A few missed opportunities in San Diego — and a hit or two

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These shacks at the end of Crystal Pier on Mission Beach were among the highlights of my visit to Southern California last week. You can actually stay in one of the larger cottages right on the pier, which is something I’ve never seen.

San Diego, the second stop on our month-long tour of the West Coast, was quite the experience. I had a chance to reconnect with long-lost relatives and to meet up with the folks at Hertz, who introduced a few interesting new concepts for rental cars.
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What will your next rental car know about you? Everything

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I had a chance to see the car rental of the future yesterday, and it’s a smart set of wheels.

The preview, which was part of the unveiling of Hertz’ upgraded location at San Diego International Airport, was meant to show off the first of several new facilities designed to bring you a “completely new” car rental experience.

The changes are impressive. Hertz is streamlining the rental process to prevent long wait times for rental vehicles with “virtual” kiosks that videoconference you with a representative in an Oklahoma City call center. It released a new app that send you shuttle wait times and is installing recharging stations and printing facilities for business travelers.
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Ridiculous or not? Hotels can cancel your reservations anytime, and you’re outta luck

The email from the Hotel Solamar in San Diego came as a “complete shock” to Barb Staigerwald on a recent Saturday morning. Her reservations for a convention in July had suddenly been canceled without explanation.

Try as hard as she may, she couldn’t get her room back.

“I got on the phone right away,” she says. “The first person, a reservation agent, had no idea why it was cancelled or what happened. She told me I’d have to wait until Monday to speak to an in-house agent at the hotel. I tried to explain that this couldn’t wait and that if I need a new hotel, I need to get on this ASAP, since most hotels for that week are booked up. I then asked for a manager who pretty much told me the same thing. ”

Can hotel just cancel a reservation and leave you without a room? In a word, yes.
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