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The PDX Aloft Hotel Introduces New 'Bike and Fly' Program

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 9920 NE Cascades Parkway [map], Portland, OR, United States, 97220
August 12, 2009 at 8:57 AM | by | ()

Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station is trying to make transportation even easier for PDX residents with the country's first ever “Bike & Fly” program. With the purchase of a one-night stay (starting at $130), guests departing Portland International Airport can stash their bikes in a secure bike parking storage area for up to 14 days. The city’s MAX light rail line conveniently stops right in front of Aloft.

This all sounds good and green, but we’re having a hard time wrapping our head around why anyone in the Portland area would want to plunk down $130 to store their bike and what instances would require an overnight stay on an outbound itinerary? Wouldn’t it be more economical (and easy) to simply take MAX light rail line straight to the airport, suffer through TSA and call it a day?

Sure, we recognize there are tons of variables to this transportation scenario, and yes, we’re all for leaving your car at home, saving on gas/parking expenses, and being kind to the environment. But aside from the convenience of waking up closer to the airport or MAX hours of operation conflicts (it stops runnng from around 11 p.m. - 5 a.m.), we're not completely sold. Maybe our bike is such a P.O.S. that we’d lock it up wherever and have faith that no one would have the cajones to steal it – whether we left it for one hour or one hundred days.

We do like (a lot) that the hotel offers a fleet of loaner Electra cruisers and Bike Friday folding bikes, for what we assume are visiting, out-of-town guests who want to get out and pedal the pavement.

Rooms start at $130 a night.

Maybe we're just dense, but does this program make sense to you, and if so, would you use it? Let us know in comments below.

Archived Comments:

very niche market?

in the history of air travel, has there EVER a traveler who has biked to their flight?


Are the people at aloft PDX insane?  First off, the hotel is at the airport and probably 10 miles from the nearest residential community, so who, within a reasonable biking distance, will actually book a hotel room at the airport, pay $149 (that's high for downtown PDX these days) and then take the MAX the remaining 500 yeards to the terminal.  This could be the dumbest of all promotions.

thanks for backing me up here

Yeah, I don't quite get it. If the folks at Aloft weren't so damn nice, I'd say it's just a cheap marketing ploy to play on the it's-green-so-you-should-do-it mentality (no questions asked, of course). If anyone out there actually participates in this program, please let me know.

For Bike Lovers

We're glad to see that this program is sparking discussion. On behalf of Aloft, I'd like to clarify the goal of the new Bike and Fly program. It's very simple, it functions exactly like traditional hotel park and fly programs. As an airport hotel, the majority of Aloft guests use the park and fly option, and in a city where more than 6% of the population commutes by bike, we're simply offering comparable accommodations to our bike commuting guests.

Many of our local guests stay at Aloft to catch early flights, and as Globetrotting Gourmet points out, the MAX light rail does not run 24 hours a day. Those are the guests that benefit from a program like Bike and Fly. We may be a bit ahead of our time, but we value innovation and hope to see more cities adopt bike-friendly programs in the future.

Offbeat, but not impossible

I have biked to flights a few times before -- I travel light and cycling is how I usually get around. AMS and CPH airports have bike paths running right up front, although I'm sure they're mostly for employees.

I can see this program working for someone lives/works too far from MAX (say, in Hawthorne) and would rather do a bike+train trip to the airport than a bus+train trip. This way, there's no need to lock up a nice bike outdoors at a train station for several days -- and yes, many Portlanders cherish their expensive bikes. Or, as the hotel rep above pointed out, a lot of people do Park+Stay+Fly deals at hotels for early weekend flights, since MAX won't get them to the airport on time.

It's amazing that they offer Bike Fridays -- those are very sweet, very versatile, Oregon-made bikes. I'll have to check that out next time I'm in PDX.