Parking Companies Vying With D/FW

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.

"I understand that the revenues generated by parking are huge at the airport, but [the airports] are going to have to realize they have to provide the service as well," said John Van Horn, editor and publisher of Parking Today, a Los Angeles-based monthly trade magazine. "The off-airport guys are marketing-oriented guys. It's a huge marketing ploy, and it works."

D/FW is trying to match and in one case beat the service off-airport operators offer.

In November 2002, the airport opened two outer lots and branded them as Express Parking. Express basically matches what The Parking Spot offers, with its bottled water, newspaper and luggage assistance and covered parking.

The airport is also considering some of the other extras offered by outside lots, including oil changes, carwashes and valet parking.

Ahmad even sees a day when you could drop off your clothes for the airport to have dry-cleaned while you are away.

"That stuff is in the future that we really would like to do," he said. "We want to be the best at what we do. We want to be the standard."

Fort Worth Star Telegram

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