Dallas Love Field wants to raise parking rates as garages near capacity

Dallas Love Field parking rates could rise 7% to 44% as the airport faces fuller garages as air travel recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a plan whose leaders of the city will hear on Wednesday.

Rates would increase by $1 per day for parking in the oldest garage, from $15 to $16. The biggest percentage rate hike would be in the least expensive parking garage on the airport property, Garage B, where rates would rise 44% from $9 a day to $13.

“As customer demand returns to pre-pandemic levels, parking rates need to be adjusted to reduce demand,” says a presentation airport manager Mark Duebner is expected to make during a briefing. of the Dallas City Council.

Traffic at Love Field and other airports is still well below pre-pandemic levels, but new travel patterns are forcing airports to adapt. While international and business airline passengers are still slow to return, more and more plane seats are being taken up by leisure customers going on vacation or heading out to visit family and friends.

These leisure travelers are “more likely to drive and park” as taxis and rideshares are still not at the same level as in 2019 for a variety of reasons, including fewer business travelers, fear of spreading COVID-19, gas prices and driver shortages at rental car companies, according to airport presentation.

This means many are fuller than they were before the pandemic, even though there are fewer passengers at airports. On Thanksgiving Day in 2021, there were only 500 spaces available in all Love Field parking lots.

“Low availability has customers circling garages looking for space, leading to congestion and customer frustration,” Duebner’s presentation said.

Love Field isn’t the only airport to raise parking fees. DFW International Airport went from $24 to $27 per day in October.

The request for parking rates is about managing “parking availability,” and airport officials don’t even mention how much, if any, additional revenue would be created by parking rate increases.

“Revenue is really secondary,” Duebner said in an interview. “I can tell you that our objective is to optimize our spaces so as not to run out. We want to price where the garage is almost full.

Love Field has approximately 12,000 seats in its three garages, as well as a 560-seat valet space and a remote field, “Love Connection”, which is only used by employees.

Love Field actually reduced parking rates in 2018 after the $208 million, 5,000-space Garage C opened next to the terminal, with state-of-the-art wayfinding and open space technology and the ability to enter the terminal directly without crossing a pedestrian bridge.

This was done to stimulate parking demand as the airport suddenly had excess garage space.

The proposed rate increase would actually bring prices closer to what they were when Garage C opened in 2018. For example, Garage A’s rates were $17 in 2017 and have dropped to $15 per day in 2018. The new plan would increase rates to $16 per day, still $1 cheaper than before the price drop with Garage C.

Other rates, like Garage B, would revert to the $13 per day rate after prices dropped to $9 per day in 2018.

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