so, I just called the Car Rental (Budget) location to confirm my reservation and let them know that:
a) I will have an additional driver (since its stipulated in the Terms & Conditions that you must call the location and inform them ahead of time), and
b) That my flight has changed since I originally made the reservation. (It *was* United Airlines, but now I'm flying British Airways).
Interesting converstaion, I must say. They wanted my drivers liscense & passport info (understandable) and I was easily able to provide that for them on the phone. However, they also wanted the additional driver's info (Gretchen's), but I didn't have that with me. Not a problem, they said. Just call us when you land and give us the info, we'll charge your credit card (on file) with the car rental price, and then drive the car over to your terminal (as a courtesy, no extra charge) so that you can pick it up right away once you collect your luggage!
How cool is that?
Now, the only thing I forgot to ask is if I can change the return by deadline for the car. I had originally asked for noon, but now I'm thinking it might be nice to have a bit more leeway in our drive back time if we pushed back the noon deadline.
Also, the guy I talked to said that they *do* have automatic transmissions in addition to manuals. He wanted to know if (1) I needed to upgrade to a larger size car, or if the 'intermediate' that I reserved was still ok, and (2) if I wanted the automatic transmission instead of the manual transmission. I said I'd keep the intermediate size and the manual transmission...but I was semi tempted (I'll tell you) to take the automatic transmission option. I'm *almost* tempted to call back and see if there's a price difference...and how much it is...to go with the automatic. But Hey, I've been practicing my driving in a stick-shift car, and I'm a LOT more comfortable driving it around here in CA than I was when I first started. (Steep hills still scare me, but that's probably since there are not a ton of those around here to practice on =). So now I just have to get used to the idea of driving on the 'wrong' side of the road (the left), sitting on the right side of the car as the diver (so shifting with be with my left hand), and review the international driving signs (since they use those in England).
And that's my update for now on my car rental for the trip.