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Old 07-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help me understand RAC

Okay, here's they background: In an effort to save some money next year, we're contemplating taking DME to Disney and renting a car at the CCC. I don't want to take DME back to the airport because I like to get there really early for shopping, a leisurly lunch, etc so at 3 hours before, I want to be AT the airport, not just leaving for it. That means we'll use our rental to get ourselves back to the airport (there doesn't seem to be any price difference for returning it there, just renting from there). In another thread I had, someone mentioned that even if we don't use DME to return to the airport, we can still use RAC as long as we're on a participating airline - which we would be. We'll use Southwest. So is this how everything would work?

1. I contact DME with my airline info, etc,
2. We check our luggage at our departing airport with the DME tagas and do things the way we normally would (security, etc)
3. We arrive in Disney and just make our way to DME while our bags go wherever
4. Our bags magically arrive in our room, all intact (hopefully)
5. We enjoy our vacation
6. At the end of our vacation, we go to the Resort Airline check in desk with all our luggage at least 3 hours before our take off time
7. They label it for our destination airport and take it away
8. We get our boarding passes
9. Once at the airport, all we have to do is return the car and go through security
10. Our luggage will make it home with us where we actually collect it ourselves.

I know I made a short story long, I'm really good at that but not only would I like to save a little bit of money next year, I'm also trying to make it easy on me. I'm an overpacker which means we take alot - and it's usually up to me to make sure the skycaps get everything, that we get everything off the carousel once in Disney, everyone gets appropriate tips etc. And on top of it all, it was embarrasing last year when the luggage porter made a comment about everything we had. It doesn't matter that I tipped him nicely for his help (I gave him 20 for 6 bags) I didn't like the comment. So if I'm understanding everything correctly, that means I can avoid the "hassle" of skycaps and luggage porters (plus comments) at MCO, correct (and therefore save myself all those tips?).

And now that I've said all of that, I should tip the people at RAC, correct? And should I tip them what I would the skycaps at the airport?

If you've stuck with me through my long, drawn out explanations and questions, I appreciate it - and thanks for any help/information/personal experiences/etc.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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We've always used DME both ways, so I never realized you could make use of RAC without actually riding the bus, but I guess you could! They do not check your DME info at the RAC counter. Just your photo ID.

I know what you mean about avoiding baggage handlers. The only time we've used them and of course tipped them is when they deliver our bags to the room upon arrival, (We're usually in the room when they're delivered. The one time we were not there, we did not leave a tip.) and when we leave them at the RAC counter.
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Old 07-16-2012, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I always thought that DME would not just transport your bags. It was you and your bags, or no you and no bags. I could be wrong, but I thought you had to actually ride DME to have your bags transported.

You can always ask for an earlier DME reservation on your departure day.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
I always thought that DME would not just transport your bags. It was you and your bags, or no you and no bags. I could be wrong, but I thought you had to actually ride DME to have your bags transported
At the beginning of our trip, we will be taking DME but at the end, we'd be using RAC, which according to Allears has absolutely nothing to do with DME, therefore you can use it without using DME

Quote:
* This service is separate from Magical Express. You do not have to participate in Magical Express to utilize the Resort Airline Check-in Service.
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Old 07-16-2012, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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That sound amazing to me, and less stressful as well. I hope it all works out.

Last time I went to WDW, I got the rental car and my DH took the kids on DME so we didn't have to mess with luggage. We made sure that the DME tags were all for people who were actually using DME so that way my bags got to the room as well. On the way back, we did the same thing.

Really wish I had know that RAC and DME were totally separate.

We are not renting a car this time around, but good to know for our next trip.

Thank you..
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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WE always do what you plan on doing. We take DME from airport to resort, we pick up our rental car at the Disney Car Care Center, and on the return trip we always use RAC for our checked bags, and we tip at least $1 or $2 per bag. Sometimes we take the DME bus, sometimes we take the rental car to airport.
RAC is a separate service from DME. Both work well.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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You could always request an earlier dme pick up for the return flight home that would save you renting a car.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think you have to get your luggage turned in to the RAC desk in the morning of your departure day. The desk is only open for certain hours. Check on that when at your resort.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This plan will work exactly as you described it. We have used Resort Airline Check-in when we were returning a car at the airport, and it does reduce time spent in line at the airport. We do tip the RAC staff what we would tip a brllxap at the airport.

It is definitely important to check the hours at the RAC desk to be sure you drop off your bags before they close for the way. I think the desk usually has a sign with the hours even when it's closed.

Happy planning!
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiddenMickey View Post
I think you have to get your luggage turned in to the RAC desk in the morning of your departure day. The desk is only open for certain hours. Check on that when at your resort.
Thanks for mentioning this - I'll make a note to make sure I find out the times.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MelissaL View Post
This plan will work exactly as you described it. We have used Resort Airline Check-in when we were returning a car at the airport, and it does reduce time spent in line at the airport. We do tip the RAC staff what we would tip a brllxap at the airport.

It is definitely important to check the hours at the RAC desk to be sure you drop off your bags before they close for the way. I think the desk usually has a sign with the hours even when it's closed.

Happy planning!
Melissa
Thanks Melissa for confirming what I was hoping. And thanks to you too about mentioning the times. I'll make sure I note to find them out.
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I've started it! My NEW 2014 PTR UPDATED 7/26 Posts 32 & 33




My Countdown Counting down to: We hadn't planned on going to Disney this year, but since we're able to we're going to do it and enjoy it
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My Previous TripsAll WDW - July 1980 off property - July 1981 FW - July 1983 FW - July 1985 FW - August 1987 FW - July 1988 Treehouse Villas - July 1990 Treehouse Villas - July 1997 FW - August 2006 AS Sports, 1st time with DH and DD - August 2008 AS Sports - August 2009 AS Sports - August 2010 AS Sports - July 2011 AS Sports - August 2013 AS Music
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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The RAC desk is open from 5 am - 1 pm. We used RAC last month (in conjunction with DME) and it really couldn't be any simpler. I would definitely recommend it.

Disney's Magical Express and Resort Check-in Service Scroll down for the RAC info.
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Old 07-16-2012, 09:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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There are 3 separate companies at work here:
1. DME - which is Mears contracted by Disney
2. RAC - Resort Airline Check-in Service, which allows you to check your luggage, and receive your boarding passes. This is a third party, not DIsney, and is approved by the TSA to collect luggage.
3. BAGS- transports you luggage to your resort in you use DME and back to the airport if you use RAC.

Upon arrival at MCO, you must use DME in order for BAGS to transport your luggage from MCO to your resort.

When you return to MCO you do not need to use DME, but rather just check you luggage with RAC and BAGS will transport the luggage.

The RAC desk is usually open from 5 am to 1 pm. You can check your luggage with them anywhere from 12 before your flight to 3 hours. I suggest allowing more than 3 hours because lines at the RAC desk can be quite long and you could miss DME, if using it, or even your flight.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Sounds like you've gotten some good info already Darlene!

One thing I will add, even if you do not use DME to go back to the airport, you may still want to provide them with your return flight information. The last time I was at the resort they printed my boarding pass for me and it was in an envelope on my door the morning of checkout, all I had to do was check my bags with RAC.
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Old 07-17-2012, 10:41 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Think of RAC as curbside check-in, only the curb is 20 miles from the airport.
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Old 07-17-2012, 04:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Think of RAC as curbside check-in, only the curb is 20 miles from the airport.
I like that description - thanks.
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Lenny and Abby before dinner at 1900 PF

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I've started it! My NEW 2014 PTR UPDATED 7/26 Posts 32 & 33




My Countdown Counting down to: We hadn't planned on going to Disney this year, but since we're able to we're going to do it and enjoy it
8 days, 20 hours, 56 minutes
My Previous TripsAll WDW - July 1980 off property - July 1981 FW - July 1983 FW - July 1985 FW - August 1987 FW - July 1988 Treehouse Villas - July 1990 Treehouse Villas - July 1997 FW - August 2006 AS Sports, 1st time with DH and DD - August 2008 AS Sports - August 2009 AS Sports - August 2010 AS Sports - July 2011 AS Sports - August 2013 AS Music
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