May 22, 2006
Airport parking

The Sunday Chron had a story in the business section about fierce competition among the satellite parking lots at Intercontinental Airport.

We entered the market as the only player somewhere upwards of 30 years ago, and today there's got to be up to eight competitors,'' said David Grocer, a spokesman for Park 'N Fly. "We have a lot more competition.''


Local parking operators say the abundance of land around Houston airports has given companies a cheap way to get good returns on their investments. But with so many companies now, they have to fight for every customer.

Complimentary newspapers and bottled water are common, and almost all offer discount coupons in the newspaper, online or in the mail, but the services offered by some can be more elaborate.


But for many customers, convenience will be the deciding factor, no matter how low rates drop.

Barbara Mingarelli, who travels as part of her job at GlaxoSmithKline, has always used Park 'N Fly when flying out of Intercontinental, even though it's more expensive than most of her other options.

"The service is so good I just wouldn't. The drivers are always happy and are always willing to help," she said. "It's worth paying for the extra vans and the help."

I've said this before and I'll say it again: When we finally do get an airport shuttle service in this town, it's these parking lots that they'll be competing against. No offense to the city's cabbies, but this is where the action is. It's a straight price-for-convenience tradeoff. It'll be interesting to see how the shuttles try to differentiate themselves in the market. When they finally get the chance to do so, that is.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 22, 2006 to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles | TrackBack

I used to use these lots when I travelled for business. One lot had Continental checkin/baggage check. It was the fastest option back pre-print-at-home. More than one offered to wash your car the day you got back.

I need to find these options near PHL, because the public parking lot there sorta sucks. When I fly out of Newark, I take a train from here to the airport directly, of course.

Posted by: Michael on May 22, 2006 10:18 AM