My friend is flying in from Germany for SpouseBUZZ Live next week. I am so excited that she took the leap to come; it's going to be wonderful to see her again and welcome her into the SpouseBuzz family.
However, her travel plans are not going so smoothly. Her plan was to fly in and then rent a car and drive to Fayetteville. The problem is that she's been stationed in Germany so long -- stop moved for an extra 15 months while her husband's deployed -- that her stateside driver's license has expired. She is planning on renewing it while she's back in the US this time, and she still has a valid overseas USAREUR license. But Avis won't let her rent a car on her USAREUR license.
And that's the kicker of the story. They won't let her do it. They'd let her husband, the active duty soldier, have a car but not her.
I'm not really trying to dime out Avis here, even though I am pretty disappointed that they have a partnership with USAA and offer military discounts and appear to "support the troops." What bothers me is any company or agency that supports the troops but doesn't extend that support to their family members.
My friend is just as stationed in Germany as her husband is. She can't help that she's been living outside of her own country for so long that her driver's license has expired! She can't pack up and fly back to the US just to renew her license any more than her husband can. And she's just as stuck for travel plans as her husband would be if he were heading home right now. I find it very frustrating that a company would extend a service to active duty folks but not their spouses. If it were a 100% no-go on USAREUR licenses, I could understand that, but the fact that they tell you right to your face that they'd do it if you wear the uniform but not if you man the homefront is infuriating.
We can't always be with our spouses. Sometimes we have to fly home alone. Sometimes they're deployed for 15 months to Iraq and can't exactly be there to rent the car for us. Sometimes we just need to make it to SpouseBUZZ Live and having to deal with calling numerous car rental agencies to find out which ones support the troops' families is the last thing we need!
Those are the times when the "dependent" label stings a little, doesn't it?