Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport's Valet Parking Service is a 'Moving' Experience

Some air travelers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport don't mind paying $30 a day for what they believe gets them attended, heated underground storage for their automobiles.


Pete Jones of Deephaven has in the past left laptops and other costly items in his car. This past trip, he noticed he'd gotten a free car wash, "maybe to remove the evidence" of his car getting dirty on the highway and sitting in the ramp.

John Schwieters of Dellwood recently took a 10-day trip and left his Suburban with valet parking. He likes the convenience of quickly dropping off his SUV and coming back to a warm vehicle. But those aren't the only reasons. "I park at valet every time because it's underground," he said.

Because the customers' perspectives and Decker's sense of why they used the service didn't jibe, the question was kicked a few rungs up the corporate ladder to Tim Anderson, MAC deputy executive for operations.

"Our intention is to give them valet service, and not necessarily to give them underground parking," Anderson said, adding that any misinformation on the Web about the policy would be fixed. But, he noted, "We're not going to verbalize it."

Terry Ross of Elk River, who has a new Infiniti, is angry about what he calls misrepresentation. "I just paid a bill there of $162 to park it inside. I use valet parking there probably five times a month. They have never, ever said they would move my car. It's that security thing. It's why we pay twice the fee. We expect our cars to be kept inside. That's not what I am paying for. My expectation is Ampco should be reimbursing people."

Well, Decker said, one option would be to give unhappy customers some of their money back, and they can call him to talk about it. But, he added, "I'm not going to commit to doing something for them."

Are you a valet parking customer who'd like to weigh in on this issue? Rick Decker, assistant manager of parking operations at the Metropolitan Airports Commission, invites you to call him at 612-467-0460.

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