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Passengers at Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport/Adams Field who don't have credit cards soon will have an option when faced with extra airline fees.

After some delay, the state's largest airport has reached an agreement to install in the ticket lobby a "cash to credit" machine that will allow passengers, for a $5 fee, to convert up to $1,000 in cash to prepaid Mastercard cards that can be used at ticket counters.

Many airlines no longer accept cash payments for fees.

"We have patrons that will come in and in order to pay their bag fees, if they don't have a credit card, sometimes the airlines don't accept cash," Tom Clarke, the airport's properties, planning and development director, told the Little Rock Municipal Airport Commission's lease committee Tuesday. "This machine will give the patron the ability to go to like an ATM, but in this case, you're inputting your cash and getting back a Mastercard with that amount of value you input."

Current projections, according to the airport, suggest that up to 10% of passengers will try to pay airline fees with cash. At Clinton National, Delta Airlines and American Airlines are expected to see about 12 passengers per day without credit cards, according to an airport staff projection. Another carrier with flights at Clinton National, Frontier Airlines, doesn't accept cash, either.

Lease negotiations between Clinton National officials and executives with Ready Credit Corp. reached an impasse earlier this summer after the airport staff in June recommended the Eden Prairie, Minn., company to the commission.

The staff balked at Ready Credit's insistence on the airport providing a minimum monthly revenue guarantee based on 10 transactions per day, or about $1,500 per month, according to a written summary provided by Greg Garner, the airport's business and properties manager.

In turn, Ready Credit wouldn't agree to a minimum annual guarantee the airport typically requires for leasing airport space.

"I didn't feel comfortable guaranteeing a certain amount of transactions," said Bryan Malinowski, the airport's interim executive director. "This is an airline service. It shouldn't be guaranteed by the commission. I view this as a customer service to help people who don't have a credit card for whatever reason."

Garner said that the airlines have been persistent with their request to make the service available and "prevailed upon staff to renew discussions."

Under the new agreement, Ready Credit won't require a minimum monthly revenue guarantee and the airport won't require a minimum annual guarantee. Instead, the two agreed Ready Credit would pay the airport 10% of annual gross revenue.

Business on 09/11/2019

Print Headline: Deal hit at airport on credit machine

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