Elite Status

How Loyal Are You?

By  | 

I was reflecting on another aspect of loyalty programs this week when I was renting a car from Avis. Consumer loyalty (and not just at booking). Have you ever had a chance to capitalize on an error at one of your favorite chains and decided not to because you like them so much?

I was flying out for Thanksgiving late Tuesday night and realized while I was waiting for my flight that I’d forgotten to book my one way rental from Orlando. Ugh. I was having trouble with the airport wifi so I called them up and in less than 2 minutes I was assured I’d have a car waiting for me at midnight when I landed. Yay!

I finally found my way to the Avis area in the garage and was delighted. With only 3 hours notice, they’d upgraded my reservation from an intermediate car to a pretty sleek looking black Infiniti. I’m happy to say this is par for the course, Avis treats their elites quite well. And I in turn, will only rent from Avis, even when other companies are much cheaper.

When it came time to return the car the next day, I was feeling quite lazy and didn’t want to fight for a space at the pump to get gas. One of the perks of my Avis status is that the fuel service charge is often priced at market rate, so if I don’t return the car full, I’ll only be charged for what it would cost to have filled up at the gas station.

I checked the rate, and sure enough, I’d only be charged $3.30/gal which was even cheaper than the local gas stations. Ooops, that’s kind of an unfair advantage. But then I realized that the downside to Infiniti’s are that they require Premium unleaded. And because the Avis system is probably not set up to account for that, I was being charged the market rate for regular unleaded. I’d already felt a little bad about Avis eating the difference in fuel cost between Orlando and Gainesville, but I really didn’t feel comfortable about them eating $.40+ a gallon.

They’d already been nice enough to upgrade my $44 a day rental to a luxury car, so they were making little enough off the rental as it was, without me decreasing the margin any more. I love Avis and I want my elite benefits to go on forever, and thus I find myself treating the cars as nicely as if they were my own and avoiding loopholes even if they’d save me a few bucks.

However, I find myself with cognitive dissonance with this realization, because although I also like United and Hyatts and other companies, no amount of loyalty is going to keep me from taking advantage of a mistake fare if they’re honoring it 😀

—————-

Did you know you can subscribe to Heels First via RSS Feed or now via e-mail subscription to keep up on new posts?

You can also follow our twitter feed (and say hi!) and like our fan page on Facebook.

Heels First is the travels and tribulations of two twenty-something frequent fliers jumping into the world of travel. Join Keri and Jeanne as they tackle mileage runs, elite status, and of course–the perfect travel accessories

Full Disclosure: I may receive affiliate credit from links in this post or on this site which will help fund my travels. Thank you for your support!

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts

Living for the little (and big things) that make life so fun, especially mistake deals and crazy last minute weekend mileage runs across the world. www.twitter.com/klatravel

1 Comment

  1. Bob Bonsall

    November 27, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I don’t know if this exactly counts as being loyal or just not being a jerk, but recently just before Hurricane Sandy came through, I ordered some battery powered lights from Amazon. I payed extra for expedited shipping in order to get them before the storm hit, but unfortunately I didn’t go for fast enough shipping. Rather than arriving before the storm as scheduled they arrived well after.

    I suppose if I made a stink about it I could get the extra money back from the shipping, but as I see it it was an unavoidable delay, and I took my chances. What’s more, I have always gotten amazing customer support from Amazon, and I would hate to abuse it over something that even I think is questionable at best. If it were another company, particularly one I had never done business with (or worse, had bad experiences with in the past), I would so be demanding my money back. So I totally get the cognitive dissonance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *