Author Archives: TravelPulse.com Car Rental & Rail Headlines

Amtrak Preparing for Influx of Thanksgiving Travelers

Amtrak will add extra trains and capacity on several routes across the country to accommodate the impending travel surge this Thanksgiving.On Friday, the railroad service said that it's prepared to operate every available passenger railcar in its fleet to meet demand. Amtrak plans to add extra trains to increase the amount of available seating on the Northeast Corridor (NEC) and will add extra cars to existing trains along the Midwest and West Coast routes. Trending Now In the Northeast, the Amtrak Acela (Boston – Washington, D.C.) and Northeast Regional (Boston – Washington, D.C. – Richmond) trains will operate full and extended schedules with additional frequencies and added capacity during the Thanksgiving week, Amtrak said, while the Amtrak Keystone Service, Pennsylvanian and Empire Service trains will offer extended holiday capacity.What's more, additional NEC trains, including the Keystone Service and Pennsylvanian will require reservations November 25 through December 2.In the Midwest, Amtrak Wolverine Service, Hiawatha, Pere Marquette, Illinois Zephyr, Lincoln Service, Saluki and Illini trains will all offer extra capacity to accommodate the increase in customers while extra service will be operated by Amtrak to some Downstate Illinois cities. Additionally, Chicago and Hiawatha service will require reservations between November 26 and December 2.Finally, out West, Amtrak will add additional capacity to the Capitol Corridor (Auburn/Sacramento – Oakland – San Jose), San Joaquins (Oakland/Sacramento – Bakersfield) and Pacific Surfliner (San Diego – Los Angeles – San Luis Obispo) routes. The latter will require reservations from November 27 to December 2.The Washington, D.C.-based company warns that tickets for holiday travel will sell out quickly and encourages travelers to plan ahead by purchasing tickets sooner rather than later."With more than 500 destinations nationwide, customers can witness some of the best sightseeing opportunities the United States has to offer while getting to their holiday destination of choice," said Amtrak President and CEO Richard Anderson, in a statement. "This year for Thanksgiving, Amtrak customers can also do something good for the environment while traveling with ease to family, friends and loved ones."Amtrak is coming off its largest passenger count to date during Thanksgiving week 2018 in which it carried more than 846,000 riders on its trains across the country, including over 160,000 customers on the Sunday after Thanksgiving.Families or groups of six or more traveling together with Amtrak this Thanksgiving can save up to 45 percent as part of its Share Fares deal. Amtrak has also launched a buy-one-get-one-free offer for travelers available exclusively on Amtrak.com through Monday, October 14. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Uber to Launch New Pet Feature in Select US Cities This Fall

Uber is planning to introduce a new feature that will make it much easier for users traveling with pets to hail rides.According to The Verge, the ride-sharing service will roll out Uber Pet in select U.S. cities on October 16. MORE Car Rental & Rail The new feature can be selected in the same way riders choose UberX and UberPool, for example, and will ensure their arriving driver welcomes pets and doesn't cancel the ride on account of the furry guest.Currently, it's up to the driver whether pets are allowed in their vehicle. However, Uber has encouraged users to call their drivers in advance to find out. Moving forward, drivers will be able to opt-out in the Uber app's preferences section to ensure they aren't matched with a pet-toting rider.Riders can expect to pay a surcharge of $3 to $5 for Uber Pet, which drivers will receive a portion of. Beginning next week, the new feature will be available to all users in Austin, Denver, Nashville, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tampa Bay.Keep in mind that passengers traveling with service animals are not required to select Uber Pet as they are exempt in accordance with state and federal law.Uber Pet will arrive just days after the San Francisco-based company opened its Uber Copter service between lower Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International Airport to all app users. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Enterprise Launches New Ad Series

WHY IT RATES: The popular car rental company is rewriting history with a series of new ad spots to showcase its innovation renowned customer service.—Patrick Clarke, TravelPulse Senior Writer.Remember when Paul Revere’s horse wouldn’t cooperate and Enterprise provided a new stallion for his legendary midnight ride? That’s just one way Enterprise is putting a fictional twist on historic moments in a humorous new ad series that spotlights Enterprise’s innovative transportation solutions and award-winning customer service. In addition to “Midnight Ride,” the new ad spots feature Alexander Graham Bell’s first phone call and settlers traveling west on the Oregon Trail getting help from Enterprise. While the company wasn’t around until 1957, the series of revisionist historic scenarios inserts Enterprise to reinforce that “wherever transportation goes next, Enterprise will be there to pick you up.”“Enterprise has always been at the forefront of transportation innovation,” said Frank Thurman, vice president of marketing at Enterprise. “As the mobility needs and expectations of drivers continue to evolve, one thing remains a constant – Enterprise has their backs. The new ad campaign allows us to get this message to our customers in a witty and creative way.”Renowned for its award-winning levels of personalized service, including free pickup and 24-hour roadside assistance, Enterprise has led the industry with innovative, customer-centric transportation solutions for more than 60 years. With a nod to the brand’s robust suite of technology platforms, mobile apps and digital solutions designed to exceed customer expectations, the Alexander Graham Bell ad features the famous inventor using his new “technology” to make his first call – and Enterprise is there to answer.Enterprise’s replacement rental offering, which provides a seamless transportation solution to individuals if their everyday vehicle winds up in the repair shop, is featured in the Going West ad. A family’s wagon breaks down out west, and Enterprise shows up with a replacement wagon that’s “fully loaded.” The 1800s family gets a taste of the future when the Enterprise associate has them sign for the rental with a mobile tablet to get them on their way.The digital series also includes several social media ads for Instagram and Facebook using the same historic scenarios that engage social fans by quizzing them on the twisted history facts. The campaign will be supported on social media, YouTube, premium digital sites with interactive ad units and non-linear TV (Hulu, tubitv, PlutoTV) beginning October 7. For more information about Enterprise, visit www.enterprise.com. SOURCE: Enterprise press release. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Amtrak Announces Free Ride When Booking Sleeping Accommodation

Amtrak announced a unique buy-one-get-one-free offer for travelers who want to see the United States via rail this winter.Available exclusively on Amtrak’s official website between October 8-14, travelers who purchase a roomette or bedroom will be able to bring a friend or loved one for free from November 11 through April 8, 2020. Trending Now There is a caveat, as blackout dates apply and the sale is not valid on the Auto Train.The sleeping accommodations offered by Amtrak include meals as part of the price of a ticket on most routes, comfortable seating by day and chairs that convert into a bed for two at night.“Recognizing the need to get more out of every moment, we wanted to offer our customers a truly unique way to experience the country,” Amtrak CEO Richard Anderson said in a statement. “With our sleeper sale, customers can share the experience while taking in some of the best views and sightseeing opportunities the United States has to offer.”Roomettes and bedrooms are also complete with bed linens, pillows, temperature controls, lights, electrical outlets and a fold-down table. Travelers will also have access to a dedicated sleeping car attendant who will assist with meals, make and take down beds, assist with luggage and more.Here is a selection of special prices available during the sale with fares, via Amtrak.com:Pairing CitiesRoometteBedroom Chicago – Emeryville$496$875Los Angeles – Seattle$383$712Chicago – New Orleans$272$322Chicago – Whitefish$436$724New Orleans – New York$417$600Chicago – East Glacier Park$426$703New Orleans – Washington, DC$372$487Memphis – New Orleans$155$186Los Angeles – New Orleans$441$820Washington, DC – Miami$345$630New York – Atlanta$349$537Boston – Chicago$354$586 Let's block ads! (Why?)

25 Reasons Why Rail Is Still the Best Way to See Europe

There's nowhere else like Europe. A land where fairytales, foodie dreams and history all come alive, it is a magnificent mash-up of landscapes, countries and cultures—all connected by a brilliant rail network. Tracks link nearly every corner of the continent together, weaving their way through grand stations that serve as both transportation centers and hubs of amenities. You haven't properly experienced Europe until you've seen it by train and the following are 25 of the best reasons why. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Hertz, Lufthansa Launch New Campaign to Mark Partnership Renewal

WHY IT RATES: The partnership between the airline and the car rental company will benefit travelers when booking both at the same time.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.Hertz Europe Ltd., part of Hertz Global Holdings, Inc., and Lufthansa, Europe's largest airline, have announced a partnership extension and new brand campaign celebration. The continuation of this successful relationship will offer customers a seamless 'premium' travel experience, both in the air and on the road. Hertz and Lufthansa renew their partnership and launch "Travel Seamless" campaignTo mark the ongoing partnership, which began in 2013, a new co-branded, two-year campaign from Hertz and Lufthansa will launch on October 1st. The campaign underscores both brands' premium offerings – Hertz's range of luxury vehicles and Lufthansa's top modern aircraft – and is encapsulated by the message: "Premium in the Air and Premium on the Road – Travel Seamless."MORE Car Rental & Rail Vincent Gillet, Hertz VP of International Marketing, said: "Hertz and Lufthansa offer customers a seamless, premium travel experience. This partnership extension bolsters our relationship with one of the world's best airlines, and is significant in highlighting both brands' premium offerings. As a result of this ongoing partnership, customers will be able to continue to enjoy a wide range of mutual benefits."Erik Mosch, Vice President Product Management Ancillary ServicesLufthansa Group, said: "At Lufthansa we consider travelling not just a flight, but an end-to-end journey. The 'Travel Seamless' marketing campaign in collaboration with Hertz perfectly supports Lufthansa's ambition to provide its customers with a smooth transition from air to road on a premium level."Customer benefitsAs part of the companies' latest campaign, from October 1 to December 15, 2019, members of Lufthansa's frequent flyer and awards program 'Miles & More' can earn six times the amount of frequent flyer miles - the equivalent of 3,000 miles per rental - when renting with Hertz at the more than 190 international destinations where Lufthansa flies to. Bookings have to be made by November 15, 2019. Hertz has been successfully partnering with Miles & More for over 20 years, providing its more than 36 million members with special discounts and award miles on car rentals.In addition, Hertz 24/7 powers the Lufthansa CarPool, a fleet of car-sharing technology-enabled vehicles for Lufthansa's employees in seven important German cities. Hertz also operates as Lufthansa's exclusive partner for the provision of corporate car rental services to the airline's employees globally and, when occasional flight disruptions take place, it provides car rental vehicles on demand for customers and crew.Seamless TravelThe 'Seamless Travel' campaign launches on October 1st with brand design and marketing elements illustrating the partnership across a host of customer touchpoints, including airline on-board cups and flyers, inflight entertainment, lounge screens, newsletter, Hertz website, Hertz location screens, Hertz Gold Plus Rewards emails, Lufthansa website (lh.com) and social media.The video of the campaign was shot on location at Frankfurt airport (Lufthansa's base) and on the west coast of Ireland. It cleverly exemplifies the brand proposition by showing a traveler enjoying a seamless transition between his journey in the air and on the road.The visuals on board the flight and in the car show freedom and stress-free travel, highlighting the premium service that both companies provide. For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.SOURCE: Hertz Global Holdings press release. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Uber Copter Opens NYC Helicopter Rides to All Users

Uber Technologies, Inc. announced today that its Uber Copter service between lower Manhattan and John F. Kennedy International Airport is now open to all app users.Until now, as part of a pilot program launch that began back in July, Copter has been available only to Platinum- and Diamond-status Uber loyalty members. MORE Car Rental & Rail Flights themselves take only about eight minutes to reach designated helipads at either end of the route, with Uber ground transportation shuttling passengers from the airport terminal to the Copter and then to their ultimate drop-off locations on the other end (or visa versa). Ground transport is included as part of the overall pricing, which runs between $200 and $225 for a one-way trip, depending upon current demand. The overall journey can take as little as 30 minutes, as compared to the hour or two that it might take if traveling by car or using public transport.This “multimodality” model—the stringing together of multiple means of transportation to deliver passengers to their ultimate destinations—is something that Uber is looking to refine and implement in its future offerings.Two Bell 430 twin-engine helicopters are currently in service, operated by licensed, Newark-based company, HeliFlite Shares, with two pilots on every flight. The passenger compartment features six leather seats, accommodating a maximum of eight people.At a price tag of about $6.2 million each, the choppers boast Rolls-Royce 250-C40B turboshaft engines and are capable of speeds up to 161 mph.Uber Copter is now available for all riders, enabling people to seamlessly travel from Manhattan to JFKThe pilot is designed to generate learnings for a future all-electric Uber Air ride-sharing network. pic.twitter.com/oUtDSO67Zg— Uber (@Uber) October 3, 2019Due to limited cabin space, passengers are limited to one piece of baggage that meets TSA regulations for carry-ons and a small, personal item, such as a purse or laptop bag, reports Roadshow by CNET. And, at least for the moment, the Uber Copter mobile app is only available on iOS, so Android users will have to wait.For those with the budget, Uber hopes that Copter will provide a time-saving service and relieve some of the chronic congestion to and from the airport. Besides which, Uber Copter is actually meant help pave the way for Uber Air, the company’s aerial ride-hailing platform that’s currently in development, which plans to utilize eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) vehicles.“Uber Copter is kind of the first manifestation of this future vision,” says Eric Allison, head of Uber Elevate, told Bloomberg. “Ultimately, we see Uber Copter transitioning into Uber Air. This is kind of the first iteration of that.”Bloomberg also revealed that Uber is developing Skyports for Uber Air operations that it envisions in Los Angeles, Dallas and Melbourne, Australia, for a launch of its ride-sharing air transportation service that it plans to debut in 2023, with testing to begin in 2020. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Enterprise’s ‘Plus Your Points’ Promotion Offers Members New Opportunities to Earn More

WHY IT RATES: Now is the perfect time to rack up loyalty points when renting a car from Enterprise.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.Fasten your seatbelts and prepare to hit the road – Enterprise has launched its annual Plus Your Points promotion that enables registered Enterprise Plus members to earn double points on qualifying rentals. The program is available to customers in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, United Kingdom, Ireland, France, Spain and Germany. The promotion begins today and runs through the end of January 2020. In addition to receiving double points on qualifying rentals, the Plus Your Points promotion offers members the chance to earn points through bonus opportunities known as “badges” for a variety of rental-related items. New additions to the Plus Your Points program this year include the Exotics badge, awarding 150 bonus points to members who rent a vehicle from the Exotic Car Collection by Enterprise in the U.S., Canada and U.K., as well as the SUV / Minivan badge, which offers 100 bonus points when a member completes a qualifying SUV or Minivan rental.Also new this year, members earn 75 bonus points when renting outside their country of residence, and the Weekly Rental, Airport Weekend Rental and Redemption badges - previously only available in the U.S. and Canada - have been expanded to the U.K., Ireland, France, Spain and Germany.Points earned during the Plus Your Points promotion are redeemable for free rental days at any time, in any available vehicle at thousands of participating Enterprise locations worldwide. Free day covers base rate (time and mileage) only. Points do not expire as long as the member completes one qualifying Enterprise rental during every three-year period.“At Enterprise, we’re always looking for new ways to enable exceptional travel experiences for our customers,” said Frank Thurman, vice president of marketing for Enterprise. “The Plus Your Points promotion is one of our favorite ways to reward our loyal renters, and year after year, we look forward to hearing about the journeys they take with free days earned through the program.”Customers can register for the Plus Your Points promotion, learn how to earn bonus points and read more about Enterprise Plus terms and conditions at plusyourpoints.enterprise.com. Once enrolled, Enterprise Plus members simply use their membership number when booking a reservation to receive all member benefits.Membership in Enterprise Plus is free, and the program is open to anyone 21 years and older. For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.SOURCE: Enterprise press release. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Alaska Railroad Begins Winter Schedule

WHY IT RATES: Alaska Railroad has an exciting 2019-20 season ahead with new tours and partnerships for guests to look forward to. —Codie Liermann, Associate Editor The Alaska Railroad recently commenced 2019-20 winter service. The Aurora Winter Train schedule offers northbound rail service from Anchorage to Fairbanks on Saturdays, the return southbound journey on Sundays and select midweek departures in November, December, January and March.The striking winter landscapes along this route are breathtaking with snow-covered mountains, and the crisp winter air often gives riders a clear view of Denali, the tallest peak in North America. Aurora borealis viewing also remains a strong draw for winter travelers to Alaska.Alaska Railroad passengers can also try out a brewery tour day trip this winter thanks to the Railroad’s new partnership with Big Swig Tours. Guests on the “Hops on the Rail” tour begin the day with a ride on the Aurora Winter Train from Anchorage to Talkeetna.Here, a Big Swig Tours “hoperator” meets guests for a ride back to Anchorage – stopping for behind-the-scenes tours and tastings at four local breweries along the way.“For our winter 2019-2020 season, we are excited to start working with Big Swig Tours,” said Dale Wade, Vice President of Marketing and Customer Service for the Alaska Railroad. “We know the local craft beer scene is of interest to many of our guests, and it’s great to offer another way to experience the Railbelt town of Talkeetna.”Passengers will be able to ride the rails on select midweek dates from November through March. Riders can head north for Thanksgiving to the Golden Heart City on Tuesday, November 26, or south to Alaska’s largest city on Wednesday, November 27, for a holiday getaway.In December, the train will travel north on December 24 and 31, then south on December 25 and January 1 to accommodate travel related to Christmas and New Year’s Day. For additional details about the Alaska Railroad and its winter service options, visit www.alaskarailroad.com or call 800-544-0552.SOURCE: Alaska Railroad press release. Let's block ads! (Why?)

Hertz and Team Rubicon Partner to Support Disaster Relief

WHY IT RATES: The car rental company is once again giving back to the community.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.The Hertz Corporation, one of the world's largest car rental companies, and Team Rubicon, a veteran-led global disaster response organization, are pleased to announce their new partnership. The two organizations are joining forces to bring their resources and expertise together to help natural disaster survivors—like those from recent Hurricane Dorian and Tropical Storm Imelda—get back on their feet. MORE Car Rental & Rail The Team Rubicon partnership is the centerpiece of Hertz's disaster relief pillar, which is intended to foster resilient communities following natural disasters and assist employees during unexpected emergencies. Hertz is investing in Team Rubicon to ensure the organization is equipped with the necessary resources to quickly respond whenever and wherever needed. This year alone, Team Rubicon has launched dozens of disaster response operations globally."Hertz has a long-standing commitment to the communities where our customers and employees live and work through our company's global giving and volunteerism pillars – educational support, environmental stewardship and disaster relief," said Leslie Hunziker, Senior Vice President, Investor Relations, Corporate Communications and Sustainability. "We've found that partnering with Team Rubicon on disaster relief, with its more than 90,000 veteran volunteers, is one of the most effective ways we can give aid to those affected by natural disasters and help them take steps toward recovery and rebuilding.""We'd like to thank Hertz for their commitment and support of our mission to help people prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and humanitarian crises," said President and Chief Operations Officer, Art delaCruz. "In 2019, Team Rubicon has already launched 87 disaster response operations in the U.S. and around the world – including a large-scale response to Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and to Tropical Storm Imelda in Southeast Texas where greyshirts, or TR volunteers, are clearing debris and repairing homes. Hertz's partnership will help fuel our mission by allowing us to move people, equipment, and resources into and around disaster zones as we support disaster survivors and help storm-damaged communities stabilize and recover.""Hertz and Team Rubicon share similar values. Both organizations are committed to supporting military veterans—Hertz through its recruiting and hiring efforts, Team Rubicon through its mission that pairs the skills and experiences of military veterans and first responders with communities impacted by disaster," added Hunziker. "I'm incredibly proud of the impact this partnership will have on those who need it most—people devastated by natural disasters. Together, Hertz and Team Rubicon will be there for them." SOURCE: Hertz press release. Let's block ads! (Why?)