South Bend Airport Car Rental

South Bend Regional Airport Background…

The first flight to ever successfully land in South Bend was completed in 1911 by Rene Simon, a French aviator. In 1919 the area saw the construction and use of its first airfield, which was started by two ex-military lieutenants who started barnstorming, the precursor profession of aerial acrobatics. Ten years later, the initial six hundred acres on which the airport would be constructed was purchased. In 1933, the airport was opened with the name Bendix Municipal Airport. Bendix comes from the last name of the Vincent Bendix, owner of the Bendix Aviation Corporation that originally built and owned the airport. 

Over the decades South Bend Airport has seen the usual renovations and remodeling you’d expect an airport of more than eighty years to see. It continues to serve as Indiana’s second busiest commercial airport. With only about forty thousand aircraft operations that airport services more than nine hundred thousand passengers each year.

South Bend Regional

South Bend Regional Airport Car Rentals…

There are six national rental car chains that are mostly open from eight in the morning until eleven thirty every day except for Sundays when they all close early around eight. All six counters are located within the baggage claim area as of the time this article was written. If you’re having a hard time finding the rental company you’re looking for, consult a nearby directory and/or ask a nearby employee if any changes have been made to the airport’s rental car services.

Once you’ve filled out all the rental agreement paperwork to your rental agency’s satisfaction, you’ll be handed the keys and directed to your vehicle’s resting place in the rental car parking lot just outside the terminal. The six companies you have to choose from are Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.

To get to the vehicles, you will simply walk out of the front of the terminal and turn to your right.  The rentals will be situated about 100 meters from the front door.  Walk down Terminal Drive and you can’t miss them.  The rental car signs will be posted in order to help you identify the correct parking lot area.

South Bend Airport to South Bend Direction…

When you first arrive you’ll notice South Bend looks larger than you may have initially thought. However, if you look at a map, you’ll realize that South Bend is actually part of a large metropolis area made up of four separate cities. The other three smaller cities around South Bend are-in order from largest to smallest - Eikhart, Mishawaka, and Granger. There are also a number of smaller towns along the outskirts of the metropolitan area.

To get to the downtown area, from which I’m going to assume you can figure out how to get to the rest of the towns, you’ll need to start by heading out on Terminal Drive.  Veer right and travel about ¼ of a mile.  You will soon run into Lincoln Way W – joining a traffic circle, and all you have to do is take the third exit on your way to Lincoln Way. When Lincoln Way intersects with W LaSalle Ave, you’ve reached the center of the city. 

By the way, if you’re hungry from your flight, you might check out the Volcano Restaurant – specializing in thin-crust Pizza.  It’s on the right-hand side of the road coming from the airport – about 6/10ths of a mile from the traffic circle in front of the airport area.  Pick up some nice ravioli and some thin-crust pizza before your travels to the football game!

If you’re looking to go to Grand Rapids, Detroit, or one of the other areas around the Great Lakes, you’ll want to head left on Lincoln Way/Lynn St and hop onto I-80. From there you’ll have to either follow the signs to your destination or follow a GPS system.

20120218 16 Paris and Jack @ South Bend Airport

South Bend Airport Car Rental Return…

Getting back to the airport is no more difficult than it was leaving the airport.  Simply drive back into the airport area and watch for signs.  You will park your rental at the same location from where you originally picked it up at.

You won’t find too many airports with gas stations sitting right outside the entrance like the 7-Eleven outside of South Bend Regional Airport. The gas station sits right near the Sleep Inn within a couple hundred yards of the airport turn-in. If you want some other choices then drive down Lincoln Way W a bit and take a few of the major roads off of Lincoln Way. You should easily be able to find something to your liking nearby and be able to get your car back with a full tank of gas easily.

Other Car Rental Options at South Bend Regional Airport…

All six car rental companies offer satellite enabled GPS systems that stay constantly updated with traffic patterns, thus allowing you to bypass heavy traffic with ease. If you don’t rent a GPS system with your rental and don’t have one of your own-no, your phone’s GPS doesn’t count- then you’re likely going to end up lost and paying more in wasted gas than you would have to rent the GPS system. It’s your call in the end, but I highly advise you grab one.
Source: South Bend Regional

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