Airport Business

MAY 2018

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PARKING approximately 200 dedicated parking spaces initially, with the ability to expand based on growth and demand," she said. Valet parking will be located curbside on the south end of the terminal, said Rowe, at a maximum daily rate of $30. Services will include car washing and detailing, she added. The airport's ideal customer is the corporate traveler with a high value on time, said Rowe. "This customer is sensitive to the time spent looking for a parking space and values a high level of predictability during her or his arrival at and departure from [the airport]," she said. George Bush Intercontinental Airport has 26,322 parking spaces, 873 of which are reserved for valet parking, said spokesman Bill Begley. "We think our customer is a person who has the resources to pay for a first class experience and is a frequent flyer," he said. "But it can also be a person who is running very late for a flight they must make or a customer who needs luggage assistance." Valet parking customers enjoy luggage assistance, car washes/detailing, as well as a free USA Today newspaper and a free bottle of water, said Begley. "It also should be pointed out that at $26 per day, the rate is one of the most affordable among major U.S. airports and the lowest rate among the major airports in Texas," he said. Of its 13,275 parking spaces, Pittsburgh International Airport has 12 dedicated to valet — at $30 a day — in its short-term parking garage, with overflow as needed, said spokeswoman Alyson Walls. "We see a range of business and leisure travelers utilizing this convenient service to save time when arriving at the airport or arrange for other vehicle services if needed," she said. For an additional cost, those using valet can get car washes, detailing packages, oil changes, inspections, fluid fills, gas ups, window and tire cleaning, said Walls, and more can be arranged. Nashville International Airport has 1,045 valet parking spaces as part of its approximate total of 13,500, said Shannon Sumrall, the facility's director of corporate communications. Valet parking costs $28 a day. The airport partnered with Mercedes Benz to brand its valet parking. "We were approached by Mercedes a little over a year ago. They wanted to offer a service for their customers to be able to have their car serviced while they were traveling," said Sumrall. If a passenger is a Mercedes owner, they can schedule in advance for the dealership to come and pick their car up from valet parking while they're away traveling and have it serviced, said Sumrall. "The car is returned before the owner returns from their travels." All valet customers receive a complimentary newspaper and a bottle of water, said Sumrall. "We also offer a car washing service for an additional cost." Mercedes added some signage at the valet level, said Sumrall. "They also sponsored and branded our bottled water," she said. "But valet is still handled by the airport." Houston sees valet parking as a way to elevate a particular customer's experience within a diverse group of customers with varying expectation levels, said Begley. "Valet parking at an airport caters to a niche market just as economy meets the needs of other travelers," he said. Over the past three years, Pittsburgh has been working to improve customer service and increase airport amenities for all travelers from curb to gate," said Walls. "So valet parking, along with taxis, Uber and Lyft and other pick-up and drop-off services, offers a convenient range of options for all types of traveler needs and budgets." Nashville International Airport has many different parking options at different price points, said Sumrall. "And it's important to us that we don't just offer one parking product," she said. "Our valet customers really appreciate the ease and convenience of the service." In the end, airports considering adding valet parking need to understand that it's a customer service first, said Linehart. "A lot of your customers say they really want this service, but some are price sensitive and will always go to the airport's cheapest option," he warned. "So if you move forward, make sure to invest in it and know that it may take up to two years to break even. Also know it will never be a big money maker. Look at it as more of a customer service." OTHER SERVICES OFFERED AT VALET PARKING SOME airports use their valet parking product to further enhance the customer experience by offering other services designed to save them time. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport: Customers have access to curbside valet parking 24 hours a day for $25 a day. Services available include car washes, interior/exterior detailing, hand waxing, paint sealant and oil changes. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport: The Airport Valet will send a staffer to help you with your luggage to and from the terminal. It sends updated flight notification texts and offers services including car washes, detailing, oil change, state inspection, laundry, fuel fill-ups, flowers and maintenance. Rates range from $26 a day to $19 a day, based on length of your stay. Greater Rochester International Airport: Under its Airport Valet program, customers can sign up online for service. Once an account is established, they can make a reservation, print out a form and drop their car off at the designated spot on the airport's lower level. Customers get curbside assistance with baggage, snow and ice removed from your car during the winter months and your car is heated or cooled, making it ready to simply drive away upon return. The service costs a one-time fee of $20, plus $16 a day. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: The airport partnered with FreedomPark and Epic Valet to offer both a terminal and curbside valet service, respectively. Both offer car washing, detailing and maintenance. Prices are $32 a day for terminal and $34 a day for curbside valet. Blue Grass Airport is one of many undertaking different options to valet park cars. Republic Parking May 2018 airportbusiness 37

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