Cell Phone Lot at Airports

Leaving Lambert-St. Louis International Airport yesterday for the long drive home, I noticed sings indicating the cell phone lot. I’ve noticed this at other airports, too.

What, exactly, does this mean? Especially in light of the fact that, excluding planes in flight, people use their cell phones without limitations just about anywhere inside and outside the airport?

It’s a place to park your car (generally for free, for a limited time) and wait in the car for the person you’re picking up to get to the curbside and give you a call, letting you know that they’re there. Then you zoom out of the lot, pluck them and their baggage up, and get the heck out of the whole airport traffic mess.

There has been an issue with people who sit in their cars at the airport waiting for their passengers to arrive and clogging up traffic in the process. Here in Philly, people parked their cars on the shoulder of the road leading to the airport. So in the interests of getting these people out of the way of traffic, cell phone lots were created.

It saves you the three bucks or so that it would cost to sit in short term parking for 15 minutes

Especially since we can no longer wait at the curb as we are all likely terrorists and could be setting our dastardly plot to invade the airport through the arrivals lane in motion.

I have always thought that the “you can’t wait at the curb forever” rule is there because if everyone did that, the arrivals area would be all clogged up with a bunch of people waiting for their charges to alight from the plane and get their bags. That’s one air travel–related rule that I don’t have a problem with.

Most places won’t allow you to wait in your car near the pickup area for security reasons.

Sure, it might be for that purpose, but if you ask the cop who is telling you to move he’ll say it’s for security. So will that annoying battleaxe on the PA :smiley:

Before there were security reasons (going back before hijacks to Cuba), airports were discouraging folks from waiting at curbside for picking up of arriving passengers due to clogging up the traffic lanes.

My dad flew commercially back in the 60’s, and I remember distinctly going to the airport with mom to pick him up, and being told we had to keep moving to keep traffic from getting backed up.

Until she gets sidetracked talking about her abortion. :smiley:

If its done properly, therapeutically, there’s no danger involved.

If only reality were that entertaining.

Security or congestion… it probably depends on the airport. My local airport allowed you to sit and wait right outside the door until Sept 11, then security started telling you to leave. The only thing to do was pay to park or circle the airport over and over until the person you were picking up came out. They finally added a “park and phone” lot.

I know a lot of the security guys and they say it really was put into effect for security, although I suspect it would stay in place to ease congestion if world peace broke out.

I was in the Salt Lake City airport once and a no-smoking announcement came over the PA. I swear it was the same guy from the beginning of Airplane.