One Type Of Airport Transportation You Might Not Expect — The Shuttle To The Car Rental Area

For many people, airport transportation describes taking a shuttle, taxi, or car service to your home or hotel and the airport terminal. However, there's another type of airport transportation that you might need to use during your next trip. If you'll be renting a car soon after you touch down, the process might not be as simple as walking over to the appropriate car rental desk and completing the paperwork. Instead, you'll occasionally have to hop on a shuttle and ride it across the airport property to where the car rental area is set up. Here are some things to know about this process:

Figure Out The Airport's Layout

If you'll be traveling somewhere that you haven't previously visited, it's a good idea to browse the website of the airport at which you'll be arriving. You'll likely be able to find a "Car Rental" link on the airport's homepage, and clicking on it will acquaint you with the process of picking up your rental car at that airport. Look for a mention of a shuttle — if you need to take a shuttle from your terminal to the building at which you'll pick up your rental car, this information will clearly be revealed. If so, make sure that you understand where you'll need to go to get on the shuttle.

Determine The Time Investment

You need to count on a bit of time to get from the arrival terminal to the car rental desk if you're taking an airport shuttle between the two locations. Look for two things on the airport's website — how frequently the shuttle departs and how long the ride takes. For example, if the shuttle leaves every 15 minutes and the trip lasts about 10 minutes, you'll have nearly half an hour invested in traveling to pick up your rental car. This means that when you're booking the car and choosing the pickup time, there's no point in setting it to be five minutes after your plane touches down — instead, choose about a 30-minute gap so that you're not paying for the car when you're not using it.

Know Where You Need To Get Off

At large airports, the car rental area can be big enough that the shuttle stops more than once. Make sure that you're aware of which car rental company you're using so that you can get off at the correct stop. You may even find that some airports run shuttles from the terminals to a select number of car rental companies' desks, while other shuttles run to other companies' desks. Being certain about the company from which you're renting will save you any inconvenient delays.