Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought to jump-start his second-term agenda Wednesday, pitching a plan to allow drivers to reserve airport parking spaces for an extra $10 a day, hitting up off-site airport parking companies for 10 percent of their take and winning approval of a plan to borrow $1.1 billion to shore up the city's shaky finances.
The airport proposal unveiled at the City Council meeting is a way for Emanuel to provide higher-end services to travelers and also protect paid parking at O'Hare International Airport from being undercut by lower-cost garages in nearby suburbs.
Drivers could reserve parking spaces for an extra $10 a day at O'Hare and Midway, and the city eventually wants to offer amenities like car washing, detailing and maintenance services for people who leave their cars at the airports while flying out of town. Emanuel's ordinance also sets the stage for a "frequent parker program" that would allow people who park often at the airports to earn awards.
Travelers going through Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport this summer can expect some changes, including a deal on express parking, more free Wi-Fi and phone charging stations and new shops and restaurants.
And lots and lots of people.
Along with issuing its summer travel forecast for 2015 — a record 18 million passengers are expected this vacation season, up from 17 million in 2014 — airport officials on Thursday showcased a range of new services and facilities.