Each month, ExpertFlyer sits down with an executive in the travel industry to provide insight to changes in the landscape and how it affects the way you do business. It’s another way ExpertFlyer is providing additional information to empower the business traveler.
This month ExpertFlyer sat down with Michael Senackerib, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, The Hertz Corporation. The Hertz Corporation is the world’s largest general use car rental brand, operating from approximately 8,300 locations in 146 countries worldwide.
“…We’re laying down the infrastructure to make hybrid and energy efficient vehicles a viable rental option and will begin beta testing the service in both our classic rental service, as well as Connect car sharing over the next few months.”
– Michael Senackerib, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer, The Hertz Corporation
What’s new in the car rental market – what’s important for business travelers to know?
For business travelers, it is all about the convenience, ease, and experience associated with renting a car. With Hertz, business travelers are able to utilize the variety of services that tap into the latest technology, like reserving a car with our iPhone app, using our expedited rental program and #1 Club Gold or planning a trip in advance with NeverLost’s Online Trip Planner. Hertz prides itself on understanding the need to provide travelers with fast and efficient service and we continue to develop the products and services to provide a seamless car rental experience.
We at ExpertFlyer are excited about our recently announced partnership to help small businesses maximize their travel budgets. Can you talk a little about the Hertz Business Account Program and how you are helping small businesses?
The Hertz Business Account Program
offers a variety of benefits and savings to small businesses without any membership fees or obligations. Small businesses receive up to a 20% discount off the rental rate, a complimentary membership to Hertz #1 Club Gold,
free rental days, and extra partner incentives. The program allows small businesses to utilize Hertz while maximizing their travel budget. And, we’re excited that ExpertFlyer is extending a 15% discount to our Business Account members, adding yet another valuable partner benefit to Hertz’s Business Account program members.
Who are your program partners and what value are they bringing to small businesses through your program?
Our program partners include other small business supporters, such as American Express OPEN and FedEx. Businesses that use an American Express OPEN card can save up to 10% off their rental. We also have a partnership with FedEx’s Advantage Program, which gives Business Account members savings of to 20% off FedEx services.
Is Hertz employing any new or interesting technological amenities with their car rentals?
Hertz has always been about innovation and we currently have several different technological amenities to make the car rental experience as seamless as possible. We offer online check-in and have self-service rental kiosks at major airport locations. For customers on the go, our mobile apps allow renters to make or change reservations and find the nearest rental location. We’ve been a leader in offering in-car GPS with NeverLost and customers can now plan their trip in advance with Online Trip Planning, save it to a flash drive and pop it into NeverLost once at their destination. Our Connect by Hertz car sharing vehicles are loaded with the latest technology to make our customers’ driving experience simple and enjoyable with Bluetooth and iPod connectivity, an in-car communication kit that provides direct access to our 24/7 in-house Member Care Center, and EZPass transponders.
What about “Green” initiatives? Any plans to incorporate hybrid vehicles for customers who are interested in sustaining the environment?
We offer customers the Hertz Green Collection, a collection of fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly cars that can be reserved by make and model, thus the car you reserve is the car you’ll get at the time of rental. The showcase car of the Green Collection is the Toyota Prius. Other cars in the collection have been identified as the greenest vehicles in our fleet and are EPA Smart Way certified. Our car-sharing program, Connect by Hertz, is also extremely environmentally friendly as each car-sharing vehicle on the road takes up to 15 personal cars off the road and Connect cars are also SmartWay certified. By the end of the year, customers will start to see electrical vehicles being introduced into our fleet. Currently, we’re laying down the infrastructure to make EVs a viable rental option and will begin beta testing the service in both our classic rental service, as well as Connect car sharing over the next few months.
Are you finding more families are taking to the road rather than the air for vacations?
A lot of families continue to take the traditional road trip, or even drive to their vacation destination as opposed to flying. Often, the day-to-day family car may not be large enough or customers simply don’t want to put the mileage on their cars. Hertz’s network of 1800 off airport locations, known as Hertz Local Edition, provides the same range of products and services that can be found at the airport and we have a selection of cars for any occasion. The best part is, we offer pick up and drop off service, so getting that car locally is easy and convenient for customers.
For “staycationers,” what are some interesting destinations or car travel trips in the east, west and mid-west regions?
There are great cities, hidden locales, and vacation destinations all over the country that are easily accessible by car. For example, New Yorkers looking to get away for a quiet weekend can visit some wonderful locations in New England, especially as the fall foliage season is upon us. Mystic, CT is a wonderful seaside village, Cape Cod in Massachusetts and even the Green Mountains in Vermont. For those on the West Coast, driving to Sonoma, California, heading east to Vegas, or visiting Seattle for a weekend are enjoyable getaways that can be taken with a car. If any “staycationers” are planning a trip, I always suggest booking in advance and taking advantage of Hertz’s prepaid rates, which offers discounts of up to 20%. Planning one’s route with NeverLost’s Online Trip Planning is always a good way to ensure having a definite path to one’s destination. And, lastly, the most important tip is to enjoy the journey—wherever it may be.
When does it make sense for folks to rent a car versus taking their own?
There are many situations where it makes sense for people to rent as opposed to using their own car. For example, a family that is planning a road trip and currently owns a mid-sized sedan would probably need a larger vehicle for luggage, car seats, children, etc., which would be a prime opportunity for them to rent a vehicle that is more suitable for their needs. In other instances, there may be someone who works or resides in the city and needs to drive to the suburbs. With both downtown and airport locations, it’s easy enough to rent a car for a few hours to get to and from their destination.