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Hundreds of customers left without a car after Big Island rental | KITV Channel 4

KONA, Hawaii – Imagine booking your rental car, thinking you’re all set for your vacation, only to be told the company’s sold out when you get there. That’s what happened to an estimated 200 or 300 Budget Rent a Car customers, after a massive shortage in December. The Big Island’s tourism board says now, dozens of those customers are waiting for a reimbursement from the car company.

Alaska resident Cindy Coulter and her family had high hopes for their Christmas vacation in 2018. She booked and paid for a Budget Rent a Car 11 months ahead of her trip. When she got to Kailua-Kona on December 26, she was told there were no cars. “They ended up driving us to our hotel. We did some Ubers and cabs,” she recalls.

They were not alone. They were one of hundreds of Budget customers left without a car. “I am angry. Not as angry as I was, but yes. I am angry,” she said from her home in Anchorage, reflecting on her trip.

Ross Birch, executive director of the Island of Hawaii Visitors Bureau, responded on behalf of IHVB and the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which represents the state. “It was an overall lack of inventory. One specific car company ordered new vehicles to arrive but shipped out the older vehicles prematurely,” he says, confirming it was Budget.

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Hundreds of customers left without a car after Big Island rental – Honolulu, Hawaii news, sports & weather – KITV Channel 4.

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