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may 16

A stinky rental-car problem

It seems wrong to gripe on a Friday, but… Yesterday, I had one of those crazy business-travel days with a lot of travel for very little business: I flew from New York City to Albany, rented a car, drove to very pretty Lake George for an hour-long conference appearance, then returned home the same way. Anyway, my gripe involves the car rental. This will be the last time I rent from National unless the company learns to go easy on the air "freshener." I spent the entire time I was in the car trying desperately to breathe (and leaving the windows open didn't help at all). I wouldn't normally whine about this (publicly, anyway), but when I returned the car, the attendant said that I wasn't the only person to complain. Apparently it's a policy to over-perfume the cars. Anyone else have this problem with National? (It's that same smell that trash-bag makers and other household-product companies call "fresh scent" but it's just disgusting—at least to my nose.)

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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