hotel van That free airport to hotel shuttle might not be free for long

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.

It names packages offered by the Dulles Marriott, Holiday Inn and Hampton Inn as examples.

“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.

pixel That free airport to hotel shuttle might not be free for long
Categorized in: airports, hotels

11 Responses to “That free airport-to-hotel shuttle might not be free for long”

  1. Kira Says:

    Governments are so messed up. A PARKING fee should be used to fund parking structures, parking attendants, etc. They’re worried about eating up PARKING revenue so they’re going to impose another USE tax? If USE is the real issue, than the USE tax that we all pay extra on our tickets for should increase. They’re skirting the real issue that parking revenues actually pay for USE expenses.

  2. View from the Wing » Blog Archive » Dulles and Reagan National Propose a Tax on Hotel Shuttles Says:

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  3. Dave Says:

    Why do they wanna mess with a good thing? The hotels and airports benefit from each other. The mechanism for assessing the charge and cost of enforcement may even outweigh the benefits to the airport. Do they charge for hotel guests, or the non-guest park-n-flyers, or the guest who does park-sleep-fly, or charge ‘em all? Let the free market decide. Park-n-fly and the off-site lot are successful because the Airport isn’t providing the best value proposition to customers. Instead of the Airport improving parking (e.g. at BWI), these folks at the IAD & DCA Airports just changed the rules to suit them. BWI parking options are great…flyers can choose from many airport and non-airport options.

  4. SpacemanSpiff Says:

    Next, they’ll want to charge a fee for folks geting off the Metro stop at National Airport.

  5. Tony Mendocino Says:

    Ever wonder why light rail systems occasionally bypass airports? The airport authorities and their friends in the cab companies make sure of it.

    It’s really frustrating for travellers who are already nickel-and-dimed to death to be forced to wait for an overpriced cab ride when the rail could stop right at the terminal.

  6. Chicago tries to collect taxes on car rentals in other cities. Huh? | Upgrade: Travel Better Says:

    [...] at the airport, and the city wants that revenue. Much like the Washington Airports Authority is trying to nail hotel shuttles with fees, this is a case of the city shifting the goalposts when the rules aren’t working out in its [...]

  7. AJ Says:

    This is nothing new. I’m surprised they don’t have it already at the DC area airports. We already have this at the Richmond Airport. The hotel I work for pays everytime we send the van to pick up or drop off at the airport.

  8. Michael Says:

    What? There is a service (free hotel shuttles) provided for the convenience of the travelers and we are not charging anything for it. Quickly, let’s charge them something.

  9. Mark Ashley Says:

    AJ, two questions for you: Do you know how long your hotel has been paying this fee to the airport? And do guests who use the shuttle have to pay an extra fee?

  10. maplestar (Scott O'ThreeCountries) Says:

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  11. Upgrades and Downgrades — Passenger dropoffs, failed lawsuits, and frequent flyer sales | Upgrade: Travel Better Says:

    [...] of the airlines, as we’ve seen when airports try to add fees to previously free services like shuttle buses. The latest entry: A passenger dropoff fee. London-Luton Airport will charge a £1 toll to cars [...]

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