St. Louis Airport Car Rental

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport Background…

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has one of the oldest backgrounds of any airport in the United States. It started out known as Kinloch Field, a subarea of Kinloch Park, in 1890. It was one of the premier tour sites where the Wright brothers showed off their innovative airplane designs to the world and the site where Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to ever take to the skies in 1910. The field was also the site of the first experimental parachute jump too.

In 1920 the field was leased to the Aero Club of St. Louis and was named the Lambert-St. Louis Flying Field after Albert Lambert, a silver medalist golfer and the first person in St. Louis to receive a pilot’s license. Lambert bought the airfield in 1925 and constructed the airports first hangers and terminals. Two years later, in 1927, Lambert sold the airport to the City of St. Louis, making it the first municipality owned airport in the United States.  Also during the 20’s, Lambert field became the first airport with an air traffic control system through the use of flag cues to pilots.

A couple world wars later, in 1982, Trans World Airlines moved its services from Kansas City International and Lambert Airport became one of the busiest international airports in the United States. It’s stood in place ever since despite political and natural opposition and continues to see regular passenger traffic of about twelve million people per year.

Lambert St Louis International airport

Lambert International Car Rentals…

The on-airport rental car agencies are located on the lower level of the Main Terminal. There are two passenger pick-up areas used by the car rental agencies to pick up and drop off rental vehicles. Terminal 1’s pick-up location is just outside door 17, while Terminal 2’s location is found just outside door 12. The seven rental companies that offer their services include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, National, Hertz and Thrifty.  Each of these rental car companies actually house their vehicles off-site – meaning you will hop on a shuttle ride to get to your vehicle.  In this case, the shuttle ride is very short. 

Most car rental companies are located on Natural Bridge Road – or just off of Natural Bridge Road (National and Alamo are located on Woodson Road which shoots off of Natural Bridge Road – you can actually access it from either road).

Getting to downtown St. Louis from these car rental facilities is a piece of cake even though it’s a little ways away. All you have to do is head towards the airport via Natural Bridge Road and follow it all the way onto I-70 East and you can take the interstate all the way into the heart of St. Louis.   When returning your rental car from St. Louis, you’ll probably use 70 again.  Simply take the Natural Bridge Road exit (you’ll see the tall Avis and Budget signs as soon as you get within a mile or two).

After you get onto the Natural Bridge Road (and before you get your car back to the appropriate facility) you will probably want to re-fuel before returning.  To do so, we generally recommend that you fill your gas tank up at the BP that sits next to the Drury Inn (below) located on Natural Bridge Road. 

Drury Inn on Natural Bridge Road

Other Airport Amenities…

Both Terminals have their own separate dining and shopping locations. If you’re hungry and find yourself in Terminal 1, you’ll be able to easily find Starbucks, Beers of the World, Mosaic, and a Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins. If none of those sound appetizing then you’ll have to find your way over to Terminal 2 to eat at Great American Bagel, Budweiser Stadium Club Bar and Grill, Burger King, Tequilaria, California Pizza Kitchen, or Chili’s. If neither terminal has anything you’re interested then you’ll have to find something elsewhere.

Shopping wise there is a bigger selection of stores, but still nothing to really write home about. You have the usual gift shops and big name retailers scattered between terminals. However, you never know what may be added in the future, so be sure to check out the directory during your time at the Airport.

At the St. Louis airport

Other Car Rental Options at Lambert International…

You can rent most types of vehicles from Lambert International, including SUVs, limos, and your typical four-door sedans. Just be sure that you reserve your vehicle ahead of time. You certainly don’t want to get stuck driving something you don’t want.

Source: St. Louis Airport

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