Pittsburgh Airport Car Rental

Pittsburgh International Airport Background…

In 1940 the United States became involved in this little European skirmish called World War II. The Works Progress Administration at the time declared that Pittsburgh needed a military airport base to protect the areas wealth and to help train troops while providing a stop-over facility for other military flights. The Administration bought a farm, the Bell Farm, and began constructing the airport in 1942.

Two years later, county officials proposed that the military installation build a commercial airport terminal to help stem the excess of passengers from Alleghany County Airport. Their proposal was accepted, the thirty-three million dollar terminal was built, and the airport was renamed the Greater Pittsburgh Airport. At the time it was opened in 1952, the airport was the largest in the country. In 1972, the airport received the title “International” when its International Arrivals Building was opened. As it slowly became, by far, the most prominent airport around Pittsburgh, the name was simplified to the Pittsburgh International Airport. Today it serves about eight million passengers annually.


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Pittsburgh International Car Rentals…

When you arrive at the baggage claim area of the Landside Terminal you’ll see nine car rental companies with booths ready to assist you with your car rental needs. The companies available include Avis, Alamo, Budget, Hertz, Payless, Enterprise, Thrifty, National and Dollar. There is not a bus or shuttle service like at many airports. To pick-up your car, just walk to the garage nearby and it should be waiting for you, after you take care of all the paperwork at the respective company’s counter of course.  The airport has a covered-garage car rental area that is just a short walk away from the front of the terminal.  Simply walk out of the front and get your vehicle.

Driving to Pittsburgh from the Pittsburgh Airport…

Downtown Pittsburgh is a fair way away from the airport, which is located outside of the city. To reach it, all you have to do is follow Airport Blvd to the I-376 o-ramp and then follow I-376 East to wherever your destination in Pittsburgh resides.

Returning Your Rental Car Back to the Pittsburgh Airport…

To get back to the airport from the city, your best bet is to take I-396 all the way back to the airport road turnoff.  Signs are posted well, and the rental car return garage has very good signs, bringing you right back to the garage.

Your best bet for filling up your car rental before returning it is to use the on-airport Sunoco – if it is still there.  The Sunoco website doesn’t show an actual location at the airport, but behind the airport instead. The second closest alternative, which is the closest off-airport choice, is to take I-376 West to the Clinton Road exit, turn right off of Clinton Rd onto Lincoln Highway and refuel at the Shell on your right just after you pass through the small town of Clinton. Otherwise you’re stuck driving down I-376 until you come across another exit with a fuel station, and there is no guarantee your rental’s tank will stay on ‘F’ during the trip back to the airport.

Other Airport Amenities…

Pittsburgh Internaitonal’s AirMall offers a wide variety of fast food services to all passengers. Other than the City of Bridges Café, T.G.I.Friday’s covers all waited-on dining services, from a rentable boardroom to a sit-down bar. If you’re looking for something in particular, just consult the airport directories or ask a nearby airport employee.

Being an “AirMall” there are tons of apparel shops located throughout the airport. You can also find electronics, books, shoes, and even a Crocs store if you’re looking for something a bit more comfortable to wear before and/or after your flight. There are also newsstands, Godiva Chocolates, and a PGA store for those looking for other means to kill time with. The airport also offers a chapel, a spa, a Kidsport, foreign exchange services, and much more.

The Hyatt Hotel is located on airport grounds and can easily be accessed by moving walk-ways. For any other hotel options you’ll have to hop on I-376 and see what you can find. Your best bet is to take I-376 East into Pittsburgh, but there really isn’t anything very close to airport worth speaking about. Same goes for food and, as previously mentioned, gas station services.


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Car Rental Options at Pittsburgh International…

The nine car rental companies that provide their services to all Pittsburgh International passengers do a great job of making sure each passenger has as many options to choose from as possible. You can get an SUV for extra storage, an off-road machine from extra exploration, and a traditional four-door sedan. If you’re looking to grab something other than the sedan, you may want to strongly consider making a reservation. Remember, you could end up competing with any one of the other eight million passengers.

Source: Pittsburgh Airport

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