Houston Hobby Preflight EV parking hassles

edited November -1 in Texas
I recently took a family trip to Universal Orlando. I live in College Station and was delighted to find that the Preflight Parking facility near Houston Hobby claimed to support EV charging while parking. I even called the facility and asked if they can guarantee a plug while I'm away and they confirmed that they could. So I reserved the covered premium parking with the little EV plug icon on it and figured I would have my first great EV charging while away experience.

We arrive well in advance of the flight time and drive all over the premium parking-- no plugs. I call the facility and they send up a very nice guy to help but he has no idea where a plug is located. He looked all over that level then said come down to level 1 (Valet) and we will look. We finally find a normal 120 V household plug and he moves the BMW in the way with the Valet key and I plug in. It registers well and starts charging. Because it is Valet area I am forced to leave my FOB (which I hate, cannot stand valet as my one and only door ding is from Valet in the first month of ownership).

We fly off to Orlando and my app notifies me of a charging interruption. I also note the AC is running but the car is not moving. I call the facility and they mess with it and it starts to charge again for ~ 10 hours. Again I get a notification it is interrupted and I call the facility and they try to mess with it but cannot figure out how to fix it.

I enjoy the family time in Orlando and upon coming back I find that the ~ 12 hours of total charging was adequate for me to get home with about 14% of the battery left. I am still very unhappy with the outright lies and complete ignorance from that facility. On their website they openly advertise that they are EV friendly, the FAQ page even has a Model S displayed charging! I am very frustrated and disappointed with this initial non-Tesla charging experience.

Has anyone found reliable good charging while away parking at the Houston Airports?

Here is a link to the Preflight parking FAQ page.


  • bpbp
    edited November -1
    Some facilities actually believe a 110 outlet is "EV charging".

    Before Tesla had destination chargers, we found one chain that was advertising their hotels had EV charging - and it turned out only to be a 110 outlet in the parking lot....

    We've parked our S P85 for several week long trips. If the car is put in maximum energy savings mode, we've had more than enough charge to handle a 7-10 trip - and probably could handle a longer trip. And now that we have our brand new S 100D, long term parking shouldn't be a major concern.
  • edited November -1
    If you enable the energy saving mode (from the display menu), the car will preserve its charge for long time.

    I live in Austin and I took an international flight out of IAH. I supercharged the car from the Tesla service center off I-45 ahead of my flight ... Then parked in the IAH long term parking for 16 days. The drop in the charge was ~ 1 miles/day. While away try not to wakeup the car with your remote access from the app.
  • edited March 2017
    Yeah I put it in deep sleep and all that but the issue is this parking garage in particular promised a working plug and simply had no idea what they were talking about. Frankly a 110V plug would be just fine as I didn't need any type of rapid charging.

    Sadly for my specific scenario parking it and hoping for the best with the vampire drain is not a valid option as a round trip from College Station to Hobby and back is at the edge of S85 range to begin with. In addition there are no super chargers that are on the route I would have to go a good 20-30 minutes off route of a 75 minute drive to charge. Sure it is possible but at this point, three years into ownership, it should not be this difficult to find a basic plug for parking!

    Ah well I guess we are stick burning gas for a bit longer, just annoying.
  • edited March 2017
    It would be very nice, if the car get charged while it parked.

    Yes, the supper charger hS A long detour. If you had a chademo adapter you probably could found a chademo charger on your way back?

    Just FYI, here is new post from Bjørn Nyland on the viper drain:
  • edited November -1
    What a cool concept to have a reliable at the airport , but relying on a long term "drain prevention" is not a good idea, especially if not without a Valet service to assist.

    Imagine what would have happened if you stuck with your original plan to have a self-park spot... Perhaps nobody to help when the interruption occurred, possible a much more drained battery, possibly DOA... your arrival back to airport.

    My "unsolicited" suggestion if you didn't live so far from the airport... keep your Tesla at home, and spend the cost of a Taxi, Uber, or a friend for airport transportation, which is easy for me to say living 12 minutes from DFW.

    For you, perhaps this is one situation where an ICE vehicle is preferred, obviously only if large enough to handle the load, but the energy savings mode is your best bet.
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