Orlando International Airport is making a run at turning its parking lots -- often one of the most bemoaned aspects of a journey to the airport -- into a pampering experience.
Airport executives are working on the details of a plan for two valet services that would offer services ranging from complimentary newspapers and bottles of water to car washing and auto detailing -- and possibly even oil changes and a waiting lounge.
For the more premium of the two valet services, passengers would leave their cars right outside the doors to the airport terminal.
In a second option called "value valet," passengers would drop cars at the blue satellite parking lot and be dropped off at the terminal by a shuttle. Complimentary water and newspapers as well as add-ons such as car-washing and detail services would still be available.
Airport Deputy Executive Director Chris Schmidt said the valet service at the airport's Hyatt hotel is popular even among non-hotel guests, which signaled the demand for an expanded valet option.
This year the valet service at the Hyatt is expected to generate $1 million in revenue. Expanding revenue sources is important to the airport as it tries to decrease its dependence on the airlines for income.
The valet concept got preliminary approval Wednesday from the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
Schmidt is expected to offer a a business plan, with details such as costs of the service, later this summer.
"And especially this time of year, we'd have the air-conditioning running" in customers' cars when they arrived to pick them up, Schmidt said.
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The Parking Spot, a privately owned operation at KCI, broke ground Monday on a nearly five-acre expansion that will add 451 covered spots to the site at the northwest corner of Interstate 29 and...
In 2005, the city's parking lots at Hobby and Intercontinental posted total revenue of almost $62 million.
Free bottled water and newspapers, $9 coupons, carwashes, oil changes and valet parking are just some of the inducements that D/FW and nearby parking-lot owners are wielding this weekend.
Airports are adding the service to gain revenue, differentiate themselves from competitors and provide travelers with a time-saving convenience.