CLEVELAND — Passengers at Cleveland Hopkins Airport ran into parking issues on Wednesday after the airport announced that an increase in Spring Break travel left all of its parking lots full. Questions have surfaced as to whether the airport would consider adding additional parking space in the future.
On Thursday, airport officials told WKYC that it’s not uncommon for parking lots to reach full capacity, citing the peak travel season. The airport confirmed Thursday that it will be addressing parking concerns in their upcoming master plan.
An alert was sent out by officials on Wednesday announcing that parking lots and garages were full. Officials advised passengers to plan ahead, suggesting transportation through the RTA or grab a ride share vehicle like Uber of Lyft to help. Officials said it’s not out of the ordinary for lots to get full during peak travel times, especially on heavy business travel days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Marie Faragone, a regional manager with Airport Fast Park and Park Place, off-site parking lots for travelers, said the heavy volume at the airport spilled over to their site, leaving the facility at full capacity earlier this week. It was something they hadn’t seen in years, forcing them to turn away customers.
“It was not good,” said Faragone. “It was heart wrenching because these people were panicked. You had families that were going on family vacations and there was no parking.”
Faragone advises passengers to reserve parking spots in advance.
“The problem is that the people coming in that didn’t have reservations,” said Faragone. “We had to turn them away.”
On Wednesday evening, the airport posted an update on Twitter, notifying followers that parking spots were available.
On Thursday afternoon, about 200 parking spaces were available at the airport’s smart parking garage, but the red and blue lots were listed at full capacity.
In response to whether the airport will consider adding additional parking space to the area, officials referenced their upcoming master plan in which a third party will be looking at the needs of the airport and any construction projects that may be ahead. The plan is still about two years away from its release.
The airport has a way for passengers to track which parking lots are open on their website. The parking status at Cleveland Hopkins Airport can be found at here.