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Thrifty announces winners of "Hug Your Travel Agent" Contest


Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group
Chris Payne
(918) 669-2236

Tulsa, Okla., August 23, 2005 - Thrifty Car Rental, a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Car Rental, Inc. (NYSE:DTG), today announced the winners of its “Hug Your Travel Agent” contest. The story-telling contest encouraged consumers to share their story of how a travel agent saved their business trip or vacation, with rewards for both the winning client and travel agent.

Sally Fine of Motor City Travel at Exhibit
Works, winning travel agent of Thrifty Car
Rental's "Hug Your Agent" contest.

This year’s Grand Prize-winning travel agent was Sally Fine of  Motor City Travel at Exhibit Works in Livonia , Mich. , and the prize-winning customer who nominated her was Patti Opperthauser of Bloomfield Hills , Mich.   For their efforts, Fine and Opperthauser have each won a trip for two anywhere in the continental U.S.  The Grand Prize trip consists of roundtrip airfare for two, three night’s hotel accommodations and a three-day car rental from Thrifty. “Thank goodness for my travel agent,” said Opperthauser of her agent, Sally Fine.   “My husband, three-year-old daughter, eight-year-old son and I went to Barbados for a week.   On the second evening, my husband became quite ill.   An infection started in his leg that spread into the rest of his body.”   With her husband, Glen, in the hospital for the rest of the week, Opperthauser had to rely on resort employees and the hotel’s “Kids’ Club” to help with the children.   After a traumatic week in a foreign hospital, Patti was relieved that her husband was ready to be released.     However, there was the little matter of payment.  

“The hospital and the doctor wanted to be paid right away . . . in cash!” said Opperthauser.  “A week of traveling back and forth to the hospital had depleted my cash supply.   I had purchased travel insurance that covered illness and medical evacuation, but I didn’t know what to do.”  

That’s when Opperthauser called her travel agent.  “Sally Fine, in my opinion, is the best travel agent in the world.   She made some calls for me and arranged to have money wired to me.  She dealt with the insurance company, which wasn’t thrilled about paying to fly my husband home first-class,” which the doctor said was mandatory so he could have his leg propped up.   “Sally insisted the insurance company pay and they did.”  

When Glen had an allergic reaction to one of the medications and the family had to extend their stay, Fine took care of all of the last-minute travel arrangements.   “She told us what we needed to turn into the insurance company, and made sure we could reach her at any time of the day or night,” said Opperthauser.   “I truly don’t know what I would have done without her.  She is the best!”  

Agent Sally Fine sees nothing unusual in the service she provides her customers.  “I try to put myself in their shoes and treat them the way I’d like to be treated,” said Fine.  “Problems are magnified when you’re on the road and knowing there is someone willing to help you can make a difference.   The internet cannot replace the personal touch.”

As Grand Prize winners, Opperthauser and Fine have each won a trip for two anywhere in the continental U.S.  While it’s not a contest requirement that the two couples vacation together, both couples are considering a vacation at the same time in Gulf Shores, Alabama .  “We won the trip together, so we’ll take it together!” said Opperthauser.  

In addition, Thrifty awarded five runners-up each with a free weekend car rental for the winning travel agents and their clients.  The contest ran from April 1, 2005, through May 31, 2005.  

“Travel agents never fail to amaze me, the extraordinary lengths they will go to for their customers,” said Scarlete Pelfrey, Director of Travel Industry Sales for Thrifty Car Rental.   “We are proud of all of the agents who were nominated in the contest, but know it represents just a fraction of the good work travel agents do on a daily basis.”  

About Thrifty Car Rental
Thrifty Car Rental is a subsidiary of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, Inc., a Fortune 1000 Company headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Together with its corporately-owned locations and those of its franchise owners, the Thrifty Car Rental brand serves value-conscious travelers from more than 1,028 locations in 68 countries. For additional information, visit or .