I used National for my car rentals for several years. In the last few years, due to corporate contracts for my business travels, I no longer am able to book car rentals with National. I really miss the simplicity of the Emerald Aisle.
Now I’m stuck with using Hertz. It is a larger company, but other than having more cars, and usually more and better locations, I miss the simplicity and benefits of the Emerald Club program
Empty Gold Choice area, but plenty of cars to upgrade into.
With National, the process of assigning cars to renters is eliminated. As long as a midsize vehicle is reserved, once the renter arrives at the facility, they go to the Emerald Aisle and choose any car, usually midsize or larger. Those with elite status have access to additional cars in the Executive Area, which are full sized or larger.
Other rental car agencies have similar versions of the ability to choose your own vehicle. In my experiences, the Hertz Gold Choice area is consistently rather poor. I’m often just stuck with whatever car I am randomly assigned. I rarely take the time to go to the counter and change to something else. Speed is more important to me. If I want to change cars, the Gold Choice area is often very small, with limited options. In most cases, the space is used to upsell to premium cars rather than provide alternative vehicles to rent for no additional fee.
Here is probably the worse case of the typically poor Gold Choice area. Empty…
Have you tried using the selecting a different car than assigned to you by the rental agency? Has your experience been better than mine?