Member Stories

For Three Winners, Car Rental Sweepstakes Opens the Door to Union Plus

Union members Elizabeth Hipwell, David Butler, and Michael Boylan were the lucky winners of the Union Plus Car Rental Sweepstakes. Thousands of union members entered the sweepstakes, but these lucky three won $100 Hertz gift certificates. 

This year, 14,000 union members and family members entered our car rental sweepstakes. But only three lucky drivers came out on top!

Elizabeth Hipwell of Chicago, IL is a longtime member of SAG-AFTRA, moving from New York to Los Angeles before settling down in the Windy City, retaining her membership all the while.

However, it wasn’t until recently that she realized the world of Union Plus benefits and discounts that was available to her. Hipwell happened to see a Union Plus email promoting the car rental sweepstakes in August 2018, entered on a whim, and much to her surprise became one of the winners! 

Walking away with three $100 gift certificates to Hertz means she can attend her family reunion in Washington next summer, worry-free. 

“How will I afford a car rental for a week?” Hipwell already fretted, anticipating ferrying around relatives and running errands for her elderly aunt. 

The answer came in her unexpected win, which felt “like a blessing from above,” she says. 

“I’m going to use Union Plus benefits from now on,” Hipwell enthuses. “The customer service with Union Plus is really awesome.”

David Butler, a member of the IATSE in Buffalo, NY calls his win “beginner’s luck.” He had also been unfamiliar with Union Plus programs and benefits before his win. 

Butler’s recent work has focused on production design for films, one of which recently won an award at an independent film festival in Woodstock, NY. 

He says, “The timing of this win could not have been more perfect.” He used the Budget gift certificates to travel cross-state to the festival and see the audience’s reception to the film in person. 

“I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go to this festival or not, and when I won this contest I thought, ‘It’s a sign, I’m going!’” Butler recalls. “I wasn’t sure if my current car was going to make it, so [the prize] was very helpful and I was very excited to have won.”

Thanks to his win, Butler says, “I’ll do my best to get the word out about Union Plus in the Buffalo area. It’s really cool that there are so many different benefits.”

Michael Boylan, a retired SEIU member living in Queens, NY, thought his win was a prank since he never expects to win anything he enters. But the Union Plus sweepstakes proved to be his lucky break. 

Boylan visits his snowbird friends in Florida every winter but is skipping his usual trip this year due to the recent hurricanes. Boylan is glad his gift certificates to Avis don’t have an expiration date, because there’s always next year. 

Congratulations to all the winners and thank to you all the entrants. And remember, union members save up to 25% on car rental rates at six Union Plus rental car partners—Avis, Budget, Dollar, Hertz, Payless and Thrifty.

Learn more about the Union Plus
Car Rental Program


Car Rental

Get up to 25% Discount on Car Rentals with Avis, Budget, Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Payless
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