Oklahoma City Airport Car Rental

Oklahoma City Airport Background…

Will Rogers Field was originally created and used as a United States Air Force training facility during World War II. Once the war was over, the Air Force no longer had any need for the airfield and turned it over to Oklahoma City. Whilst keeping the name, because Will Rogers was an honored cowboy and comedian from the Oklahoma area, the name was changed and commercial flights began pouring through the runway.

During the 1990s the terminal was deemed unsuitable and a three phase master plan was created to turn Will Rogers World Airport into a top-notch airport. The first two phases of the plan have been completed, which were basically the rebuilding and renovation of the airport. Phase three is meant to expand the airport by eight gates and add more restaurant and retail areas, but the phase has been put on hold pending the recent downturn of the world economy. Oddly enough, Will Rogers is the only airport in the United States with the “World” title, but it doesn’t even have any international flights or ties of any kind.

At the Oklahoma City Airport

Oklahoma City Airport Car Rentals…

There are eight rental car companies that compete against one another for the business of Will Rogers World Airport passengers. They are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Enterprise, National and Thrifty. You can find all the rental car counters just inside the baggage claim area. Once all the paperwork is finished your car will be brought to you just outside in the passenger pick-up area. Car rental parking areas are on the airport premises, but are being relocated for the next couple of years until the garage reconstruction is completed – estimated about 2013 sometime.

OKC Layout - See Rental Car Agents Lined Up

Oklahoma City Airport to Oklahoma City Driving Directions…

Getting to downtown Oklahoma City is the same no matter which rental car company you choose to go with since they are all centrally located within the airport. Once you're in your vehicle, drive away from the airport via Terminal Dr and take a right onto SW 54th St. Proceed down the street until you reach I-44 and hop on I-44 North. Then merge onto I-40 East and you'll be able to coast into downtown Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma City Airport Car Rental Return…

Getting back to the airport is essentially as easy as getting from the airport.  If coming back from the city, simply reverse the directions above and drive back via Highway 3, then S Meridian Ave.  Signs are well posted all the way back.  Remember there is construction, so the rental car return areas may be changing over the next year or two. Just drive slowly and watch for signs – particularly the overhead variety leading you back to one of the garages near the terminal.

Probably the best gas station that we know of using to refuel before returning your rental car is on S. Meridian.  When exiting off of Highway 3, don’t loop back on the Southbound direction.  Instead, take the Northbound Meridian (you’ll see a couple of large, overhead green signs giving you the option as you get closer – coming from Oklahoma City - see picture below ).  Drive for a few hundred yards and a gas station is on the left-hand side.  Then simply get back on Meridian and drive South to the airport.

Also, if you’re coming from the East, you’ll find stations along S May Ave. To get there, you'll want to take I-240 West until you get off at the S May Ave exit. Take a right after you take the exit and you'll run into all the gas station choices you could possibly want. Alternatively, if you’re coming back from the northern part of the city, or from the downtown area, you’ll want to follow I-44 South until the SW 59th St exit. From there you’ll have to turn left onto S May Ave.

After you fill-up on S May Ave, drive south along the road until you run into SW 59th St. Turn right onto SW 59th and follow it until you reach S Meridian Ave and take a left. You’ll proceed to drive straight into the airport and shouldn’t have any problems figuring out your way back from there.

Meridian Northbound and Southbound Near OKC
Courtesy of Google Street View

Other Airport Amenities…

During your time around Will Rogers World Airport, whether you’re just looking for something to do while you stretch your legs after a long flight or are looking to kill time before your flight comes in, you may want to check out the Ninety Nines Museum of Women Pilots. The museum is five thousand square feet in length, taking over the entire second floor of the International Headquarters. It features a large number of artifacts and exhibits showcasing the achievements of international women pilots. It’s primary purpose is to educate people on the part women pilots played on the development of aviation.

Car Rental Options at Will Rogers World Airport…

Oklahoma City is a fairly big tourism town, especially during college American football season. The airport sees roughly three and a half million passengers each year, a large number to compete with. If you want to make sure that car, truck, or SUV you wish to rent is waiting for you, then your best bet is to make a reservation as far ahead of your planned trip as possible. The sooner you can reserve your car, the more likely it is that they will have it in stock. Waiting until the last minute to walk up to the counter and try to order something specific usually doesn’t work out quite as well. 

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