You can now book a parking spot at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, much like you book a flight.
The airport’s website is offering reservations at the ramps at Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. It lets travelers prepay for a parking spot as much as six months in advance.
“You know that you're going to have a spot in a ramp at the terminal of your choice when you get to the airport,” said airport spokesperson Pat Hogan. “And to make things even better, we're providing a $2 a day discount for people who do park online, as opposed to just drive up customers.”
Travelers fill in the airline they’re flying with on the site, as well as their dates of travel and times they expect to enter and exit the parking ramp.
Reservations have to be made at least 24 hours in advance and the minimum parking stay is 24 hours — so it isn’t for short term parking. There are other restrictions, as well, on making changes and cancellations.
Parkers will get an email with a scannable QR code that they can present at the ramp gate to let them in and let them out, either printed out or displayed on their smartphones. If they leave after their prepaid parking stay, they’ll have to pay the difference to get out.
“The problem we’ve had at Terminal 1 is that there simply isn’t enough parking on some days,” Hogan said. “Tuesdays and Wednesdays in particular, sometimes even Thursdays, all the ramps fill at Terminal 1, so you’ll have people come to the airport expecting to find a parking space and there isn’t one.”
“One of the things that this new system alleviates is any anxiety over the idea that you might not have a parking space when you get to the airport,” Hogan added.
The airport is also building a new 5,000-stall ramp at Terminal 1 in addition to the 12,656 parking stalls at Terminal 1 and the 8,670 parking spaces at Terminal 2. The Quick Ride lot has another 1,302 and valet services can accommodate 389 vehicles.
The new ramp is scheduled to open in 2020.