San Diego International Airport is amongst the busiest thirty airports in the United States of America, and is rated as the second busiest single-runway airport in the world that offers commercial flight services. The airport’s official IATA code is SAN, and many also refer to it as the Lindbergh Field Airport. Arriving passengers have several choices when it comes to ground transportation. There are public buses that are frequently available, private shuttles that can be arranged and taxis outside the terminals. Passengers could also choose to rent a car from one of the San Diego International Airport car hire companies, such as Thrifty.
Although many airports have their car rental counters in the terminal buildings, and usually on the arrivals level, San Diego has only off-site car rental companies. However, this is not a problem for arriving passengers as there are free shuttles that provide transport twenty-four hours a day, and seven days a week. While the main locations of the companies are off-site, within the terminals (Terminal 1 and Terminal 2) there are reservation boards and courtesy telephones from where calls can be made. A call is not usually necessary for a shuttle, but may be useful if an accessible vehicle is required. Signs are available for directions to the reservation boards and telephones, and to where the shuttles will collect car hire customers.
The car rental shuttles are available at Terminal 1 from the centre traffic aisle, and at Terminal 2 from the traffic island on the west end of the building. Both areas are within easy walking distance of the baggage claim area. If you are unsure of which shuttle to take, as there are also airport buses that travel to the car parking lots and between the terminals, simply ask for help from one of the volunteer airport ambassadors, who are found at the information desks. They can be recognised in their green polo shirts with ‘Airport Information’ emblazoned on the back. Preferably, do not ask for help from a stranger, rather find one of these friendly airport officials.
Thrifty San Diego International Airport offers many unique and interesting services for their customers, in addition to high quality vehicles at affordable car rental rates. For example, their Wild Card vehicle category, which allows someone to hire a Compact or larger vehicle for just Compact vehicle rental rates. This means that they could be driving an SUV, a Minivan or even a Passenger Van for a very low price. This size of vehicle is usually much more expensive than a Compact class vehicle. The vehicle will be chosen by Thrifty staff members upon the customer’s arrival, and will have room for at least five people and a couple of luggage items. This car category may be selected online as well.
Another service by Thrifty that is popular with many of their customers is the Blue Chip program, which can be joined free of charge. Members of the program enjoy faster reservations, rentals and returns, shorter lines at the counter and may even earn free rental days with the Blue Chip Rewards program. For every sixteen days of paid rental services, the customer receive a certificate that is valid for one free day of car hire from any of Thrifty’s rental locations in the United States of America. Thrifty has many airline partners as well, such as Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Kuwait Airlines and US Airways, and their hotel partners include Hilton Hotels.
The San Diego International Airport car rental companies hire their vehicles with child seats and satellite navigation systems if requested, and some can be fitted with hand controls for disabled drivers. Thrifty’s hand control equipment is free of charge, but will require an advanced reservation. It is a device that operates the brake and accelerator pedals of the vehicle, but no other functions, such as the lights or blinkers. From San Diego International Airport, one way hire services are often permitted as well, when the vehicle may be delivered to an alternative return location. Rented cars can be driven to all parts of California, and into neighbouring American states as well, but are not usually allowed over the border into Mexico. This would be a cross-border rental, which is often not permitted. Thrifty one ways, depending on the length of the rental contract and the return location chosen for the vehicle, could have additional charges.
From Thrifty, SUVs are wonderful vehicles to hire, especially if travelling for longer distances. They either have room for five or seven passengers, and come with many great features which make driving a pleasure. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is an example in the Standard SUV category, the Chevrolet Traverse is found in the Fullsize SUV category and the Chevrolet Suburban is a vehicle in the Premium SUV category. A number of travellers can be seated in a Minivan as well, such as the Dodge Caravan, and one of Thrifty’s largest vehicles is the Ford E350, with room for twelve people.
Although the SUVs and Minivans are superb vehicles in which to travel, they come with higher prices than vehicles that are found in the Economy, Compact, Midsize, Standard and Fullsize categories. These are the cars that are more popular to hire, and include the Chevrolet Aveo, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion and Ford Taurus. Other options are a luxury or premium vehicle, similar to the Ford Crown Victoria and Buick LaCrosse. Renters of most vehicles will be required to be over the age of 21, and they should also have a valid drivers license and a major payment card such as American Express or MasterCard. More information is available from Thrifty at San Diego International Airport.
San Diego Intl Airport (SAN)
1120 W Laurel St
San Diego, CA United States 92101
Telephone Number: (877) 283-0898