UPDATE: We’ve queried TSA to learn if new rules were randomly imposed in the midst of Thanksgiving travel, or if SP+ may have been, let’s say, misinformed.
UPDATE: FLL Airport Spokesman Greg Meyer reports he is looking into the situation.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — We want to believe Fort Lauderdale Airport officials when they tell us that parking is getting better and the valet system is top notch. We want to believe them so much that we wrote a positive article about a recent experience last week.
But yet again, the incompetence that is parking administration at FLL airport is showing its ugly self.
Fort Lauderdale Airport recently returned valet parking to curbside — meaning you can drop your car and walk right to your gate. No more driving to a garage where a valet parker takes your car and you walk half a mile to the airport.
Major improvement, right?
Not so much.
At $25 a day, you’d think there would be a level of professionalism with this return of a pre-9/11 service.
A recent trial showed that dropping off a car yields a valet ticket with highlighted instructions telling you to text your valet ticket number upon your arrival and that your car will be waiting.
Our test, however, showed that the texts went nowhere. There was never a response. Worse, when queried as to why a car was nowhere to be found 25 minutes after texting twice, the response from supervisor Jean Phillippe Phare was that “the TSA told us we can’t have cars outside fore more than 7 minutes so we’re not doing the text thing anymore.”
Oddly, none of the passengers who dropped cars pre-Thanksgiving were told that the texting service was being turned off. And while SP+ — the parking company overseen by Broward County Aviation — has phone and email contact information from all customers using the valet service — no email or phone blast was initiated. The result: customers having to wait and wait and wait, 20-30 minutes, for cars to be returned in a completely disorganized, chaotic way.
$25 a day for this?!
We’ve asked Broward County Aviation Officials what’s really happening but have heard nothing back Sunday afternoon.
Our advice: If you’re thinking of using the valet service at FLL, don’t. It’s not ready for primetime.