Parking at ABIA filling up fast for the holidays


by QUITA CULPEPPER / KVUE News and Photojournalist DENNIS THOMAS

Posted on December 23, 2013 at 9:49 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 23 at 10:09 PM

AUSTIN -- The Christmas rush out of town is on and Austin's airport is packed. So are its parking lots.

Parking to catch a flight may leave some feeling the holiday blues. Airport spokesman Jim Halbrook said parking spaces will be hard to come by during the holiday travel season.

“By the time this day is said and done, coming and going we'll probably have 30,000 who have come through the airport,” Halbrook said. “The way things are right now, the economy lots are likely to stay full.”
To ease things, ABIA opened a new, overflow lot for economy parking. Lot J is accessible from the Spirit of Texas/Cargo exit off Highway 71. It was filling up fast Monday afternoon.

“The total parking capacity for regular parking is around 11,000 spaces, but when you start looking at our overflow capacity you increase that by a few thousand more,” Halbrook said.

He said there are still open spaces in the more expensive Lot A and in the garage. Travelers can always call the airport, or check online here to see how full parking is before heading out.

“Travel increases at Austin's airport is usually up 8 to 10 percent since we've opened,” said Gina Van Winkle, the manager of Fastpark and Relax, which sits across the highway from ABIA.

Van Winkle said they've seen more people wanting to park in their lot as well.

“We started out with 2,500 spaces, and now we've grown to 4,700 spaces. We opened up the new section right at the beginning of summer,” she said.

Van Winkle said she expects quite a few travelers to use them as an airport parking alternative this holiday season.