Airport parking is confusing, but not anymore. We’ll sort out all the concepts, options and types on this blog by answering common airport parking questions through this post.
More often than not, driving your own car to the airport is preferable. But hey, what do you do with the vehicle when you arrive at your destination? An airport parking guide will come quite handy at that time. After all, it’s a real minefield out there, featuring a myriad of options, some of which can actually be quite expensive.
Read on to find answers to common airport parking questions.
Which Is Best: Short, Medium or Long Stay?
One of the most common airport parking questions is, what kind of airport parking is the best. Airport parking can be divided into many types, but broadly there are just three main categories: short stay, medium stay and long stay. The first two of these are quite similar; you park your car within the airport’s boundaries, in other words, your car would always remain on airport territory. Usually, such a spot is within walking distance from the terminals and features clearly designated paths and visible signs.
A common misconception is that short and medium stay parking is only meant for shorter trips, but that isn’t so.
Long stay parking is usually beyond the boundaries of the airport, or even if it’s within the airport territory, it’s at the very extreme end. This means that you would need to board a bus to reach the terminal.
Obviously, short say parking is the most convenient of the three options, whereas long stay parking is the most affordable.
What Is Meant by Self-Parking?
This is also one of the most common airport parking questions. Self-parking means that you will park your car by yourself and will keep the keys with yourself for the entire duration of your trip. Once the trip is over, you return to your car and leave the airport. Generally, short and medium stay airport parking options are actually self-parking spots.
What about a long stay parking spot? They can either operate on a self-parking basis or a completely different system. In the former case, you park your car in the selected spot and then follow signs, directing you to the bus stop. The service can usually be availed without paying anything, but the bus will stop multiple times on its way to the terminal. However, at some of the airports, you don’t get to park your car at a long stay spot. Instead, you drive up to a central area or a reception, where you give your keys to the on-duty personnel, who then park your car at the designated space. This reception also serves as the bus stop, which would take you to the terminal.
Generally, this option is the best if you don’t mind other drivers behind the wheel of your car because of the convenience involved. However, if you don’t like the idea of handing over your keys, then you should select a self-parking spot.
Is The Meet and Greet Parking Type Worthy of Being Utilized?
Meet and greet services, also referred to as valet parking, require you to leave your car at a pre-agreed point, which is usually the pick-up area of the terminal. You hand over your keys to the driver, who takes your car to the parking space, usually some miles away from the terminal. Upon return, you get in touch with the parking company, who then arrive with your car at a suitable point, usually close to the terminal.
Meet and greet type parking is another convenient option, but it usually involves greater costs. Should you still select this option, ensure that you appoint a reputed valet service, who give your car the care it deserves.
What if You’re Traveling for Business Purposes? What’s the Best Parking Option Then?
When you’re traveling for business related reasons, business parking is the best choice. The option is expensive, but then the company you work for would bear the costs. And of course, when you pay more, you get greater benefits as well, which can vary from service to service. However, in most instances, business airport parking spots are closer to the terminal, implying shorter transfer times. Also, at some of the airports, the business parking space is directly linked to the terminal, which means greater convenience as well. Many of these services offer luxurious buses that travel more frequently, compared to a general airport parking service.
Should You Work with an Independent Operator or Go With the Airport’s Branded Parking Service?
An airport’s own branded parking is a much safer bet than working with an independent operator, but it’s also more expensive. Independent operators are indeed more affordable, usually offering the same service level. But before appointing them, do conduct a thorough research. Take references from your friends, read online reviews and accordingly, evaluate their credibility and reliability. Also, find out the arrangements at the car parking area, which should include CCTV surveillance, regular patrols throughout the day, security barriers, limited user access and the like. Less reputed operators may miss out on some of these features, charging you less in, but that also intensifies the security risks involved, so be careful when choosing an airport parking service.
Also, determine the average amount of time it would take you to get to the terminal from the parking or reception area. If there is a bus service, find out how often the bus arrives at the stop as well as the journey time. Generally, transfers can take around 30 minutes, but sometimes they can be longer. You’ll have to factor this time in when deciding a suitable time to arrive at the airport.
So did you like the information in this airport parking guide? If you still have any more questions, do get in touch with us, and we’ll get back to you at the earliest.
Here are some best airport parking options :