TOLEDO, OHIO – Travelers using Toledo Express Airport no longer have to worry about whether they can get skycap help carrying their bags. The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's board of directors, which oversees the airport, also approved a limousine company to service customers and voted 12-1 to approve a 5% pay raise for the authority's president. The pay raise will elevate Authority President James Hartung's annual salary from $147,997 to $155,397.
The port board earlier approved a two-year contract, with three one-year options, with PrimeFlight Aviation Services of Nashville to provide skycap, porter, and ticket-checker services. Travelers on Northwest Airlink and American Eagle were left holding their bags last year when those two carriers pulled out of a cooperative funding pool that financed skycap service by the same company. Passengers were left to either request help from counter staff or go it alone.
Ground transportation has been a longer-term thorn. Expressions Limousine was permanently hired to handle transportation service beginning in January when another service pulled out. Its bid to pay at least $6,000 a year for the exclusive right to solicit passengers at the airport exceeded the only other bidder, Toledo Livery Service, by $1,000.
In 2001, the port authority awarded Childers an exclusive cab and limo franchise to address independent cab operators, who sometimes fought over fares and occasionally delivered passengers to the wrong places. But Childers pulled out in January, saying it wasn't making enough to cover the $1,300 per month it paid the port authority.
Expressions, which has been operating on an interim basis, will pay the port less than half that much under its contract, which is for two years with three one-year options.