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AVL “hustle” or “glitch” parking? Credit card only?

Today’s bundle of burning questions, my smart answers, and the real deal:

Question: Is this a new airport commotion or just a problem in the AVL system? I recently took a 7am flight and pulled into the parking lot at 5:45 am only to find that the Daily Lot entrance had a large red “Full” sign above it. I drove through the airport and from the road I could see that there was parking available in the Daily Lot. So I walked around and walked in through the hourly lot gate, pulled my ticket, walked through the hourly lot, and parked in the daily lot overflow area. Although the airport seems busier than ever, there are still no humans working in the parking lot (other than the shuttle driver). Maybe they have a hard time finding staff like every other business in the area. With a flight departing soon, I decided to resolve the issue on my return. After my trip and still not crowded, I decided to call the number on the Fly AVL site. The parking company is apparently called LAZ. I have left several messages with them over the past week, and some crickets. On the website it says: All vehicles are counted and the license plate recorded every night between midnight and 4 a.m. It would suggest that they know my car was in the Daily Lot the whole time. Is this a normal procedure? We have so many early morning flights that it seems like someone should deal with the early morning gate errors when travelers arrive to park. I’m pretty sure nothing bad is brewing, but if I’m managing these bundles and occasionally want to double my income, this would definitely be a good way to go. Please let me know if you learn more about this issue.

My answer: Ironically, “Nothing nefarious afoot” has been my column’s slogan since 2005. Also, I try not to read the name of this company as a “Lay-Zee” parking lot. … It does not work.

real answer: Asheville Regional Airport spokeswoman Tina Kinsey responded to this question, noting that the airport is “incredibly busy, and yes, the Daily Lot and garage are full at peak times.”

“Sometimes there is an issue with our digital metering system that requires a manual reset,” Kinsey said via email. “The biggest problem is for passengers to enter solid lot and then park in unnamed areas, like grass. This bias matters.”

Hourly rates are higher than long-term parking rates at Asheville Regional Airport, so authorities are encouraging drivers to read signage carefully before parking.

“Also, during busy times, passengers sometimes slip behind other customers in the parking lot, with the door up, skewing the number of cars,” Kinsey continued. “The parking operator resets the display as quickly as possible when the account is turned off. “

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The airport realizes the system is flawed, but Kinsey said the positives outweigh the negatives.

“First, customers can waste valuable time driving on solid ground, especially if they’re late for a flight,” Kinsey said. “With the counting system, customers can make better parking decisions when they arrive.”

“Second, digital signage has no impact on the parking rate,” Kinsey continued. “Parking prices are determined by the ticket drawn at the entrance to each lot. It is possible to enter a lot and go to a different lot from there, such as entering every hour and then moving to a passing gate every day. “

Kinsey noted that if another lot is accessible within 10 minutes or less, when the customer’s parking ticket is scanned at the new lot’s passage gate to open the gate, that customer’s ticket is reset to the price of the new one. lot.

And yes, AVL, like pretty much everyone in America, is dealing with the staffing shortage.

“The parking operator counts cars and registers license plates; however, there is a staff shortage which has caused delays in the processes,” Kinsey said. “In addition, we have implemented a fully automated payment center, so there are no parking attendants at the counters.”

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Asheville Regional Airport recently completed two new parking lots in front of the airport, including the cell phone waiting area.

She added that the airport had good news regarding parking.

“The airport recently opened a remote shuttle batch right in front of the airport, and that 300-seat batch isn’t full yet,” Kinsey said. “The shuttles run continuously to and from the front sidewalk of the terminal, and this is a very convenient option for passengers.”

Asheville Regional Airport has switched to all credit card payments for parking.

Question: I like to enter and exit the AVL parking lot with as small an electronic footprint as possible. I can’t do this anymore. AVL car parks are CREDIT CARD ONLY! What’s wrong with the US currency? Where is this country coming from? The seats in the arrival area have been rearranged so it is difficult to sit and watch people go through the arrival gate. They used to be in a much more practical configuration. Why can’t things be the way they used to be? Why do things always change for the worse? The Arrival / Departure displays at AVL are so small that you cannot see them from the lounge. You have to get up and approach within 10 feet to see them. The advertising section occupies more than 50% of the screen. Are they really so desperate for the money that they can’t design a decent arrival / departure display?

My answer: Whenever my wife wants to paint a room, or better yet, replace all brass door hardware with a bronze tone, I ask this age-old question, “Why can’t things be the way they used to be?” Why do things always change for the worse? “In my case, I also add,” After 27 years of marriage, why do you still think I’m a handyman? “

real answer: AVL spokesperson Tina Kinsey is getting bonus points today for addressing this issue as well.

“While we know change can be difficult for some, the airport is changing as we grow, which is great news for our region,” said Kinsey. “This growth means excellent connectivity for air travelers in our region, as well as for those who visit WNC, and a significant economic impact in our region.”

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Before the pandemic affected travel in 2020, the airport in 2019 saw a 43% increase in passenger traffic compared to the previous year. In 2021, it will return to that level of use, Kinsey said.

Along with this, the airport has implemented operational changes to increase efficiency, and this includes “Credit Card Only” parking areas.

“The footprint of our TSA security screening line has grown and we have reconfigured our main lobby to meet this need,” added Kinsey. “And our airport flight information displays are located in many places, in several different sizes, including a very large 72-inch dedicated flight information display.”

One of the sets does indeed display advertising.

“Airports need to strive to generate revenue to cover operational expenses, and terminal advertising is one way for us to accomplish this Federal Aviation Administration directive,” Kinsey said.

Kinsey noted that “more changes are coming that will provide more space for travelers and airline operations.

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“The airport is in the final year of the design phase of a new airport terminal which, when built, will be twice the size of our current facility,” said Kinsey. “We will be moving from seven gates to twelve gates, and the airport will be modern, spacious and carefully designed to promote great experiences for travelers.”

Changes will take years, Kinsey said, and when the airport has more detailed information to share, it will launch a public information campaign.

This is the opinion of John Boyle. To submit a question, contact him at 232-5847 or [email protected]