Dustin Laniel, a service agent at Avis Budget Fargo and diehard Georgia Bulldogs football fan, stands on the rental lot at Hector Int’l Airport in Fargo. Laniel regularly braves below-freezing temperatures to service vehicles - often in only a sweatshirt and beanie.  -

Dustin Laniel, a service agent at Avis Budget Fargo and diehard Georgia Bulldogs football fan, stands on the rental lot at Hector Int’l Airport in Fargo. Laniel regularly braves below-freezing temperatures to service vehicles - often in only a sweatshirt and beanie. 

Recent storms that hit the Midwest plunged Fargo, N.D., to -50 degrees. But while most residents opted to stay home and wade out the frigid temperatures and strong winds, employees at thus Avis franchise braved the storm.

The Avis location at the Fargo airport still had arriving and departing passengers to serve and local dealerships and mechanics that needed replacement vehicles for customers whose vehicles were in for maintenance. Other Fargo residents needed rental vehicles following accidents, or when their vehicles wouldn't start because of the cold weather. 

"Luckily, we have veteran employees who understand winter in car rental world is a little different from normal people winter," Dani Arnold, vice president of Avis Budget Fargo, wrote in an email. 

She said employees spent a lot of time jumping vehicle and digging them out of snowbanks. Employees even advised and cautioned customers who considered taking back roads after highway closure in order to ensure their safety.

"Our employees were amazing and went to great lengths to make sure our customers were taken care of," Arnold said. "They made sure to start customer vehicles before arrival to give them warm cars to get in to. They met late night flights during a blizzard when the flights had supposedly been canceled, but still somehow managed to land. They cleaned and shuttled vehicles in -50 degree weather with whipping wind and blowing snow."

Arnold said she is proud of how her employees handled the polar vortex, continually working to ensure customer safety and satisfaction.

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