Airport Parking Breakthroughs

Parking revenue growth is essential to this airport’s viability. Parking is its largest non-aeronautical revenue source. The airport needed to better understand travelers’ parking preferences to maximize usage and revenue from its spaces across 3 locations. An ongoing customer satisfaction survey, along with customer-provided information inside the airport’s customer feedback system, identified the need for a deeper understanding of travelers’ decision-making about parking at the airport versus using Uber, Lyft, a shuttle, a taxi, or having someone drop them off.

Confero partnered with the airport on this study which explored traveler preference, expectations for specialized Parking products, pricing and reasons for choosing not to park at the airport. With only hourly and daily sections, travelers thought only the garage constituted airport-owned parking. Plus, under-used hourly spaces mean lost revenue.

Through focus groups and surveys, the airport developed streamlined product branding, creating terminal-area product sections while unifying its shuttle-based lots. This initial focus group conceptualized customer decision factors about whether to park at the airport. Even customers who were loyal to the most convenient and expensive parking at the time, the daily rate parking garage closest to the terminal, would switch to other choices when traveling for leisure or a business/personal combination trip.

Based on this research, the airport redesigned the parking products to align with customer needs while maximizing revenue for the airport. This took cooperative work between engineering, parking, marketing and airport management.
Additional focus groups further refined the options needed, which led to the creation of a hybrid parking option making use of an unused parking lot converted to a new offering. Research conducted for other airport departments was also shared to inform parking decisions.
Further research tested the branding prior to launch, resulting in increased value to customers. Additional research resulted in the launch of a successful online pre-booking service along with a new mid-range parking product with free trunk-to-terminal shuttles.
Through the book online program, the airport is building a valuable email database of engaged parking customers. This will support development of a rewards program and cross-marketing opportunities between Parking and Food/Beverage/Retail concessions. To reach actual travelers, the airport embraced best practices in intercept survey, mystery shopping, and focus group methodologies while being creative in research project design.

Note: this work was recognized as a finalist for the Research and Insights Award..

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