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help! problem returning car at pisa airport for next week's trip!

i am departing out of pisa airport on a 6:45 a.m. flight. just found out today via email from autoeurope that i cannot return the rental car before 6 a.m. and that they have no drop box (even though it said that they did when i booked the car originally).

it looks like the pisa airport is very small, but is it really possible to be able to drop off the car at 6 a.m. and make it to a 6:45 flight?? (one note - the airport itself does not open until 6 a.m. either)

oh, and i should probably mention that we are driving in from san gimignano that morning, so there would be no way to return the car the night before.

any help from anyone who has returned a car at the pisa airport would be most appreciated!

Posted by
127 posts

here's what i would do, based on the fact they TOLD you there would be a drop off box: take the car there b-4 6 a.m., leave the keys hidden, leave a note telling them where to find them, , lock the car, take a photo w/ a time stamp as proof, [that's YOUR "drop off box"], and forget about it...they should have duplicate keys, and if not, too bad.

Posted by
127 posts

"further tought", just leave the keys in the ashtray, lock the car, and after u are long gone, or even b-4, just send an email telling them your urgent need to go on with your trip with out the bother of their inability to provide the service they stated was available..

Posted by
3313 posts

If you haven't already, call Autoeurope on their 800 line and speak to a human. They have a great staff and I'm sure they can help you.

Posted by
79 posts

Normally, I would agree with Jim. However, I booked with Autoeurope for my upcoming trip (so haven't used them yet) and they are just an agency, (your rental is from Hertz or some other company, right?) which tells me that although they attempt to provide the most accurate information possible, it may be wrong. Therefore, I would worry about leaving it. And, although you may take a picture as proof, they still have your credit card number and you signed something that probably allows them to bill you for whatever fill-in-blank-here. Which means you may get a pretty hefty bill when you get home. scary.
I would do what the other poster said, and call their 800 number. They should be able to suggest something. Good luck!

Posted by
15 posts

UPDATE: talked to autoeurope this morning and the agent assured me that as long as the airport is open, that there is a drop box that is accessible. turns out the drop box is inside the airport, which doesn't open until 6 a.m.

(i still don't know how delta expects to get everyone checked in, through security and boarded in 45 minutes... but we will see)

thanks for all the help! if it turns out autoeurope was wrong and i miss my flight, i will definitely post when i get back!!

Posted by
1631 posts

When returning our car in Frankfurt, the Avis desk in the airport was not supposed to be open until 6 a.m. However, the gate was open and it was manned. Of course, that was in our case. Every location and day is different, so who knows. Whatever you end up doing, please take pictures inside and out. We have received a bill from Avis for an additional $235 because they felt they needed to send the car out for a full detailing--we had it for 25 days. What's interesting is that Avis says I need to work this out with AutoEurope--not Avis. I, like Becca, was under the impression that I would deal with Avis. Go figure! I figure they don't feel they got enough money on this rental--they need to make it up somehow. Good luck.

Posted by
800 posts

Jennifer - we returned our autoeurope car to Pisa this past June. As you know, Autoeurope is the car broker and you will actually get your rental car from someone like Hertz or Europe Car. Our rental was from Europe Car. The Europe Car drop off, along with at least a few other car companies was a short bus ride from the actual terminal - so short that we probably could have walked it quite easily though I can't remember if there were sidewalks or anything connecting the two for pedestrian traffic.

The Pisa airport was indeed quite small though there were a lot of people there when we were departing (around noon). We got through security fairly quickly. That was our experience with car rental drop off at Pisa. Good luck with your trip - sorry you have to be driving so early in the morning!