Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Flying anywhere these days seems to be more of a headache and it’s not cheap.
We’ve seen fewer flights, baggage fees and now another cost increase — parking.
The Metropolitan Airports Commission raised fees to off-site parking companies and they, in turn, are passing that cost on to us.
“So, we work hard and they take some of our profit and I don’t think that’s right,” says Dan Williamson, manager of Park ‘N Go.
Williamson says new fees from the Metropolitan Airport Commission forced him to raise his rates by 50 cents a day.
He says that’s to maintain his lots and buy new shuttles.
The airport, though, says it has needs, too.
Other businesses, like restaurants and retailers pay a percentage of their profit for things like maintenance and paying airport police.
“We tried to level the playing field, we didn’t charge them the gross revenues we originally intended, we compromised and we just raised the per trip fee,” says Patrick Hogan, spokesperson for the Metropolitan Airport Commission.
The commission raised rates by $1.39 per shuttle trip.
“They were the only concession who didn’t pay to support the operations of the airport while they make their entire customer base off the fact that the airport exists,” Hogan said.
Off-site parking managers see the cost — almost double what they used to pay — as a way to force them out of business.
“Years ago, they depended on our parking when they did not have enough, now when they appear to have too much,” Williamson said, “I guess we’re an unnecessary evil at this point.”
Hogan said it’s just business.
“The airport had to raise its parking cost as well, which also gets passed to the consumer, nobody likes to do that, but it’s a cost of doing business,” he said.
“The airport did just have to increase the rate at its value lot to $14 a day.”
The cheapest option is the one that allows you to park at Terminal 2 and take a tram to Terminal 1.
Otherwise, it’s $20-$22 a day depending on if you use a credit card or not to park at the main terminal.
As for off-site companies raising rates?
Team Parking hasn’t just yet, but said they might have to later this year.
At Park and Go, the rate was increased by 50 cents a day, to $12.
EZ Air Park in Eagan is now charging a $1.75 airport fee on top of $11 a day.
Another way to save money would be for the off-site lots to make less shuttle trips to the airport, but they say that is also bad for the customer who has to wait longer.