ORANGE COUNTY — The chronic parking shortage at John Wayne Airport eased this week with the opening of 1,000 new spaces--just in time for the airport's busiest weekend.
But Thanksgiving travelers who park for more than a day should expect to pay extra for prime spaces.
The new structure, located across from the main terminal, has a daily rate of $11, compared with $7 at the long-term lots located about half a mile away. Both lots have a $1 hourly rate for short-term parkers.
The new structure, which opened Sunday, is the first phase of a $27-million project to expand the two existing parking garages. A second structure containing nearly 1,000 more spaces is scheduled to open in the spring.
"People have been complaining that there's no spaces," said Humberto Rocha, a bus driver for a valet service that shuttles travelers from the Main Street parking lot to the airport. "I think it's going to help a lot."