Increase in summer travel causes parking issues at Charlotte airport

Increase in summer travel causes parking issues at Charlotte airport

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by KATIE KILLEN / NBC Charlotte Staff

WCNC.com

Posted on July 11, 2013 at 6:48 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 11 at 9:20 AM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Parking woes are on the increase at the Charlotte Douglas Airport after a record number of travelers so far this summer. 

It's just one of the many reasons folks find themselves searching for a space.  According to Aviation Director Jerry Orr, the airport has seen an increase in both travelers boarding in Charlotte as well as more people transferring at the airport. 

Orr says the upturn in the economy could be to blame.  The additional people are slowing some services at the airport. 

"We've had record number crowds, it's the summer, early summer travel season, which means you have a lot of groups traveling and a lot of people going on vacation that aren't seasoned travelers, which bogs things down a little bit," he said. 

The issue is compounded by the limited short term parking at the airport.  Two hourly decks were demolished earlier this year to make room for a new deck, which will house about 7,000 additional parking spaces.  Orr says the spaces nearest to the airport are often not an option. 

"The daily decks this summer are filling up on Wednesday and Thursday," he said.  Orr recommends travelers use Business Valet for parking. 

It costs $10 a day, compared to the cheapest option, Long-term parking, which comes in at $5 a day. 

Some of the people NBC Charlotte spoke with at the airport say they used Business Valet. 

"Actually, we had a great experience," said  Charlotte resident Trang Schwartz. Schwartz was traveling with her two kids and said the extra cost was worth avoiding the headache.

The new hourly deck is expected to be finished by Fall of 2014.

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