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Miami International Airport is Miami’s most important source of revenue. It generates billions of dollars every year by catering to the needs of millions of travelers.

Being that MIA is one of the busiest airports in the world, the fact that they are expanding shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. The plan is to spend the next five – fifteen years carrying out renovations that will make the airport leaner, more efficient to travel through.

The city’s aim is to prepare the airport for a time when MIA will contend with over 70 million travelers and four million tons of freight, numbers they could achieve as early as 2040.

But it appears that they haven’t dedicated much of their redevelopment plans to airport parking.

Miami International Airport: the Parking Crisis

Bleeding Parking Revenue

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Miami Airport Parking is expected to benefit from the capital improvement program (airport renovations). But that specifically applies to the aircraft parking positions which will undergo expansion.

Car parking isn’t really a priority for the airport at this point, and this could be for good reason. A cursory glance at the MIA parking map will show you that they already have a decent amount of parking.

But, as the airport expands to meet a capacity of 70 million travelers annually by 2040, could this be a crisis in the making?

As it turns out, the cost of parking at Miami International Airport is seen by most local travelers as a crisis in itself, and in turn, the crisis for MIA is that they are losing a sizable chunk of their revenue in a trend towards parking alternatives.

Trend: Travelers Ditching MIA Airport Parking

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Miami International Airport makes a lot of money from their parking, however they’re starting to lose out to services like which help travelers maneuver the hefty parking rates at the airport.

Rather than use Miami International Airport Parking, entrepreneurs have noted that people want to park close to the airport, but aren’t quite as willing to pay for Miami Airport’s expensive spaces.

So, enterprising people have created affordable parking lots near the airport to fill this gap. And this has become such a viable business that online platforms like Parkos have sprung up to partner with local parking providers, and provide travelers with a database of the best parking in the area.

The draw of this is the convenience. Anyone can easily compare the features, attributes, and prices of the parking providers now within the vicinity of MIA. You can jump online to locate and secure the parking of your preference.

And with the ease of finding more affordable parking on the boundaries of the airport, travelers have started ditching MIA parking.

Not Their Only Problem

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Services like Parkos aren’t the only problem MIA is facing in the losing battle to convince people to park at the airport. Because parking is either expensive or simply too hard to find, a lot of travelers are choosing to leave their cars at home.

By using ride-hailing apps like Uber, travelers have found that they don’t have to contend with the hassles of airport parking. Airports have noticed this, which is why they are going out of their way to offer enticing promotions.

The average airport could charge as much as $24 a day for every car in their lot. For a lot of people, it makes more sense to pay the $40 charge it might cost you to get an Uber, especially if you would have had to leave your car for several days on end.

Airports are finally catching on. They realize that they need to find a way to retain the loyalty of customers with cars. As such, some have begun to offer loyalty programs with perks like free parking for people who use the airport a lot, or for a specific number of days.

Of course, any effort airports make will require time to deliver results. But airports have no choice but to keep trying.

How Airports Are Fighting Back

Dallas Fort-Worth International Airport surprised people when it revealed that travelers would be able to reserve parking and to make payments online via the airport’s app; an attempt to remedy the dip in parking’s share of revenue that was observed in the previous 12 months.

DFW also intends to cut the cost of parking during seasons when demand is low. And there has even been talk of the airport giving loyal customers free coffee.

This may sound desperate, but losing parking revenue is a real crisis for America’s major airports, and as such, airports are stopping at nothing to try and win their customers back. They need to step their game up.

MIA hopes to follow in these footsteps.

Airport Parking Isn’t Dead … Yet

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Airport parking isn’t dead yet. Far too many people are flying, and a significant number still find it easier to use the Airport facilities. So for now, they will survive. But it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that their days are numbered.

Even with all the scandals it attracts, Uber is still growing. For many people, there is no benefit in driving to the airport. And no-one really knows what airports have to do to retain their dominance in this field.

There are more people flying today than at any other point in history. The revenue generated by parking facilities at the airport should have grown in equal measure. However, statistics are showing a steady decline.

All the while, revenue collected by ride-hailing apps like Lyft spikes.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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