Lots and Lots of Parking Competition at Houston Airports

In 2005, the city's parking lots at Hobby and Intercontinental posted total revenue of almost $62 million.

Near Hobby, PreFlight paid the most at a little more than $117,000 on revenue of nearly $2 million.

An airport spokeswoman noted that the fees go back into the airport system to pay for improvements.

Aside from offering extra services, off-airport parking lots have also been cutting rates and offering steeper discounts.

PreFlight Airport Parking has already sent out coupons offering up to 15 percent off all parking, and next month plans to increase the discount to 20 to 25 percent for valet and premium covered parking.

The rates are the cheapest the company has offered in any of the several markets it operates in, said John Walsh, a general manager for PreFlight.

But for many customers, convenience will be the deciding factor, no matter how low rates drop.

Barbara Mingarelli, who travels as part of her job at GlaxoSmithKline, has always used Park 'N Fly when flying out of Intercontinental, even though it's more expensive than most of her other options.

"The service is so good I just wouldn't. The drivers are always happy and are always willing to help," she said. "It's worth paying for the extra vans and the help."



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