So many people have been planning their late summer vacations around the solar eclipse, which happens later this month. It can only be seen from certain parts of the U.S., so people have been booking plane tickets and rental cars to make sure they get to their preferred spot to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience. But Hertz reportedly canceled car reservations around the solar eclipse on August 21st, leaving some customers totally stranded.
According to BuzzFeed News and a handful of customer complaints on Twitter, Hertz reportedly made robocalls last week informing customers that their reservations had been cancelled due to overbooking — even for customers who had diligently made their reservations months in advance. HelloGiggles’ request for comment from Hertz was not immediately returned.
This is common in the car rental and airline industry: Hertz doesn’t want a bunch of cars sitting around their garages if people cancel, so they take as many reservations as possible — even taking your credit card info and everything. But sometimes not enough people cancel, and there are more bookings than cars available — so they have to cancel them. Again, this is especially annoying when you’re the savvy traveler who makes reservations way in advance.
People are not happy with Hertz for canceling their solar eclipse reservations.
It’s especially frustrating since the car rental company advertised all summer, encouraging people to get a rental car to drive and see the eclipse.
— Hertz Car Rental (@EagleAutoLLC) August 1, 2017
Renters also complained that Hertz had jacked up rental prices for the eclipse — so customers not only had their reservations canceled, they had their expensive car reservations canceled. At least there’s still some time for people to rework their travel plans, though many on Twitter feel they’re totally out of luck without a car.
Planning trip to PDX for eclipse & booked car @Hertz mos ago. Just got robocall canceling reservation b/c they're overbooked. Anyone else?
— Katie O'Connor (@katieoconnoresq) August 3, 2017
To see eclipse and visit grad schools - Airline tix for 2 from NY to OR: $1400; hotel: $1300; @Hertz cancelling res: priceless!! ...
— mary anne egan (@geekgrl4) August 4, 2017
@Hertz price gouging in Portland for the eclipse weekend. 'Glitch' takes unlimited res, while increasing price 10x... cancels priors.
— Andrew Yakovlev (@a_yakovlev) August 3, 2017
@Hertz I think it's pathetic that companies are gouging people during the week of the solar eclipse. What is normally a $175 rental now $441
— Scott L. (@RoadGliding) July 29, 2017
— Amy Milstein (@greenmangoes) July 31, 2017
The total solar eclipse is slated to happen on August 21st and will be visible from South Carolina all the way over to Oregon, following a very specific path. A lot of the best places to see the eclipse are outside of major cities, making it even more necessary to have your own transportation.
Hopefully, everyone who was planning on traveling to see it can figure out other ways to complete their travel plans, even without a Hertz rental car.