Avis Budget Notifies GDS Firms of Potential No-Show Fees

The Avis Budget Group notified its global distribution system operators of a possible new policy for no-show fees. The rental company has not said when or where it might create the new restriction, but GDS firms are preparing by December to take credit card information for bookings in the event the car rental firm decides to apply the policy, according to The Beat.

“We want to be able to turn on [no-show] fees uniformly across all booking channels and all partners,” according to an Avis Budget letter sent to the GDS firms in August. “The ‘no show’ fee will give Avis and Budget the ability to require a credit card or other acceptable forms of payment to make a reservation for a given location and given period of time. So, while for some locations and time periods we may choose to impose a no-show fee, for others we may choose not to. Our new capability will align the car rental industry with similar approaches in use by airlines, hotels and cruise lines. It is a long-overdue change.”

According to Avis Budget, if the renter cancels a reservation 24 hours in advance no charge will be incurred. However, if the renter fails to cancel 24 hours in advance or complete a rental, the company will incur the “no-show” fee to the credit card used to make the reservation.

Representatives from Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport said their companies' systems would be ready by December — as requested by Avis Budget — to record payment information.

If implemented, the Avis Budget policy would be applied for certain reservations made in North America, South America, Australia and New Zealand. The no-show fee “will either be a flat fee or ‘the average daily rate,’ plus all taxes and surcharges that are applicable.”

“The fee will be indicated at the time of reservation," according to company documentation, which also said if a flight is canceled or delayed within the U.S., the traveler would not be charged an otherwise applicable no-show fee as long as the flight number had been entered into the reservation.

Avis Europe, a separate company affiliated with Avis Budget Group, currently charges customers, “who do not cancel prior to the allocated rental pick-up time, or do not turn up 24 hours thereafter” €40 (US $59).

An Enterprise Rent-a-Car spokeswoman said the company (including the National and Alamo brands) had no plans to impose no-show fees. Representatives at Hertz and Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group did not return calls seeking information.

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