By Ian McMurtry
The rise of the cell phone market
Soon after the early 2000s, a unique blend of technological growth and the push for safety improvements created what you might consider the shortest-term bundle you can find at an airport: the lot of cell phones. But from simple origins, these packages have become the cornerstone of the care of arriving passengers.
Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, there was a growing demand to limit traffic in front of the terminals, forcing people to look for a new place to meet. In American heavy-car culture, previous decades had seen drivers circling around the arrivals level of airports waiting for loved ones and co-workers. However, the boom in cellphones in previous decades meant people were more mobile than before, furthering the idea of ââa dedicated bundle for those waiting for a phone call from the incoming party.
The original cell phone batches would begin to take root in the western United States as Seattle and Los Angeles would open from 2004. especially during the holidays. The trend quickly took hold, with some even adding individual lots for individual terminals.
By the end of the decade, more than 50 sets of cell phones were in use, most of them at the country’s largest airports. Most respect a limited time to wait for a phone call, the majority between 20 minutes and 1 hour and require passengers to stay in or around their vehicle. Airports usually post the time limit on the site and airport police will patrol the sites to ensure the rules are followed.
And over the years, amenities have slowly improved as the demand for batches of cellphones has taken off. Tampa International Airport opened its food truck batch of cellphones in 2013, with the goal of increasing demand for the batches, generating revenue for the airport and benefiting the food truck industry in the Tampa area.
âAirports have recognized that their cell phone waiting parks have great customer service potential. It not only provides a catering option for cell phone users, but also airport and area employees as well as residents, âTampa Airport spokesperson Jason Zielinski said in 2013.
Pilot programs were launched in 2017 to bring food trucks to other airports, mainly located in the western part of the United States. Phoenix and Seattle have taken the initiative with pilot races, but have met with varying degrees of success.
And other airports offer more than the occasional bite to eat. Airports in cities of all shapes and sizes, from Daytona Beach to St. Louis, offer an array of options for passengers, including park benches and flight signs with rotating information that matches what the flight signs. from the terminal read. Others have brought WiFi to these lots, allowing better connectivity for those who wait but cannot access the WiFi from the airport terminal. Others, such as Baltimore Thurgood Marshall International Airport, offer electric charging stations for drivers waiting for access.
To ensure that lots reach their full potential, airports have recognized that sometimes repositioning these sites would keep traffic flowing. When Kansas City began construction on its new terminal, the west entrance to its cell phone lot was removed and the lot size was reduced. However, the airport has since moved the entire lot north of the terminal complex and away from construction.
This new facility, located behind the freight facilities on Brasilia Avenue, has enabled the airport to offer 90 passenger parking spaces, as well as 30 limousine and bus spaces and 50 taxi spaces. Toilets and a distribution building could also be added to the new site, while not causing a single day of unavailability of the lots, while keeping the roads of the duo-terminal as clear as possible.