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Old 28 Jun 16, 08:15 AM  
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Yorkshire_Dan
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Alamo Guide (OLCI & Skip the Counter)

This thread has been automatically created, because the original thread had over 500 posts.

The original thread was located HERE.

The first post was...

Please make sure that you read ALL of the following information. I appreciate that it is lengthy but some people have encountered troubles because they have missed parts. You do not need to read through all of the additional pages but a lot of really good information is contained within them if you are struggling with a particular problem.

There has been a lot of confusion lately surrounding Alamo and their system in terms of avoiding the counter and going straight to the garage to collect your car. Alamo do not make this process straight forward and the information is quite hard to find hence why I have been asked to write this (by Lisa29) step-by-step guide to avoid any doubt.

Whilst I understand and accept that people in the past have gone straight to the garage and been successful whilst only completing SaveTime. This, according to Alamo, is NOT sufficient and lately people on this forum have been sent back to the desk because of this. As mentioned by myself previously, I for one do not want any issues when arriving in Florida after a 9 hour flight!

The procedure is as follows, in order to bypass the counter and head straight to the garage you need to complete the following, in this exact order (after booking your vehicle): *Please see update below

SaveTime
Online Check In
Skip the Counter (sometimes referred to as Bypass the Counter)

*Update: Please note that I only completed SaveTime because I received an email link for it, there is no need to complete it, you can now proceed straight to Online Check In and then onto Skip the Counter

The definitions of each, according to Alamo, are as follows:

SaveTime
Speed up your rental with our SaveTime process. Simply provide us with your driver details online, after you have made your reservation to save time at the rental counter
The most important aspect here is the final part of the paragraph to save time at the counter. This is also stated on your paperwork and has been the root of most of the problems because people presume that SaveTime is for skipping the counter when it clearly is not. All this process does (officially) is provide the check in staff at the desk with information to enable a quicker process before you head off to the garage.

Online Check In
This is where the Alamo system becomes most confusing as it would appear that SaveTime and Online Check In are essentially the same process. Their definition is:
Save time at the counter when you check in online. Just give a few details now like your driver's license information and date of birth and we will be ready when you arrive. You'll be on the road and on vacation before you know it!
The most important part to remember is that you must complete Online Check In to enable you to Skip the Counter which is the next part;

Skip the Counter
Skip the Counter does just as it says, it allows you to bypass the counter/kiosks and head straight to the garage to select your vehicle. Heres the official line from Alamo:

Many of our top locations offer Skip the Counter after you check in online.

Here's how it works:
When you Skip the Counter, you dont need to visit the counter or kiosk. You can go straight to your car!
This optional service is offered free of charge at select locations in the Online Check-In process. Check if your location qualifies for "Skip the Counter."
To Skip the Counter, you will be required to confirm your protection options, agree to the Rental Agreement Terms & Conditions, and enter a valid credit card. (No charge is made until you return your vehicle.)
Certain restrictions apply.

First of all you need to make sure that the airport you are flying to offers the Skip the Counter service. As we are mainly dealing with Orlando International Airport, I can confirm that Skip the Counter is available here. However, please note that this service is NOT available at Orlando Sanford Airport. To check this, please follow this link which explains the entire procedure and includes restrictions which is my next point:

https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rental/checkin.html

In order to complete the Skip the Counter process, you must check that you meet the requirements, these can be found below:

Skip the Counter Requirements
In order for a reservation to be eligible for "Skip the Counter," it must meet these requirements:

Reservation must be at a rental location that offers Skip the Counter Check a location for eligibility.
Reservation must not exceed 30 days.
Reservation must be made at least 24 hours in advance.
Reservation cannot include certain add-ons that need to be added to vehicle (i.e. fuel, mobility devices, etc.).
Reservation cannot be prepaid or direct billed to a 3rd party (i.e. Voucher, Business Account, etc.).
Renter must use a major credit card (or debit card) to secure rental.

Please note that if you have pre-paid or have billed via a 3rd party (does not include Alamo Brits) you cannot complete Skip the Counter. This also applies if you have included any add-ons when you originally made the booking such as fuel etc. **There is now a workaround for this contained within the comments.**

Throughout the Online Check In and Skip the Counter processes you will need to agree to the Rental Agreement Terms & Conditions, and enter a valid credit card. (No charge is made until you return your vehicle). You will also need your driving licence details.

The procedure
This is the exact method I used to go through the process. Other people have confirmed this method as being successful also.

Book your vehicle either via Alamo.com, .co.uk or Brits (you should receive a confirmation email).
Once you have this email there should be a link on there for SaveTime. Click this link and complete the SaveTime process. As per update, this is no longer necessary. Proceed directly to Online Check in below.
You should receive another confirmation email thanking you for using the SaveTime feature.
Next, you need to go to Alamo.com or follow this link to Online Check In:

https://www.alamo.com/en_US/car-rental/checkin.html

Log in entering your first name, last name and confirmation number and complete the Check In procedure.

You should then receive another confirmation email thanking you for checking in online with a link to bypass the counter. Again, follow that link or log into Alamo.com using the link above and finding the option for it on the right-hand side of your booking page.
Once you have completed Skip the Counter you will receive another email confirmation which tells you to go straight to the garage. This is also confirmed on all of your paperwork, print off your barcode and paperwork and head straight to the garage!

Issues
One problem I encountered was the flight number information. If you have included your flight number on your original booking, you will need to remove it from the additional information section which is a drop down menu when completing Online Check In and then re-submit.

If you have booked with Virgin you will need to complete this via their own booking system on confirmation emails etc. Virgin differs slightly in that once you have completed Online Check In with them this is sufficient as it seems to include Skip the Counter during this process.

The latest issue is when Rachy tried to do Online Check In and Skip the Counter but couldn't due to some unknown error within the Alamo system even though she clearly qualified for this. Rachy originally booked via Alamo.co.uk and I believe she also tried with the .com site. I suggested she tried with Alamo Brits and the process worked flawlessly. Please bare this in mind when choosing who to book with.

If you are getting the dreaded "protection type invalid" message upon check in, which a few people have reported (generally the screen is populated with your details briefly then disappears taking you to a new reservation page), try checking in again, then open up another page in Google (whilst leaving the check in tab open on your original page) and then search Alamo Bypass the Counter and complete the process that way (special thanks to Orlando 2004 for this).

Another workaround for the issue directly above is to log into your completed SaveTime booking page, click save and continue at the end then attempt Skip the Counter by pressing the button on the right of the page (thanks to oeamon for this). You will still need to have completed OLCI prior to this.

Good luck!

Dan
Please feel free to carry on...
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Old 28 Jun 16, 08:28 AM  
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Just wanted to say cheers for this completed it last night no issues. Made the res back in March so just looked for the conf number and put it in via the OLCI link you provided. Just needed to fill out drivers driving licence details etc then a pop up comes up asking if you want to skip the counter as Orlando is eligible.

Didn't get chance to do it then as don't didn't have my CC on me but there's a link in the online check in email asking if you want to skip the counter too if you don't want to do it at the same time. Nice and easy! Appreciate the guide.
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Old 28 Jun 16, 02:40 PM  
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soggy
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I've booked via discount florida car hire and all prepaid
On there website they advise doing online check in but dont mention straight to garage
Can i do STG?
Also if not how much time does it save as having looked into how to use the kiosks its doesn't look too tricky or time consuming
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Old 28 Jun 16, 10:30 PM  
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Phild
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Can't understand all the fuss about this to be honest. Just follow the Alamo instructions and do Save Time, online check-in and then Skip Counter/straight to garage. Make sure you take the skip counter go straight to garage barcode with you when you head direct to the garage and away you go.

Did this last year and took about 15 mins to get car and head off. Doesn't make a blind bit of difference whether you decide to prepay or pay on arrival, we prepaid with fuel and no bother.
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Old 29 Jun 16, 08:47 PM  
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soggy
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Just quickly answer my own question in case anyone else booked via discount florida car hire;
Did on line check in via alamo website with confirmation no on car hire voucher
Whilst check-in confirmation still open i opened new window..googled alamo skip the counter..clicked on link and as mentioned in previous posts all details were automatically populated..just added cc details and printed out..job done
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Old 29 Jun 16, 09:09 PM  
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Amiee89
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Do you still need to take paper part of licence even tho they mean jack here? Xx
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Old 30 Jun 16, 10:35 AM  
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No it's no longer a valid document so they will not ask for it.
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Old 30 Jun 16, 01:39 PM  
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Yorkshire_Dan
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Originally Posted by soggy View Post
I've booked via discount florida car hire and all prepaid
On there website they advise doing online check in but dont mention straight to garage
Can i do STG?
Also if not how much time does it save as having looked into how to use the kiosks its doesn't look too tricky or time consuming
The kiosks can be busy (at least in my experience). Even though the kiosks only take a few minutes by that time you can already be in the parking lot and picking your vehicle.

Every minute counts when you have got off a 9 hour flight and you just want to get on with your holiday!
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Old 3 Jul 16, 11:39 AM  
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Hi!

I'm booked via charter travel and I've done online check in. I've printed off the barcoded paperwork but I didn't enter any credit card details when I checked in, just my licence information. I think i did this last time and not sure if I handed a card over as we drove he car out and they scanned it, but I can't remember.
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Old 5 Jul 16, 06:30 PM  
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Oakmark
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Hi All

I've booked through Floridacarhire.com which is prepaid, tried completeing online checkin but it will not accept my reservation number.

What process should I be following assuming it's possible of course.

Cheers
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