SAN ANTONIO -- Chances are at one time or another you may have flown out of San Antonio International Airport. If so, you may have left your car in one of the parking lots. There are several, as well as the parking garage. The short-term parking lot is the most costly.
Couriers regularly use the short-term lot because if you are in and out within 15 minutes, it's free,or at least it was. One medical courier, who didn't want to be identified, contacted us saying the clock at the exit gate for short-term parking was several minutes ahead of the entrance gate. What it meant to him was $2 every time he came and went at the airport.
For this particular courier that was several times a day, which meant he was spending he didn't budget for. Now $2 doesn't sound like a lot of money, but if you multiply that 3, 4 or 5 times a day it can get costly.
After he contacted us, we went to the short-term parking lot, armed with a stopwatch and an iPhone camera. We grabbed a parking ticket, which is stamped with the time we entered the short-term lot. We immediately started our stopwatch.
We waited until the time on the stopwatch read 13:00 then proceeded to the exit gate. After handing the cashier our ticket, she told us it would be $2. I said "I thought the first 15 minutes were free." The cashier told us we had been there 18 minutes.
I told her I had a running stopwatch, because we were checking the time difference between the clocks and it showed I was only in the lot 13:56. She said she could only go by her clock which showed I was there 18 minutes.
I paid her the $2, left and immediately called the airport's Public Relations department. Nora Castro said she would check into it and call me back. Castro called less than a hour later saying they were updating the parking system and the entrance clock was still on the old system but the exit clock was new.
Castro also said the new system, which would synchronize the clocks every 5 minutes would be more accurate, and allow users to swipe their credit card upon entry, and even if you lose your parking ticket, when you leave if you use the same credit card the system would recognize you.
There will also be an app for your smart phone which will allow you to know which levels of the parking garage have available spaces. Castro says the new system should be in place before the holidays.