Price discrimination at the airport

30/07/2012 § 2 Comments

I’m flying today, so drove to the airport. The short-term parking at Wellington Airport is half-covered, half-uncovered. It used to be first-come, first served. The covered area filled up first, especially on a wet day.

Now, they have erected barriers around the covered area and installed an extra gate. If you want a covered spot, you have to pay. Judging from the number of cars inside versus outside, either people believe the weather won’t be too bad or the price isn’t right. The forecast isn’t very good, whatever that tells you.

I chose to park outside. My reason? I didn’t see what the price was when I entered the carpark. Since I didn’t know how much I’d have to pay, I opted for the known price of the outside park. I’ll have to discover the price so I can make a better decision next time (conditional on the weather, of course).

I hope the airport is keeping data on their experiment. It’ll be interesting to see how many people do pay for covered parks. The airport should make more revenue, unless it drives people away from parking altogether. They could even calculate the marginal prices by season and weather. Hmm — I wonder if they’d be interested in dynamic pricing for carparks?

I may just resort to taking a taxi.

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