Airport, Airline, and Parking Industry News

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Offsite Parking Cuts Tampa Airport's Cash

Tampa Airport estimates competitors rake in nearly $3 mil. annually.

November 22, 2011 - St. Petersburg Times - By STEVE HUETTEL -- Gail Wohl cruises right past Tampa Airport to find parking when she flies out of town.

Rather than use the airport's $9-per-day remote economy garage, the South Pasadena travel agent pulls into A-1 Express Airport Parking on the southern fringe of TIA. She drops off her car outside the office. A driver loads her luggage onto a free shuttle to the airport terminal 2 miles away.

And Wohl's $30 parking bill for four days is $6 cheaper than the airport's fee would be.

"It's a convenience, the price is good and you don't have to go look for your car when you get back," she said. "It's just so easy."

Most off-airport parking businesses compete strictly on price, shaving a few bucks off TIA's daily rate. That can add up to a tidy savings for travelers on extended trips.

Some offsite operators also offer services customers can't get at the airport: advance reservations for busy travel periods, oil changes and discount deals. A-1 Express customers can collect frequent-parking points, good for car washes and free parking.

The vast majority of travelers who drive to TIA still park in airport-owned garages. But more and more, offsite parking operators are nibbling away at the airport's share of the business, said Ed Cooley, TIA's vice president of operations.  Continue reading Tampa Airport Parking article.

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