Orlando travelers wait hours for rental cars, reservations canceled

Passengers traveling through Orlando International Airport (MCO) over the last few days have reported waiting in hours to pick up a rental car or finding out that there are not enough cars available, despite having a reservation.

FOX 35 went to Orlando International Airport over the weekend and saw dozens of people waiting in line. Some people told FOX 35 that they waited more than an hour to talk to someone at the various counter to find out that despite having a reservation, there were no vehicles available.

“Made a reservation, and we hope the reservation holds, but I have to see. It’s at their mercy,” said one traveler.

“I think I waited longer in this line than my flight took,” added another passenger. “Trying to keep my four kids entertained is a little bit frustrating.”

What happened?

FOX 35 reached out to several of the companies over the weekend for comment – Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Thrifty, Dollar, and Sixt – for comment over the weekend, though we did not receive an immediate response. As of Monday late morning, which is also a national holiday, FOX 35 had not received a response. 

A spokesperson for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority, which manages the airport, told FOX 35 that there are various factors possibly impacting the availability of rental cars, including high demand for the Daytona 500 and an event at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, and people not returning their vehicles back to the rental companies on time.

Once returned, those vehicles then need to be inspected, cleaned and prepped, which takes time, the airport said.

Still, travelers are understandably frustrated.

GOAA said the rental companies are having more vehicles sent to Orlando airport to help alleviate the problem, though it will take time.

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