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How I Was Stranded on the Curb at Denver International Airport

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Denver Fox Rent a Car
Flying out of Los Angeles at night is always breathtaking. The city seems to go on forever!

A Visit to Colorado Springs

Yesterday I was in Colorado Springs visiting the House of Miles, the headquarters of BoardingArea, Inside Flyer and many other frequent flyer related businesses. The purpose of my visit was to work with the BoardingArea team to improve Miles to Memories. I am really excited at some of the new features coming to the site very soon!

I actually started my trip from Las Vegas to Colorado Springs with a quick drive down to Los Angeles on Sunday to process my Six Flags Season Pass. Since I was in the area, I stayed at the category 2 Hyatt Regency Valencia. A decent property, but not my favorite Hyatt overall. (My review.)

On Monday, I spent 8 hours sitting working in LAX before my flight to Denver. (Torture I know!) The only flight available from LAX-DEN that I could book cheaply with miles was a 9PM departure on US Airways. I booked the flight with British Airways Avios and hoped to use my trick to move to an earlier flight.

The earlier flight on US Airways was at 3:15pm, meaning I had to get to the airport early. When I arrived, the desk agent informed me the earlier flight was overbooked, but he did upgrade me to first class as an AAdvantage member. My time in LAX wasn’t all bad though, since I did get to spend some time walking the tunnels beneath the terminals, which was like a trip back in time!

Arrival in Denver & Denver Fox Rent a Car Failure

Upon finally landing at Denver after midnight (and realizing that I had forgotten to bring a jacket), I headed out to the car rental platform to wait for the Denver Fox Rent a Car shuttle. I avoided renting from Fox for many years, but I have had a couple of recent experiences that were decent enough and there prices are usually significantly lower than their competition.

Once on the platform I noticed shuttles from every car rental company. Even shuttles from EZ Rent a Car and Advantage passed by. Surely the Denver Fox Rent a Car shuttle wouldn’t be far behind. After 25 minutes of waiting and watching all of those other shuttles come and go a couple of times, I decided to call, but there wasn’t an answer. (I didn’t know, but all of the rental car facilities are next to each other, so I probably could have taken a different shuttle and just walked over to Denver Fox Rent a Car.)

Finally I pulled out my phone to check car rental prices at other companies. Most of the major companies wanted 3-4x what it was costing at Fox ($21), however Advantage only wanted $16. I have resisted renting from Advantage because of bad reviews, but when their shuttle circled around again, I hopped on board and booked the rental on the ride over to the facility.

The Advantage Experience

When I finally made it inside to the check-in counter, the agent was pleasant and didn’t push their insurance on me nor did she try to sell me fuel. (She mentioned them as options, but moved on when I said “no”!) While I was worried she wouldn’t have my reservation given that I had just booked it, that wasn’t a problem. It was on the top of her screen!

The only small issue with my check-in was the fact that there weren’t any small cars available on the lot. Instead, she explained that I would be driving a Luxury Edition Dodge Caravan. While the gas mileage wasn’t as good, it was a beautiful van with leather seats, GPS and all of the other bells and whistles. A van that seats 7 with just me to drive!

After getting off the lot, I made the 90 minute drive to Colorado Springs and arrived at my hotel around 2:45am! While the day started early at 9:30 the next (same) morning, my trip out to Colorado Springs was productive and totally worth it! The experience was a reminder of a few things though.

Lessons Re-learned

  • Always check rental car rates at competing companies on the day of pickup – Rental car rates change often. I am not sure if I would have rented through Advantage or not, however it is always a good idea to see if another company is cheaper. Generally I do this, however for some reason I didn’t check on this trip.
  • Try to avoid late night landings which involve onward travel – While I really believed that I would get on that earlier flight, I probably should have booked a hotel at Denver Airport and then driven to Colorado Springs the next morning. Thankfully I still had enough energy to make the drive safely and wasn’t falling asleep.
  • Don’t wear shorts and forget to bring a jacket when flying into Denver at midnight in late October. (Doh!)


Things go wrong when traveling. While it would have been easy to freak out, I was flexible enough to find another alternative to get on my way. That is why I believe it is so important to hone your travel skills and have a range of tools available for when you run into situations like these.

So what do you think? Have you ever been stranded on the curb? Let me know!

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. It’s a good thing you didn’t hop on another rental car van to ‘walk’ to Fox. In DEN they are located on the South side of I70, completely the other side from most of the rental car companies!

    • Yeah I would have looked it up before doing that anyway. I actually just assumed they were all in different places and was too tired to actually think to look it up.

      In the end it worked out and I saved $5 over what crappy Fox was charging.

  2. That happened to me waiting for the Best Western shuttle at LAS on my way to BACon…. good times. An hour and 4 calls to the hotel later, the shuttle finally showed up.

    I was with you in that I was tempted to just take a random shuttle and WALK to the hotel as I thought it might be faster.

    You’ve just always got that nagging feeling that if you leave, the NEXT shuttle in will be yours…


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