Although you may not realize it – the timings you’ve booked for collection and return of the vehicle are very important. For the return – maybe the car has been promised to another customer – so if you’ve not brought the car back on time you have just ruined their day. Understandably you may well get charged a penalty – the local agent is going to have to try to find a car for the next customer without notice.
If you are delayed collecting and have not advised them, they will hold onto the car for one hour or maybe two – and then you will become a no-show and they may well give your vehicle to someone else. Even if you have given your flight number for the plane you are arriving on – it is no guarantee (the local agent has no way of knowing if you have missed your flight or connecting flight). That is why it is critical to contact the local agent as soon as you know you will be late – sure, maybe you cannot call when you are flying, but you have got no excuse for not calling when you are stuck in the departures lounge for 12 hours!
So, in the case of any delay, call the local agent and let them know you will be coming late. You will be doing yourself a favour!