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August 13th, 2001

Airport Parking Racket

I’ve determined that the airport parking racket is one of the worst that exists. Yesterday, we went to pick up two people at the airport. We checked online and both flights were late due to the weather. One was due in at 7:30pm, the other at 8:30. We figured we’d get out and have to pay $7 ($3 for the first hour, $4 for each addition), which is a lot of money considering what you get for it, but bearable. That is, until we arrived at the airport and found out 15 minutes after the second flight was due in that it would be another hour late… and then another 45 minutes late…

By the time all was said and done, we paid $15 for the “luxury” of parking our car while spending quality time inside Dulles airport. Good God, it would have been cheaper to get a taxi.

Last year, after a pickup, we came in at under an hour in the lot. Unfortunatly, the line to leave the lot was so long that we were waiting another 20 minutes to pay and get out, which resulted in an additional $4 charge. For sitting in line. What kind of nonsense is that?

Parking garages in large cities are known for their absurd parking charges, but I think the biggest parking racket is clearly at airports, especially those with limited parking space. -ram

Posted in Consumer Commentary

DATE: Monday August 13, 2001 -- 12:41:49PM
Yeah, that really blows. And the prices at Dulles for parking are pretty outrageous anyhow. To have to put up with even more because the plane was late is even worse.

BWI's parking is much better, from my experience. I don't know if it's still like this, but it used to be that parking in the daily lot for the first half hour (or maybe it was hour, but I think it was just half hour) was free. So if you were just in there to pick someone up quick but you had to go meet them, you didn't have to pay for it. They also have a lot more options for cheaper parking. Sure, it's a 5 or 10 minute shuttle ride from the parking lot sometimes, but $4 a day really isn't bad if you're at the airport early enough to do it.

FROM: Robert
DATE: Monday August 13, 2001 -- 12:43:15PM
Ryan--That sure is terrible but at least you didn't take the Greenway to get to Dulles. That would have cost you appendages beyond arms and legs.

Speaking of parking rackets...have any other DC area Pingers encountered the guerilla tactics of the "parking attendants" around the 930 Club? I swear, the last time I was there this guy in an orange vest stood in front of my little bro's car and tried to wave us into his $7 lot. Everyone in the car practically had to get out and push him away before he got the hint that we didn't want to pay that ridiculous amount when there was plenty of space on the street. Bah!

FROM: Greg
DATE: Monday August 13, 2001 -- 1:15:47PM
Ryan, you're right by golly! Try this one on. I was going to O'Hare for a flight. Wednesday to Sunday morning at an off site, long term parking garage was $75. They didn't even wash the car. But they were rude and didn't even say "thank you" upon receiving my life savings, so it was all worth it.

FROM: Tony
DATE: Tuesday August 14, 2001 -- 6:33:21AM
St. Pete airport, parking is free.

FROM: Ryan
DATE: Tuesday August 14, 2001 -- 8:15:11AM
Rob -- I like the first half-hour is free idea (at Dulles, the first 20 is free, but, of course, if you spend 15 of them in line waiting to get out, it's pointless...).

Greg -- $75... yikes.

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