Spokane area travelers are losing one of their favorite long-term parking spots at the airport.
Passengers attempting to use Diamond Park 'N Jet are getting turned away while they are trying to make their flights.
Park 'N Jet's unexpected closure caught a lot of loyal customers by surprise. It was a popular service because it offered a few moments of calm in a day full of flying. A shuttle driver took passengers and gear curbside at the airport in five minutes flat.
On Monday, travel writer Tammilee Tillision got a rude surprise when she found out the service was no longer offered.
“I was really surprised,” said Tillison. “I pulled in and saw the signs saying they were closed and I have to find a new parking spot.”
Park 'N Jet's closure came without warning, sending travelers like Joe Ament and his wife, Miriam, scrambling for a parking shuttle alternative.
“We always used Park 'N Jet and I don't see this as a huge issue other than it was a surprise,” Joe said.
Park 'N Jet is referring its customers to nearby Spotted Road Parking Express where owner Juan Contreras worries about running out of space and asphalt.
“It kind of came to us as a surprise,” said Contreras. “We really need to move fast to expand our facilities accommodate all the new business.”
Park 'N Jet officials say they're pulling the plug on their business because they can't compete with the airport's lower prices.
Contreras says every time his shuttle passes through the terminal, the airport charges him $1. That adds up to $800 per month.
“Over the past couple of years it's been increasingly difficult to operate this kind of business given everything that Spokane airport does to make it harder for us to actually compete with them,” said Contreras.
Airport officials say they are not supported by tax dollars. Spokane International Airport has to be competitive in the parking market so it can afford to maintain the roadways that lead to the airport.
Park 'N Jet says people who still have their cars stashed at their lot will still be picked up by a shuttle when they return from their trips through the end of the month.