DFW Airport is trying new ways to get air travelers to use their on-site parking lots.
The airport has launched an online service in which customers can prepay for a parking space — and possibly save up to 50 percent on the usual drive-up cost.
"The new system is among the first of its kind, offering customers an easy way to log in, select where they want to park at the airport, and pay before they ever leave the house or office," Ken Buchanan, DFW executive vice president of revenue management, said in an email.
The prepaid service is at dfwairport.com/park. Customers select what lot they want to park in, and on what days.
Once the purchase is made, customers simply drive to their selected lot and park. Airport officials say they won't reserve a specific spot for prepaid motorists, but will ensure that a space is available for them.
Those with TollTags on their windshield can simply drive in and out of the airport, and the transaction will take place electronically. Those who don't have TollTags can download a QR code to their mobile phone, and have the code scanned as they enter and exit the airport.
Prepaid is the latest strategy unveiled by DFW officials to address flat parking revenues, as more flyers choose to use services such as Uber and Lyft to get to and from their flights rather than parking at the airport or at the numerous competitors who offer off-site parking.
Last year, DFW reversed a long trend of increasing parking rates.
Prepaid parking also allows the airport to try variable pricing at its on-site lots. In other words, when lots of parking spaces are unused, DFW can temporarily drop the price to lure in new customers.
The prepaid system works at most DFW parking lots, including up-close parking in terminals A, D and E as well as the airport's express and remote lots.
DFW's website includes frequently asked questions designed to help readers better understand how prepaid parking works.