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40 Customer Service Considerations Airport staff interviewed for this research project stressed the importance of initiating commu- nication with airline passengers in advance of their trips to the airport during anticipated periods of constrained parking. Advance information, communicated through media such as radio announcements, general website alerts, and parking alerts via e-mail, helps airline passengers understand what to expect at the airport and to better plan for their trips to the airport. An advertised rate promotion offered in advance of an antic- Often, these spaces are located at a distance from the termi- ipated parking constraint to influence the parking cus- nal area, which requires a shuttle ride between the overflow tomer's choice of parking facility; or parking area and the terminal area. Furthermore, the spaces A discount offered at a parking facility with available capac- are often located in areas that are less convenient to the park- ity when the lower priced facility is nearing capacity. ing customer than public spaces in permanent service. The airport operator may or may not charge a fee for the use of These temporary rate changes are sometimes offered as a overflow parking spaces. If a fee is charged, it may be equiva- customer service measure or to retain parkers in airport- lent to, or less than, the rate for the lowest priced parking operated facilities that may otherwise divert to privately oper- product to acknowledge the inconvenience to the customer. ated off-airport parking facilities. The airport operator may choose to direct all parking customers to the overflow area when a facility reaches capacity, may provide parking customers with a choice of Disseminate Public Information the overflow or permanent facility before the permanent An airport operator may disseminate information to the facility reaches capacity, or may direct certain customers to public in advance of an anticipated constrained parking event the overflow facility based on a travel characteristic, such as and during the constrained parking event, using various forms trip duration. of media and the airport website. Messages typically warn air- line passengers of upcoming parking challenges and advise Direct Parking Customers to Privately them to allow extra time for their trips to the airport. The advi- Operated Parking Facilities sories may also encourage passengers to consider using pub- lic transportation and other ground access modes to access An airport operator may direct customers to privately oper- the airport. ated off-airport parking facilities when the public parking sup- ply at the airport is nearing capacity. Because the privately operated facilities may be constrained as well, the airport oper- Provide Temporary Overflow Parking ator should communicate regularly with operators of the pri- Spaces may be made available for public parking in areas vately operated parking facilities to determine which facilities that are typically used for other purposes. For example, have available capacity to accommodate additional parking cus- employee spaces may be temporarily used for public park- tomers. The airport operator may negotiate a revenue sharing ing, or a valet lot may be temporarily used for self parking. arrangement with the private operator for making the referral. Employees Diverted to Overflow Parking during Periods of Constrained Parking at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport In November 2006, during a period of constrained parking at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, the Port of Seattle redirected approximately 500 to 600 employees who typically park in the ter- minal area parking garage to remote employee parking. When this strategy was implemented, it added approximately 7% to the public parking supply. Port of Seattle staff believe that this strat- egy was successful in preventing closures of the garage. (6 )