arrangements rather than pay premium rates, and
others will embrace paying more for convenience,
it keeps a balance between open and filled spaces
while it helps boost revenue.
“We are able to set rates depending on occupancy
and seasonality,” explained Canopy’s Billera. “The
system provides optimum flexibility for dynamic
pricing strategies. We are easily able to offer specials
during slower times, or set rack rates during high
occupancy times, all in real-time.”
Decker uses a version of dynamic pricing in his
members-only parking area at Minneapolis-St. Paul
International, which allows daily prices to fall the
more the system is used by a single customer. “The
more you travel, the less it costs per day,” he said.
This helps bring in new customers who fly all the
time without seeming so expensive for the peace of
mind of a guaranteed spot.
While he’s not yet instituted a straight reserved-space system for non-frequent flyers, Decker said
he’s intrigued by its ability to bring people to the
airport directly instead of going to a satellite lot.
That said, his parking areas are rarely under-used,
with one exception.
“Our biggest competitor is not the 6,000 spaces
off-site versus our 23,000,” he said. “It’s the people
who aren’t using short-term parking anymore.
That’s dropped off 10 percent per year for the last
six years. Since Sept. 11, 2001, people aren’t using
short-term parking. They can’t go to the gate to
meet and greet, so why come in?”
Airports that either already have established
reserved parking or are in the process say it’s
worth it simply for the fact that it creates loyalty.
“A customer who has a reserved spot, especially
during a busy season, will return for future stays,”
said Billera, adding that the convenience of not
worrying about where to park is a huge benefit to
consumers. “Ease of use is paramount, particularly
when dealing with airport parking.”
Rambo agreed. “The way we look at it is
that we want to do anything we can to make
parking easier,” she said. “If we can make it
more accessible and make parking at the airport
a non-event, that’s what we want to do. We have
competition here. So from the revenue side, we
want people to come park with us and become loyal
customers. We provide the best customer service
and people keep parking with us at the airport.”
Kim Fernandez is editor of The Parking Professional magazine,
the monthly publication of the International Parking Institute.
She may be reached at email@example.com.