Thursday, February 16, 2012

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport to add cellphone waiting lot

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is opening its first cellphone waiting lot Thursday, offering a free place for people to wait while arriving passengers get to the curbside.

The airport is opening a 160-space cellphone lot for the South terminal at the east end of the park-ride reserve lot. Passengers cannot leave vehicles unattended, and airport officials will monitor the lot.

Cellphone lots have opened at a number of other airports around the country, allowing people to park and wait for free at a remote lot, often for a limited amount of time, until they receive a call from friends or family ready to be picked up at the curb.

Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Louis Miller hopes cellphone lots will reduce curbside congestion by cars circling the airport as they wait for friends or family to make their way to the curbside.

Ultimately, Miller aims to open a total of three cellphone lots at the airport -- one each for the south, north and new international terminals.

Airports Council International-North America found that 47 of 89 airports it surveyed in 2010 have cellphone lots, including Charleston, Birmingham, Savannah/Hilton Head, New York-John F. Kennedy, Washington Dulles, Miami and many others. Some lots offer Wi-Fi coverage or flight information displays.

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