© 2024 Kansas Public Radio

91.5 FM | KANU | Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM | K241AR | Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM | KANH | Emporia
99.5 FM | K258BT | Manhattan
97.9 FM | K250AY | Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM | KANV | Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM | K210CR | Atchison
90.3 FM | KANQ | Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

FCC On-line Public Inspection Files Sites:

Questions about KPR's Public Inspection Files?
Contact General Manager Feloniz Lovato-Winston at fwinston@ku.edu
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Stranded travelers at KCI strain rental car agencies already short on supply

 Signs point out directions to KCI's car rental hub.
Zach Perez
Signs point out directions to KCI's car rental hub.

Travelers stuck at Kansas City International Airport who hope to drive rental cars home are finding that supply can’t keep up with demand.

Since the start of the week, Southwest Airlines has canceled hundreds of flights scheduled to arrive or depart from KCI.

Those cancellations have left many airline travelers stranded in KCI terminals, causing them to turn to the airport-based rental car agencies.

Multiple agencies are now warning customers that they are experiencing low vehicle availability due to the impacts of winter weather and widespread flight cancellations.

Josiah Lim, a traveler whose flight home to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was canceled by Southwest Tuesday morning, said he was told by Enterprise that he would have to wait multiple days for a car to become available.

“Yeah, we’ve been staying here this whole time,” said Lim, who had rental a hotel room. “Yesterday when I tried to put in for (a car) their system said they wouldn’t have anything available until Thursday.”

In a statement released to KCUR by the Hertz Corporation, the agency said it has experienced record call volume and demand for bookings of one-way rentals nationwide.

Some customers took to social media to report issues with agency websites and phone service, as well as cancellations of pre-existing car reservations due to lack of vehicles.

Wednesday morning, rental agencies at KCI re-listed a small number of available cars and Lim was able to reserve one.

“I just happened to check this morning,” Lim said. “Incredibly they had something available for me.”

Lim now faces a more than 750 mile drive, while others able to obtain a rental on Wednesday said they planned to drive as far as San Diego or Philadelphia.

“It’s worked out okay for me cause I have family here,” Lim said. “But now I don’t have much of a choice. I really need to get back.”

Copyright 2022 KCUR 89.3. To see more, visit KCUR 89.3.

Zach Perez