The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is waging war on hotels near DC hotels. The reason: Airports feel they’re losing parking and taxi/shuttle revenue to hotels that serve them. The real loser: Hotel guests, especially if the Washington Airports plan succeeds, serving as a model for other airports around the country.
Some area hotels may begin charging guests for airport shuttle service if a proposed Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority fee proposal becomes a reality.
The authority will hold two public hearings next month on a proposal to adopt, “with the full force and effect of law,” a requirement that area hotels pay a $2.50 fee every time a hotel shuttle picks up passengers at Ronald Reagan National or Washington Dulles International airports.
The fee is a broadside attack on “park, sleep and fly” packages:
The report claims that some local hotels advertise packages that provide complimentary parking for up to 14 days to guests who stay as little as one night at a hotel.
“In effect, by offering competitive off-airport parking and providing courtesy service to the airport’s primary curbs, local hotels are diverting a portion of revenue that would otherwise be received by the Airports Authority through either the public-parking operation or taxicabs’ services,” the report states.
If the airports have their way, they’ll start collecting a fee from the hotel every time the van passes ’round. Which could translate either into higher rates — right when hotels are facing a crunch, and dropping rates just to keep occupancy up — or into add-on fees for use of the shuttle.