Alamo ruined my Labor Day weekend '18, and has yet to reply to my inquiries or offer any compensation

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Jan 15, 2019
I had to abandon my entire holiday weekend travel plans after arriving at MEM airport to pick up my Alamo rental; being informed they had run out of cars; and that they had no available inventory for replacements at any other nearby location, even for the following day.

I reserved a three-day rental via Hotwire. I arrived at the Alamo counter the evening of Saturday, 8/31/18, where I waited on line for ~45 minutes (there were probably 12-15 people ahead of me).

The rep at the counter was telling all of us that Alamo had temporarily run out of cars, but that they were calling in vehicles to manage the demand. We were all told to go wait outside in the garage.

I then waited on this second line in the garage for ~90 minutes (there were now probably 20+ people ahead of me). Eventually a different Alamo rep appeared and announced that, in fact, they really didn't have any additional cars, and could not offer solutions for those of us now stranded.

I had to Uber to a hotel and then spend an hour on the phone with Hotwire (at this point, it was late). I was eventually refunded the car rental cost.

However, between my flights, Ubers, hotels (non-refunded), pet care, etc, I spent ~$1,000 on my weekend travel. Again, I literally was forced to take a flight back home the following morning (Saturday, 9/1/18) because I was stranded with no transportation for my travel throughout Mississippi. My weekend was ruined.

I have contacted Alamo several times since then. I have spoken to multiple reps (James, Crystal, Kim, Brenda). The general line I've been told has been that my case (reference number: 3xx xxx xx) was being escalated to a regional manager as well as to the Alamo counter at MEM, and that someone would absolutely respond.

It is now four months later; I never heard back from Alamo. Additionally, I was promised coupons for future use...those also were not sent.

In summary: How is a national car rental company allowed to get away with such poor operations, and then on top it, poor customer service, without there being repercussions??

Edited by a moderator to remove reference number
Last edited by a moderator:

Carrie Livingston

Staff Member
Jan 6, 2015
St Louis
This happens unfortunately. A car rental counter cannot magically make cars appear. Did you see if a rental was available with another provider?

We had a post last week with the exact same thing. Please read the comments on that thread and use the advice given there. Since you used Hotwire you had even less of a chance of getting a car if one was available. Since you aren't booking direct and are getting a discounted rate, they would want to take of people with seniority with Alamo and other such factors ahead of the discounted rate.

Did you purchase travel insurance? If not, the credit card that you used to purchase the hotel, etc might have covered. Please check with your provider to see if you have benefits. In the future, if you prepay for something, you need to insure it if you can't afford to lose the money. Alamo will not cover these items so if you request that, it's a non starter and is likely to get your emailed canned.

You can try writing to our contacts for Alamo here. When writing, read how to write here. When you email don't attach anything to your email as that may cause it to get bounced back. Don't email everyone all at once as if you do that, they may think someone else is handling the problem or if you don't get what you want, you have nowhere else to go. Good luck and please let us know how it turns out.


Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
What an awful experience. Was there not a vehicle to be found from another agency? Did you call Hotwire to see if they would help? If this ever happens in the future, don't put up with it, seek out a different company to get a vehicle. Never prepay to reserve a car, just don't go there no matter what the "savings" may be.

Carrie has given you all the guidance you need to solve this. Travellers need to be aware that companies today ... hotels, car rental agencies, airlines ... frown mightily on the online booking services. Everything was wonderful in the beginning, the OBSs filled hotels, airline seats and more cars went out on rental. But that picture is now quite tarnished. Travel providers now resent the large commissions they pay out to an OBS. The OBS community spends millions on advertising, and travellers have developed a craving for the cheapest anything. It's all getting to be quite a mess. You are very fortunate that you got your money back.