population here has an explosive growth. People form various backgrounds and countries head to Los Angeles for name, fame and money. Owning to this intense diversity in the population, which is ever expanding with time, the languages ​​prevalent here is also diverse. Along with that, this shift and movement of people has a very deep reaching effect on the economy of any place. Due to a shell of glamor, glitz and fashion, the economy of Los Angeles may seem unaffected by and changes around it but benefit this shell even the city's economy is closely entwined with even the smallest of factors.

Economy of the city.

Southern California has always been the incubation pot for new and revolutionary ideas in the United States. So, you can already guess Los Angeles has been a seat of unparallel economic growth. It stands second in the volume and density of automobile industries after Detroit. Almost all the famous automobile companies have design centers located in Los Angeles. It is the largest Pacific port in United States and the doorway to international trade with developed Pacific cities such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. It has the largest airport on the pacific coast of United States. So, it must already be clear to you that the economy of Los Angeles is a symbol of America's prosperity.

There are many new commercial development projects that are either happening or are soon to be launched. The new network of all the transcontinental railway routes for trade and cargo will have Los Angeles as a final terminus. Biotech industries have started establishing new bases here along with the old ones they already had.

But beneath this high economic status of this city, the conditions of the people are a little different. The unemployment rate here is higher than the US average. Although many new jobs are generated in the field of Biotech, but other fields are facing effects of the recession. Cost of living is huge and the taxes are pretty high. The employment generation here is on a negative curve although it is expected to improve by 2012. The ever growing population is affecting the situation deeply.

New offices

But the growth in some sectors and the stimulus by the federal government is trying to make the situation better. New offices are being established. New massive real estate projects are coming up to accommodate new offices. The availability of office spaces had rise of about 15% to 20% in the last few years. The lease rates and the rental rates are higher than the country's median estimate. The lease rates vary with the neighborhood mostly within a range of $ 15 to $ 50 per sqft per year. The costs are very high in the high status neighborhoods like Beverly Hills.

The crime rate here is a little high about 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. But the Los Angeles Police Department is one of the best in US. They are there for the protection of the people. Along with that the beautiful Mediterranean climate makes it a perfect fashion, media, business as well as travel destination.



Source by Geoffer King

The Car Rental Industry

Market Overview

The car rental industry is a multi-billion dollar sector of the US economy. The US segment of the industry averages about $ 18.5 billion in revenue a year. Today, there are approximately 1.9 million rental vehicles that service the US segment of the market. In addition, there are many rental agencies along the industry leaders that subdivide the total revenue, sometimes Dollar Thrifty, Budget and Vanguard. Unlike other mature service industries, the rental car industry is highly consolidated which naturally puts potential new comers at a cost-disadvantage since since they face high input costs with reduced probability of economies of scale. Moreover, most of the profit is generated by a few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis. For the fiscal year of 2004, Enterprise generated $ 7.4 billion in total revenue. Hertz came in second position with about $ 5.2 billion and Avis with $ 2.97 in revenue.

Level of Integration

The rental car industry faces a completely different environment than it did five years ago. According to Business Travel News, vehicles are being rented until they have accrued 20,000 to 30,000 miles until they are relegated to the used car industry whereas the turn-around mileage was 12,000 to 15,000 miles five years ago. Because of slow industry growth and narrow profit margin, there is no imminent threat to backward integration within the industry. In fact, among the industry players only Hertz is vertically integrated through Ford.

Scope of Competition

There are many factors that shape the competitive landscape of the car rental industry. Competition comes from two main sources through the chain. On the vacation consumer's end of the spectrum, competition is fierce not only because the market is arranged and well guarded by industry leader Enterprise, but competitors operate at a cost disadvantage along with smaller market shares since Enterprise has established a network of dealers over 90 percent the leisure segment. On the corporate segment, on the other hand, competition is very strong at the airports since that segment is under tight supervision by Hertz. Because the industry underwent a massive economic downfall in recent years, it has upgraded the scale of competition within most of the companies that survived. Competitively speaking, the rental car industry is a war-zone as most rental agencies including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the major players engaged in a battle of the fittest.

Growth

Over the past five years, most firms have been working towards enhancing their fleet sizes and increasing the level of profitability. Enterprise currently the company with the largest fleet in the US has added 75,000 vehicles to its fleet since 2002 which help increase its number of facilities to 170 at the airports. Hertz, on the other hand, has added 25,000 vehicles and expanded its international presence in 150 counties as opposed to 140 in 2002. In addition, Avis has increased its fleet from 210,000 in 2002 to 220,000 despite recent economic adversities. Over the years following the economic downturn, although most companies throughout the industry were struggling, Enterprise among the industry leaders had been growing steadily. For example, annual sales reached $ 6.3 in 2001, $ 6.5 in 2002, $ 6.9 in 2003 and $ 7.4 billion in 2004 which translates into a growth rate of 7.2 percent a year for the past four years. Since 2002, the industry has started to regain its feet in the sector as overall sales grow from $ 17.9 billion to $ 18.2 billion in 2003. According to industry analysts, the better days of the rental car industry have yet to come. Over the course of the next several years, the industry is expected to experience accelerated growth valued at $ 20.89 billion each year following 2008 "which equates to a CAGR of 2.7% [increase] in the 2003-2008 period."

Distribution

Over the past few years the rental car industry has made a great deal of progress to facilitate it distribution processes. Today, there are approximately 19,000 rental locations yielding about 1.9 million rental cars in the US. Because of the increasingly abundant number of car rental locations in the US, strategic and tactical approaches are taken into account in order to insure proper distribution throughout the industry. Distribution takes place within two interrelated segments. On the corporate market, the cars are distributed to airports and hotel surroundings. On the leisure segment, on the other hand, cars are distributed to agency owned facilities that are conveniently located within most major roads and metropolitan areas.

In the past, managers of rental car companies used to rely on gut-feelings or intuitive guesses to make decisions about how many cars to have in a particular fleet or the utilization level and performance standards of keeping certain cars in one fleet. With that methodology, it was very difficult to maintain a level of balance that would satisfy consumer demand and the desired level of profitability. The distribution process is fairly simple through the industry. To begin with, managers must determine the number of cars that must be on inventory on a daily basis. Because a very noticeable problem arises when too many or not enough cars are available, most car rental companies including Hertz, Enterprise and Avis, use a "pool" which is a group of independent rental facilities that share a fleet of vehicles. the pools in place, rental locations operate more efficiently since since they reduce the risk of low inventory if not eliminate rental car shortages.

Market Segmentation

Most companies throughout the chain make a profit based on the type of cars that are rented. The rental cars are categorized into economy, compact, intermediate, premium and luxury. Among the five categories, the economy sector yields the most profit. For instance, the economy segment by itself is responsible for 37.7 percent of the total market revenue in 2004. In addition, the compact segment accounted for 32.3 percent of overall revenue. The rest of the other categories covers the remaining 30 percent for the US segment.

Historical Levels of Profitability

The overall profitability of the car rental industry has been shrinking in recent years. Over the past five years, the industry has been struggling just like the rest of the travel industry. In fact, between the years 2001 and 2003 the US market has experienced a moderate reduction in the level of profitability. Specifically, revenue fell from $ 19.4 billion in 2000 to $ 18.2 billion in 2001. Subsequently, the overall industry revenue eroded further to $ 17.9 billion in 2002; an amount that is minimal higher than $ 17.7 billion which is the overall revenue for the year 1999. In 2003, the industry experienced a barely noticeable increase which earned profit to $ 18.2 billion. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, some of the smaller players that were highly dependent on the airline industry have done a great deal of strategy realignments as a way of preparing their companies to cope with economic economic adversities that may surround the industry . For the year 2004, on the other hand, the economic situation of most firms have gradually improved through the industry since most rental agencies have returned far greater profits relative to the anterior years. For instance, Enterprise realized revenues of $ 7.4 billion; Hertz returned revenues of $ 5.2 billion and Avis with $ 2.9 billion in revenue for the fiscal year of 2004. According to industry analysts, the rental car industry is expected to experience steady growth of 2.6 percent in revenue over the next several years which translates into an increase in profit.

Competitive Rivalry Among Sellers

There are many factors that drive competition within the car rental industry. Over the past few years, broadening fleet sizes and increasing profitability has been the focus of most companies within the car rental industry. Enterprise, Hertz and Avis among the leaders have been growing both in sales and fleet sizes. In addition, competition intensifies as firms are constantly trying to improve their current conditions and offer more to consumers. Enterprise has almost doubled its fleet size since 1993 to approximately 600,000 cars today. Because the industry operates on such narrow profit margins, price competition is not a factor; however, most companies are actively involved in creating values ​​and providing a range of amenities from technological gadgets to even free rental to satisfy customers. Hertz, for example, integrates its Never-Lost GPS system within its cars. Enterprise, on the other hand, uses sophisticated yield management software to manage its fleets.

Finally, Avis uses its OnStar and Skynet system to better serve the consumer base and offers free weekend rental if a customer rents a car for five consecutive days Moreover, the consumer base of the rental car industry has relatively low to no switching cost. Conversely, rental agencies face high fixed operating costs including property rental, insurance and maintenance. Consequently, rental agencies are sensitively pricing there rental cars just to recover operating costs and adequately meet their customers demands. Furthermore, because the industry experienced slow growth in recent years due to economic stagnation that resulted in a massive decline in both corporate travel and the leisure sector, most companies including the industry leaders are aggressively trying to reposition their firms by gradually lessening the dependency level on the airline industry and regaining their footing in the leisure competitive arena.

The Potential Entry of new Competitors

Entering the car rental industry puts new comers at a serious disadvantage. Over the past few years following the economic downturn of 2001, most major rental companies have started increasing their market shares in the vacation sector of the industry as a way of insuring stability and lowering the level of dependency between the airline and the car rental industry. While this trend has engended long term success for the existing firms, it has heightened the competitive landscape for new comers. Because of the severity of competition, existing firms such as Enterprise, Hertz and Avis carefully monitor their competitive radars to expect Sharpe retaliatory strikes against new entrants. Another barrier to entry is created because of the saturation level of the industry.

For example, Enterprise has taken the first mover advantage with its 6000 facilities by saturating the leisure segment thereby placing not only high restrictions on the most common distribution channels, but also high resource requirements for new firms. Today, Enterprise has a rental location within 15 miles of 90 percent of the US population. Because of the network of dealers Enterprise has established around the nation, it has become reliably stable, more recession proof and most importantly, less reliant on the airline industry compared to its competitors. Hertz, on the other hand, is utilizing the full spectrum of its 7200 stores to secure its position in the marketplace. Basically, the emergence of most of the industry leaders into the leisure market not only drives rivalry, but also it varies directly with the level of complexity of entering the car rental industry.

The Threat of Substitute

There are many substitutes available for the car rental industry. From a technological standpoint, renting a car to go the distance for a meeting is a less attractive alternative as opposed to video conferencing, virtual teams and collaboration software with which a company can immediately setup a meeting with its employees from anywhere around the world at a cheaper cost. In addition, there are other alternatives including taking a cab which is a satisfactory substitute relative to quality and switching cost, but it may not be as attractively priced as a rental car for the course of a day or more. While public transportation is the most cost efficient of the alternatives, it is more expensive in terms of the process and time it takes to reach one's destination. Finally, because flying offers convenience, speed and performance, it is a very enticing substitution; however, it is an unattractive alternative in terms of price relative to renting a car. On the business segment, car rental agencies have more protection against substitutes since many companies have implemented travel policies that establish the parameters of when renting a car or using a substitution is the best course of action.

According to Tracy Esch, an Advantage director of marketing operations, her company rents cars up to a 200-mile trip before considering an alternative. Basically, the threat of substitute is reasonably low in the car rental industry since the effects the substitution products have do not pose a significant threat of profit erosion through the industry.

The Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Supplier power is low in the car rental industry. Because of the availability of substitutes and the level of competition, suppliers do not have a great deal of influence in the terms and conditions of supplying the rental cars. Because the rental cars are usually purchased in bulk, rental car agents have significant influence over the terms of the sale since they possess the ability to play one supplier against another to lower the sales price. Another factor that reduces supplier power is the absence of switching cost. That is, buyers are not affected from purchasing from one supplier over another and most importantly, changing to different supplier's products is strictly noticeable and does not affect consumer's rental choices.

The Bargaining Power of Buyers

While the leisure sector has little or no power, the business segment possesses a significant amount of influence in the car rental industry. An interesting trend that is currently underway through the industry is forcing car rental companies to adapt to the needs of corporate travelers. This trend significantly reduces supplier power or the rental firms' power and increases corporate buyer power since the business segment is excruciatingly price sensitive, well informed about the industry's price structure, purchase in larger quantities and they use the internet to force lower prices. Vacation buyers, on the other hand, have less influence over the rental terms. Because vacationers are usually less price sensitive, purchase in lesser amounts or purchase more infrequently, they have weak bargaining power.

Five Forces

Today the car rental industry is facing a completely different environment than it did five years ago. Competitively speaking, the revolution of the five forces around the car rental industry exports some strong economic pressure that has significantly tarnished the competitive attractiveness of the industry. As a result of the economic downturn in recent years, many companies went under nominal Budget and the Vanguard Group because their business infrastructure succumbed to the untenability of the competitive environment. Today, very few firms including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis return a slightly above-average revenue compared to the rest of the industry. Realistically speaking, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry because of the level of competition, the barriers to entry and the competitive pressure from the substitution firms.

Strategic Group Mapping

As a moderately concentrated sector, there is a clear hierarchy in the car rental industry. From an economic standpoint, disparities exist from a number of dimensions including revenue, fleet size and the market size each firm holds in the market place. For instance, Enterprise dominates the industry with a fleet size of approximately 600,000 vehicles along with its market size and its level of profitability. Hertz comes in second position with its number of market shares and fleet volume. In addition, Avis ranks third on the map. Avis is one of the companies that is having issues recovering its revenue margins from prior to the economic downturn. For instance, in 2000 Avis returned revenues of approximately $ 4.23 billion. Over the course of the next several years following 2000, the revenue of Avis has been significantly lower than that of 2000. As a way of reducing uncertainty most companies are gradually lessening the level of dependency on the airline industry and emerging the leisure market. This trend may not be in the best interest of Hertz since its business strategy is intricately linked to the airports.

Key Success Factors

There are many key success factors that drive profitability through the car rental industry. Capacity utilization is one of the factors that determinates success in the industry. Because rental firms experience loss of revenue when there are either too few or too many cars sitting in their lots, it is of paramount importance to efficiently manage the fleets. This success factor represents a big strength for the industry since it lowers if not completely eliminates the possibly running short on rental cars. Efficient distribution is another factor that keeps the industry profitable. Despite the positive relationship between fleet sizes and the level of profitability, firms are constantly growing their fleet sizes because of the competitive forces that surround the industry. In addition, convenience is one of the critical attributes by which consumers select rental firms. That is, car rental consumers are more prone to renting cars from firms that have convenient rental and drop off locations. Another key success factor that is common among competitive firms is the integration of technology in their business processes. Through technology, for instance, the car rental companies create ways to meet consumer demand by making renting a car a very agreeable ordinal by adding the convenience of online rental amongst other alternatives. Furthermore, firms have integrated navigation systems along with roadside assistance to offer customers the piece of mind when renting cars.

Industry Attractiveness

There are many factors that affect the attractiveness of the car rental industry. Because the industry is moderately concentrated, it puts new market entrants at a disadvantage. That is, its low concentration represents a natural barrier to entering the industry as it allows existing firm to expect sharp retaliations against new entrants. Because of the risks associated with entering the industry among other factors, it is not a very attractive sector of the marketplace. From a competitive standpoint, the leisure market is 90 percent planned because of the active efforts of Enterprise to dominate this sector of the market. On the other hand, the airport terminals are heavily guarded by Hertz. Realistically speaking, entry in the industry offers low profitability relative to the costs and risks associated. For most consumers, the main determining factors of choosing one company over another are price and convenience. Because of this reason, rental firms are very circumspect about setting their rates and that generally force even the industry major players in the position of offering more to the consumers for less just to remain competitive. Hertz, for example, offers wireless internet to its customers just to add more convenience to their travel plans. Avis on the other hand, offers free weekend specials if a customer returns a car for five consecutive weekdays. Based on the impact of the five forces, the car rental sector is not a very attractive industry to potential new market entrants.

Conclusion

The rental car industry is in a state of recovery. Although it may seem like the industry is performing well financially, it is nonetheless gradually regaining its footing relative to its actual economic position within the last five years. As a way of insuring profitability, including seeking market shares and stability, most companies throughout the chain have a common goal that deals with lowering the level of dependency on the airline industry and moving towards the leisure segment. This state of motion has engendered some fiercely competition among industry competitors as they attempted to defend their market shares. From a futuristic perspective, the better days of the car rental industry have yet to come. As the level of profitability increases, I believe that most of the industry leaders including Enterprise, Hertz and Avis will be bounded by the economic and competitive barriers of mobility of their strategic groups and new comers will have a better chance of infiltrating and realizing success in the car rental industry.

Sources

"Passenger Car Rental." Encyclopedia of Global Industries. Dec. 2004. Gale group. 02 Feb 2005. http://galenet.galegroup.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/servlet/BCRC .

"Car & Truck Rental." Hoover's AB & D Company. Jan. 2005. Hoovers. 04 Feb 2005. http://premium.hoovers.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/subscribe/ind/factsheet.xhtm . "

Rental car foes war on each other's turf. "The Associated Press. Fall 2004. The Inquirer. 08 March 2005. http://www.enquirer.com/editions/2004/10/11/biz_rentalcars111.html .

"United States – Car Rental." Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/sessions?products=BNI .

"A synthesis of tactical fleet planning models for the car rental industry." IIE Transactions. Sept. 2003. Gale. 12 March 2005. [http://www.fleet-central.com/arn/01stat3.cfm].

"Corporate travel plans moving to Web." Crain's Chicago Business. Apr. 2001. ProQuest. 12 March 2005. http://www.proquest.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Tracy Esch." "Car rental market leaders make rebound." Business Travel News. May 2002. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Avis Equips Rental Car with Satcomms 1999." Newsbytes News Network. Oct. 1999. Gale. 12 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Car Rental In the United States." Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004. Gale. 13 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Global – Car Rental." Data Monitor Industry Market Research. Nov. 2004. Gale. 13 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Corporate and Travel Trends." Travel Trade Gazette. Nov. 2003. ProQuest. 14 March 2005. http://www.proquest.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Car rental market leaders make rebound." Business Travel News. May. 2002. Gale. 14 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Car rental market leaders make rebound." Business Travel News. May. 2002. Gale. 14 March 2005. http://search.rdsinc.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu .

"Ovation Travel." Wall Street Transcript. May. 2002. LexisNexis. 14 March 2004. http://www.lexisnexis.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/cis .

"Avis Offers New Deal for Free Weekends." Newswire. Feb. 2004. LexisNexis. 15 March 2004. http://www.lexisnexis.com.ucfproxy.fcla.edu/cis .



Source by Rodrigue Monestime

Top Notch Quality on Cheap Miami flights

Are you planning on a vacation to Miami? Well, that must be a specially-anticipated for experience. Many cheap Miami flights are very much so 'in' for several reasons. As winter approaches and fall comes to an end, we all know that there are thousands of travelers all over the United States of America looking for cheap deals to reach the city of warmth and sea-shore fun. Low airfare and easily-affordable tickets is one thing while being cheated on at such offers is another. Many cheap Miami flights are easy to find but hard to differentiate on basis of quality. This helpful and concise guide will assist you through your choice of airlines and other requirements.

Miami is famous for its summery beauty and beach entertainment. Citizens of comparatively colder states will always jump in Miami for a warm dip in the sea. However to let these special people to the state is identical another ordeal. We know how hard it is to spend money on flights that offer inferior service and terrible journey. Here are several airlines that offer cheap Miami flights. Do not worry; these offers come along with impressive services.

America West is an airline that proudly offers the cheapest deals with the best offers made. Ticket prices range from $ 180 to $ 210. Travelers are promised healthy food, friendly staff and a smooth journey, for certain. Departures usually take place on the Western Coast of United States of America. Travelers care allowed bringing bulk of luggage for their convenience. The air hostesses of American West continue to gain respect and admiration from the eyes of the world for their helpful and kind manner of making their passengers feel at home.

Air Canada is famous for its premium quality and affordable rates. Canadian travelers, certainly tired of the cold at home, love to experience Miami heat and exciting fun when it is the winters in their own country. To keep them deprived of such fun would be almost criminal. Therefore Air Canada offers the cheapest rates for Miami flights. They start from a small amount of $ 190 to an affordable $ 280. Helpful staff is always present at your service. If you are in the mood, you can even play board games in the plane. Air Canada promises to make you feel at home.

Air Jamaica offers cheap Miami tickets. If you are looking for affordable tickets that will not go heavy on your wallet then Air Jamaica offers Jamaican fun and cheap rates all in one ticket. At a low price like $ 170, you can fly from Jamaica to Miami in a few hours. The non-stop flights are not as uncomfortable as other flights are. Special discounts are made on special occasions. Who thought Jamaican fun and Miami heat could have been combined in one go?

Air Transat offers premium deals at the lowest rates for Miami. On special occasions like festivals or Easter, it slashes the zeros off your ticket and makes it less than ever. That means the price goes lower for your sake but never the quality of the airline. All cheap Miami tickets by this airline come along top notch packages for future use. Tickets range from $ 190 to $ 250. Healthy and fresh food is offered at all three times. Desserts and other delicacies are provided to the travelers for the sake of their entertainment. Air Transat proudly claims to come up to the expectations of travelers.

American Eagle sticks to first class quality at lowest prices. With its swift service and smooth journey, you are bound to feel as if you are riding an eagle to Miami. Premium deals are made at the price of $ 185 for business and leisure travelers. First class quality is not barred by the low price. That is precisely why American Eagle takes pride in being hailed as America's soaring eagle on the international front. Christmas and Easter offers are made during the festive season. Travelers are informed well in-time. Friendly and helpful staff is always present at your service. Pampering could not have been priced less than this.

It is safe to remember that enjoying your journey to Miami is what matters the most but always consult local travel guides for more information and accuracy on cheap Miami flights. Your money and time is well-valued.



Source by Lucille Jewett

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica 2015

Guide to Car Rental Companies in Costa Rica

Rate Comparisons for 2015

Car rental in Costa Rica is an opportunity to explore the remote beaches and quiet corners of this breathtakingly beautiful country. Travel without the restrictions set by public transport timetables and with freedom over group tours. For the unprepared traveler; however, car rental costs and services can be a rude shock and a blow to that vacation budget.

Renting a vehicle for your vacation will probably be the most expensive part of your budget, so understanding the terms and managing expectations is very important. The information below is not meant to be an exhaustive manual, but it should set you on the path towards an informed decision for your car rental needs in Costa Rica.

Why is car rental so expensive?

Visitors from outside Costa Rica are often surprised by the cost of car rental. While hotel rooms, restaurant bills and tours are lower than the prices paid at home, it may appear strange that car rental should be more costly.

There are two simple reasons for this high cost:

  1. All vehicles in Costa Rica are imported and a tax is imposed. Due to this heavy taxation, the cost of purchasing a vehicle is higher than it would be in other industrialized countries. There are some car rental operators who rent older vehicles in order to reduce their costs.
  2. The cost of mandatory insurance (see below).

Factors that Affect Car Rental Costs

Mandatory Insurance

Third-party insurance, which may be known as TPI, PDW (Partial Damage Waiver), SLI (Supplementary Liability Insurance) and other acronyms, is a legal requirement. Car rental operators must charge the customer for this coverage which may or may not be clear in the quotation received by the customer.

The insurance itself is not the issue. After all, many other countries require car renters to pay a mandatory insurance; including: New Zealand, Italy and Mexico, as well as a number of the US states, like California. The issue that causes contention in Costa Rica is that this cost is not always displayed clearly on the car rental operator's website or in a quote. Customers then discover the additional cost of their rental upon arrival.

The cost of mandatory insurance variants from company to company and will depend on the car category that is being rented as well. The cost for a small sedan may be as little as $ 12 per day, whereas a premium 4×4 vehicle could be as much as $ 25 for insurance per day. This is in addition to the rental cost.

Credit cards in North America usually offer car insurance as an additional perk to the credit card holder and so North Americans in particular, are unused to having to pay for insurance on top of rental costs. However, no credit card will cover this insurance requirement.

Do ask if the given quote includes third-party insurance and check the prices on the car rental operator's website.

Collision Damage Waiver

This is not insurance, but a waiver. The basic level will come with a deductible that varies, but could be as much as $ 1,500. For a higher daily rate, a zero deductible CDW may be purchased to relate the renter of any financial liability in case of damage to, or theft thereof, the vehicle.

Many renters will obtain their CDW through their credit card. However, it is worth noting that the responsibility for making any insurance claim is on the customer and not with the car rental operator. Some renters may choose to purchase additional in-house coverage to avoid having this responsibility.

There will be car rental agencies which hard sell their own coverage plans through guaranteeing peace of mind, but extremely, this is the renter's decision. It is worth remembering that car rental company employees, like in other parts of the world, will sometimes earn commission for insurance sales.

If the customer's credit card does not provide CDW, the customer will be required to purchase this in-house coverage.

Car rental operators require written proof that the customer's credit card provides CDW. Ask the car rental operator for the exact details of what they require and in what form. Some may accept a forwarded email from the credit card company, but others may ask for a printed copy to be presented at the time of rental.

Deposit

The deposit amount required will depend on whether the customer chooses to use the car rental operator's in-house CDW or takes this coverage through a credit card. Expect to pay a much higher deposit if the in-house CDW is declined. The deposit may also depend on car model rented. This amount, which will be held on the renter's credit card until the end of the rental period, can be from $ 750 up to as much as $ 3,500. The deposit should take no more than five days to be refunded to the credit card on the vehicle's return. Some car rental agencies will accept debit cards for deposit hold, but the return time for this amount can take weeks.

Do ensure that the deposit is calculated in the vacation budget as an unexpected hold of a few thousands dollars on a credit card could otherwise severly cut into vacation spending.

Airport Taxes

Customers that rent from a car rental operator's counter within an airport building are obliged to pay the airport tax.

Those car rental operators with a counter at San Jose's Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) are: Alamo / National, Budget, Dollar, Economy and Hertz. These companies will add an additional 12% tax to the rental cost.

Those car rental operators with a counter at Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport (LIR) are: Avis, Budget and Economy. These companies will add an additional 3% tax to the rental cost.

To avoid this tax, take an airport shuttle with the car rental operator to an office located outside of the airport grounds.

Surcharges and Other Taxes

There are a number of other obligatory fees that car rental operators may add into the rental cost, display on-screen or show in the quote, or leave undisclosed until the customer's arrival. These potentially hidden costs may seem small when viewed individually, but these are typically daily rates, so they will add up fast!

These may include:

License Plate Fee : Less than $ 2 daily, but differs from company to company.

Environmental Tax : Less than $ 1 daily.

Sales Tax : All sales transactions in Costa Rica are subordinated to a 12% government-imposed sales tax.

Car Washing Fee : Bring back an exceptionally dirty car and the cleaning fee may be added onto the final payment. One car rental operator charges $ 20 for this additional service.

Fuel Charges : If the fuel tank is not filled to the same level as it was at the start of the rental period, then the car rental company will charge (usually to the nearest eighth of a tank). This charge is dictated by the car rental operator and it is not subject to the governmentally set fuel price that would have been found at any gas station.

Where Should I Reserve the Vehicle?

A common confusion for travelers booking a rental car is the discrepancy between international websites for car rental operators and the Costa Rican website for the same brand. Frequently the international websites are unaware of, or fail to disclose, insurances, taxes and surcharges that will be charged at the counter. This may be due to the fact that many recognized car rental operator brands in Costa Rica are not a foreign branch of the branded car rental operator, but instead are a franchise operation. This factor is also worth considering in terms of expectations relating to customer service and other finer details. The Costa Rican franchise office may have their own style of operating, apart from the same policies and guidelines that the customer may have experienced in other parts of the world.

Understandably then, an online reservation is best made through the local website and not the international site, wherever possible. A number of companies do not have a local website. In this case, do check the details with a local staff member via the telephone and ask for written confirmation of the quote. Experience with live chat on the international websites suggests that where staff is trained on terms and conditions governing the main office (usually USA); they understand little of the policies that must be adhered to in Costa Rica.

Car Rental Comparisons

In May / June of 2013, I compared the pricing and services of a number of car rental operators in Costa Rica and published the findings. To my surprise, the article is still being plagiarized regularly throughout the Internet which suggests that it is still useful and so an update was required. The prices for this comparison were obtained in December 2014 and January 2015.

The ICT (Costa Rican Institute of Tourism) states that there are thirty registered car rental operators with eight others pending approval. However, there are many more agencies that rent cars to visitors. The car rental operators selected are those which are most frequently used by travelers:

Adobe

Alamo

Avis

Budget

Dollar

Economy

Fox

Hertz

National

Payless

Service

Thrifty

Toyota

USave

Vamos

Wild Rider

Exclusion of Companies from Final Comparison

Budget, Economy, Payless, and Toyota were contacted, but these four companies did not provide accurate online rates. Economy and Budget's websites have one price, regardless of the dates entered and customers need to reserve a vehicle in order for them to honor the price shown. Toyota's website was unfortunately only working up until March. Beyond that, the pricing shown $ 0 for the reminder of the year. Payless has this disclaimer on their website: "Taxes and surcharges are not within our control and may change without notice."

Sending individual inquiries for each time period reflected in inconsistent results: Budget offered the same price for all three investigated time periods when receiving an email request, which is highly unilaterally; Economy responded with different quotes for the same dates from different members of staff; and Toyota's emailed quotes for time periods past March's prices indicated online did not correspond to the March rates quoted (possibly the emailed quotes contained taxes that were not shown online). Payless can provide quotes via email and telephone, but were not consistent with pricing for different seasons.

Avis is only excluded from the price comparison, as they do not have an intermediate SUV category in their fleet.

Comparison Information

Car rental rate, all taxes and surcharges, and third-party insurance costs are (supposedly) calculated and ranked accordingly below based on the week's rental of a BeGo or similar intermediate 4×4 from a San Jose / Alajuela location (not from the airport).

Rates are calculated on a weekly basis and divided by seven to provide a daily cost which is more easily comparable. As not all pricing is completely transparent, the prices are as accurate as possible based on the information provided from the car rental operators' websites, phone calls, and / or emails. Airport taxes are not included in these figures.

Shoulder Season (Quote for July 13 through 20)

1. USave $ 43.37

2. Service $ 54.92

3. Fox $ 55.64

4. Hertz $ 58.17

5. Adobe $ 60.13

6. Alamo $ 60.99

7. Wild Rider $ 62.86

8. Dollar $ 63.35

9. Vamos $ 64.15

10. National $ 67.04

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

Low Season (Quote for May 13 through 20)

1. National $ 37.04

2. USave $ 43.37

3. Dollar $ 46.49

4. Adobe $ 52.57

5. Vamos $ 53.15

6. Service $ 53.49

7. Hertz $ 54.59

8. Fox $ 55.64

9. Wild Rider $ 55.71

10. Alamo $ 60.99

11. Thrifty $ 74.39

High Season (Quote for March 13 through 20)

1. Dollar $ 55.92

2. USave $ 56.22

3. Hertz $ 56.37

4. Fox $ 59.36

5. Thrifty $ 64.69

6. Service $ 66.63

7. Vamos $ 67.14

8. Alamo $ 69.56

9. Wild Rider $ 70.00

10. Adobe $ 70.63

11. National $ 73.90

Summary of Comparison

Interestingly, there is not one clear expensive or cheap company from those compared. The variation in ranking between seasons is marked and customers should consider their vacation dates when choosing the car rental operator. For example, Thrifty appears as the most costly for both low and shoulder season, but are only in fourth position in the rankings for High Season.

It is also significant that pricing is not consistent with ranking with car rental operators in other car categories. For example, Vamos' pricing is the cheapest for a premium vehicle in the shoulder season; although they are not first in any rankings for the intermediate category and Adobe which appears competitive are the most expensive for this time period and car category.

Information on Car Rental Operators

Adobe Rent-A-Car is a local car rental operator that has eleven offices across the country. The website is simple and easy to use with no invisible hidden costs. The mandatory insurance cost is displayed as part of the online quote. The company receives mixed reviews online, but more positive than negative comments are made. Emails receive a reply within 24 hours, but may not fully answer the questions asked.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-861-1250

Child Seat: $ 3 / day

Booster: $ 1 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 9 / day

Alamo works in partnership with National and has thirteen offices across the country. As with many big names, Alamo Costa Rica is a franchise and not a branch of Alamo itself. Third-party insurance and basic CDW are included in the online quotation, although the CDW may be denied upon presentation of proof of coverage through the customer's credit card. This makes the pricing seem high on first glance, especially when, unlike other car rental operators, Alamo includes airport taxes in their online quote and so their pricing is honest, but appears much higher than other companies as a result. Pricing is different on the international website of the company, although the terms and conditions do state the fees that will be paid on arrival. This pricing discrepancy is the lead cause of negative reviews for this company. Emails are responded to within 24 hours.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-855-533-1196

Child Seat: $ 3 / day

Additional Driver: $ 6 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

Avis' website obliges one to select a car protection option, but it fails to display a final quote total or price for the coverage selected online until an emailed quote is sent. Cover costs may be obtained by clicking on the option 'Protection Explained' at the bottom of the screen.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 9.99 / day

Budget has a website that is easy to use, but the pricing given is as the same for all seasons, suggesting that it is not correct. Email responses were typically fast, but some were left unanswered. Emailed quotes showed the same pricing for all seasons as the website did. Mandatory insurance is not included on the online quote, but the small print states that this is payable at the counter. Budget receives mixed online reviews.

No Toll-Free Phone Number, but Live Chat is offered

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 14.99 / day

Dollar appears to have very competitive rates, but airport taxes will be applied if the vehicle is being collected from the airport's counters. One may find this in their terms and conditions, but not in their online quotes. Car washing charge is enforced for very dirty vehicles. There are four offices in Liberia and San Jose. Email response is within 24 hours. Dollar receives mixed reviews from online travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-767-8651

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 9 / day

Economy has twelve offices around the country. They have no Costa Rican website. Scroll down on their page to find and click on insurance costs. Airport taxes are not included in the quote. Emails receive either a quick response or no response at all. Economy has the worst online reputation of any big name car rental operator in Costa Rica.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-877-326-7368

Child Seat: $ 10 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 15 / day

Fox works in partnership with USave. Offices are located at both international airports. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Online reviews are generally poor.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-225-4369

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day (unless spouse)

GPS System: $ 9.99 / day

Hertz has six offices in the country. Reservations may be made through a Costa Rican website. Initial online quote does not include sales taxes, but it does include the CDW – although CDW may be waived with proof of credit card coverage. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. Mediocre reviews on travel forums.

No Toll-Free Phone Number

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 13 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

National works in partnership with Alamo and has thirty offices in operation across the country. The company has a Central American website, as well as the international site, which clearly shows the breakdown of pricing. CDW is included in the online quote, but it may be unchecked to get a quote with just the mandatory insurance. Note that the airport tax is included in the online quote as well. Instant responses to questions are available through Live Chat on their website. Reviews are mixed, but there are more positive than negative.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $ 6 / day

Booster: $ 6 / day

Additional Driver: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 12 / day

Payless is part of the international car rental company and has no Costa Rican website. Online quotes do not include third-party insurance, although the information on this may be found by reading the policies for the San Jose location. Emails receive a response in less than 24 hours, but tend to refer back to the website, rather than new information. Reviews are more negative than positive.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-PAYLESS

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 9.95 / day

Service is a local company with five offices in the country. On an otherwise clear website, click on 'Reserve Now' and not 'Get a Quote' for an online price check. Rember is the staff member mentioned in reviews on travel forum for his helpful customer service and the company generally gets good reviews. Emails are answered within 24 hours and normally provide requested information.

US Phone Number: 1-305-897-3718

Child Seat: $ 3.50 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 7.50 / day

Thrifty does not have a local website, so information is through the international website. Coverage options or information regarding third-party insurance is not provided on the reservation webpage until one clicks 'Protection Information'. Emails receive a response within 24 hours, but may not answer location-specific questions. Reviews are frequently negative due to pricing complaints.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-344-1705

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Booster: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 12 / day

GPS System: $ 11.99 / day

Toyota is a big name; however, even though their website appears professional at first glance, it simply does not work, or at least it was not functioning in order to obtain quotations later than March 2015. Their online quotes do not include sales taxes. Emails receive fast responses, but quotes for different seasons appeared to be contradictory. However, Toyota has a good reputation on travel forums. Eight offices are located across the country.

Free Phone Call Option Via Website

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Cooler: $ 1.50 / day

Additional Driver: $ 3 / day

GPS System: $ 10 / day

USave works in partnership with Fox and has three office locations. Insurance options are shown for the online quote, but it must be selected and 'recalculate' pressed, before it is included in the pricing. Emails receive a response within 24 hours. The company receive overall poor reviews, although there are some positive comments made on travel forums.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-467-3659

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

Additional Driver: $ 10 / day

GPS System: $ 9.95 / day

Vamos is a local company that is a popular choice for Trip Advisor and Lonely Planet experts because of their customer service and pricing. The website is easy to use with itemized charges clearly displayed. The Live Chat option enables instant personalized quotes and answers from English-speaking staff. The company has three offices.

Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-950-8426

Child Seat: free

Booster: free

Additional Driver: free

GPS System: $ 8 / day

Wild Rider is a small, local company located only in San Jose. The website is simple with third-party insurance included in the pricing. At the start of this research, the pricing was not up to date, but this has since been remedied. This car rental operator stands out by having only positive reviews and so is highly recommended by travel forum users. Owner, Thorsten, replies within the hour to inquiries during office hours.

US Phone Number: 1-917-477-7712

Child Seat: $ 5 / day

GPS System: $ 8 / day

Overall Summary

Clarity

Adobe, Alamo, National, Service, Vamos, and Wild Rider provide clear and complete rates on their websites. The other car rental operators were less transparent with surcharges or taxes, such as airport taxes or sales taxes. Pricing on additional extras were not always easy to find, and Avis, Thrifty and Toyota had to be contacted for these details.

Communication

Levels of communication have improved since the first comparison, although it would seem wise to request a local number and confirm answers with the Costa Rica office of the international car rental operators, as international chat operators or those answering to emails, do not always seem 100 % confidence about local policies and may even give incorrect information.

Be prepared to exchange a number of emails in order to get full answers to questions with a number of companies: Budget and Economy were particularly recent to this – requesting a lot of information in order to give a quotation. It is not unreasonable that members of staff working in a second language may miss aspects of an email, so present questions in clear and simple language.

Live Chat on both the Budget and Vamos websites mean information can be provided instantly and is still documented, unlike a phone call.

Pricing

The comparison above shows that the pricing between companies depends heavily on the season and car category being considered, rather than a clear cut choice between more or less expensive rental rates.

Customers need to consider the pricing of other items, such as additional drivers or GPS system, and families will want to compare car seat rental pricing. Wild Rider offers the first additional driver for free, Vamos do not charge for any extras, except the GPS, and in general, the international firms have higher charges for these extras than the local companies.

So Who Do I Rent From?

It is clear that the local car rental operators are still trumping the big names in their transparency and customer service when comparing their websites and online reviews. The difference from the previous rate comparison from a couple of years ago is that the pricing has become more difficult to equate.

Adobe, Alamo, and National seem to rate well as international car rental operators. It is worth noting that National is the most expensive in high season for the intermediate category, yet the cheapest in low season. Adobe and Alamo are middle-ranked for pricing.

Wild Rider is exceptional in having zero bad reviews, but is only based in San Jose and has a much smaller fleet of vehicles. Of the other local firms, Service and Vamos come out well and Vamos' free additional extras will appeal to budget-minded travelers and families with young children. Service also offers these extras at low daily rates.

Last but Certainly not Least …

If you have made it all the way through this article, then you are prepared to begin your research into your vacation car rental, armed with facts and ready to recognize those prices that are just too good to be true! Have a wonderful (and affordable) vacation in beautiful Costa Rica!



Source by Sara P Ford

How To Choose The Right Airport Transportation Service

Having a long flight can be overly boring and strenuous. It can be even more tiring if you have to stand and wait in long queues to get a cab to reach your destination from the airport. During these times, it can be overly comfortable and relaxing to have a luxurious vehicle waiting to pick you up at the airport. There are various companies offering airport transportation services, and all claiming to be the best. However, you have to be extremely careful while choosing the right service to avoid any kind of trouble in the future. Let us discuss some of the aspects that you must keep in mind while hiring a transport service.

Safety: The most important factor that must be considered is your safety. There's probably nothing that matters more than safety, and since it is important not to make any kind of compromises with that. Before hiring a service, make sure that they maintain the following safety norms:

  • They are appropriately insured.
  • The vehicles they use are in good condition.
  • They employ highly trained and expert chauffeurs having a driver's license.

To make sure that you can follow the right course of action in case anything goes wrong during your journey, always remember to know the details of the terms and conditions of the insurance of the service you are hiring.

Expertise and Dedication: It is important to hire a company that has the ability to portray high levels of expertise and sincerity in their services. They should offer a wide range of vehicles to choose from based on your affordability, requirements and liking. They should be able to keep track of the flight timings to pick you and drop you at the right time without delays. The chauffeurs should have great knowledge of the roads to avoid any kind of inconveniences on the way. Moreover, they should take good care of your luggage and transport them in good condition.

Ask Questions: Never hesitate to ask questions to clear all your concerns. No two companies work exactly in the same way. Different services have their own set of rules and policies. It is important to find out the things that are included in their services and the ones that are not. Ask thorough questions about the details of their services. Remember, it is more important to find a service that would cater to your needs rather than finding the best in the market.

Flexibility: Often there can be a problem with the flight timing. It can either arrive before time or get postponed. In such situations the transportation service you hire should not have any problem adjusting their time with the flight timing. It can be overly irritating not to find your hired vehicle to pick you up after a tiring flight. Here, the transport service should use appropriate software to track the time and make sure to pick you or drop you at the airport absolutely on time. Without this flexibility, an airport transportation service is no good.



Source by Donald Finch