Cutting Rental Car Confusion at Missoula Montana Airport
You still have to go to the "tent" to get your rental car at Missoula Montana Airport. But the signs of that change are beginning to rise skyward just a hundred yards away with steel going up for the new concourse.
And when the transition is complete, passengers will no longer have a cold walk to get to their rental car.
It's all part of the major construction at the airport which is running ahead of schedule, and actually targeted to be finished in early 2025.
A temporary setup
Disruption has been a way of life for airport passengers, and staff as the airport goes through a major transformation. The opening of the new terminal last year resolved some of those challenges. Yet picking up a rental car still involves some confusion, especially if you don't go to the airport on a regular basis.
That's because the major rental car companies are still operating out of an "inflatable", temporary building away from the main terminal. Although the companies refer you to pick up rental cars you've booked "at the terminal", you actually have to walk to the "tent" to book your vehicle.
The situation will change when the rental operations move back into the new concourse.
Tips to make it easier
1). If you have a visitor coming into Missoula from out of town, make sure they understand to go straight outside and follow the signs after picking up their baggage downstairs in the new terminal (and advise them to have a coat ready if they have to hoof it in the winter).
2). If you're local, and renting a car there are options. You can have someone drop you off by going through the parking area and leaving you at the white rental building. Or, it's easy to park in a "short-term" parking lot, walk over to the building, and make your arrangements. Then, the driver of the rental car can leave directly out of the rental parking, and the other person can go back and pick up the personal vehicle.
And remember, if you are in short-term parking for less than an hour there's no charge at the booth.
3). Also, if you're planning a local rental, it's a good idea to make your pickup time so it doesn't overlap with an arriving flight to avoid a longer line. So check the flight schedules on the Missoula Montana Airport website.