Just in Time for Thanksgiving Travel, Love Field Breaks Out New Parking System

Last year, flying out of Love Field during Thanksgiving week was a disaster. Before most people were settling down to dinner Thursday, each of the airport's 4,000 parking spaces had been filled, leaving many passengers hopelessly circling the airport or heading home to take DART back to the airport. This year, with both Love Field and DFW expecting record traffic again, the city-owned airport is trying to avert a similar problem.

Following the meltdown, Love Field officials unveiled a plan to add more than 5,000 parking spaces — most of which would be contained in a massive, $181 million, five-story garage by Festivus 2017. The city signed off on the plan in December 2014, but, in the interim before the garage gets built, the airport still has to deal with far higher than expected passenger counts.

In 2008, the airport predicted it had enough spaces to meet demand through 2018, but an increase in flights and passengers following the expiration of the Wright Amendment's flight restrictions has blown those 2008 numbers out of the water. Last year, 36 more flights left Love Field each day than in 2013. In 2015, the increase over 2013 is closer to 80 flights per day. 

Since Thanksgiving 2014, Love Field has added about 2,000 spaces. The new "Love Connection" remote lot at Harry Hines Boulevard and Mockingbird Lane can accommodate about 1,500 cars and additional valet spots have been created. To help drivers who may not have seen the new lots, the city has installed what it's calling a "parking guidance system," but is really just a series of electronic message boards informing you which lots and garages are full. (By the time you get there, it will be all of them.)

"Ten electronic message boards will be placed around the airport on Mockingbird Lane, Cedar Springs Road and Harry Hines Boulevard. These large signs will provide parking information before travelers reach Love Field and encourage travelers to use The Love Connection Remote Parking Lot for convenient and low-cost parking outside of the airport," the city says.

As always, the city warns that you might be better off making use of "DART, Ground Transportation (Taxis, Shuttle Services, Transportation Network Companies, etc.) or having someone pick up or drop you off at the airport."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young