Double praise goes out to Sharmaine C! 1) on our arrival she upgraded us from economy SUV to a minivan (Toyota Sienna) as the SUV was not available. 2) but even more important, she was super nice when we returned the car three weeks later under some “challenging” circumstances. Three miles before reaching the station I managed to puncture the tire, which I tried to patch up with the repair kit and then slowly “limped” to the station. All of this while the clock was mercilessly ticking away and we had a flight to catch at LAX at the start of Memorial Day weekend. Anyway, finally I managed to reach the station where she was not phased by my sweaty looks or panicky explanations on what had happened and how much of a hurry we were in. She took the car, let us go and checked the car in herself as we were already on our way to the airport.
Why 4 stars? Well, we had additional trouble with the car towards the end, getting a “check engine” alert in the middle of Joshua Tree NP on our way back to LA. And Sixt info lines were down with no chance of reaching them. In the end I had no option other than head to LA (as the manual did not forbid driving the car to a dealer on its own power) skipping some points we still had wished to visit. A reply to my email promised that someone from the rental point in LAX would get in touch for a replacement, which they didn’t in our remaining two days in LA.