Airport Parking Options: Which One Is Best for You?
Whether they’re going on a business trip or planning for a spring vacation, most people will book their flights as soon as some semblance of a plan takes form. What they don’t usually plan for is how they’re going to get the airport. You can consider driving down yourself, asking a friend to drop you off, opt for public transport or use a Lyft or an Uber.
Most people prefer not to take a car because the added hassle of finding a decent parking spot feels too much. However, like everything else, airport parking options have also expanded with time. Both large and medium-sized airports offer many different types of parking options that are priced according to the amount of convenience they offer and the distance of the parking spot from the terminal.
The next time you’re planning a trip, you can consider the following airport parking options for your vehicle.
Short Term Parking Lots
Short term parking lots are usually located close to airport terminals. They offer convenience, but it comes at a cost. Comparatively expensive, these short term parking lots are meant for people who are picking up or dropping someone off. Prices vary from airport to airport, but given the name, it is inadvisable to leave your car overnight or longer in a short term parking lot.
Daily Parking Lots
Daily parking lots and parking garages tend to be more expensive than a long term parking lot. However, they are comparatively less expensive than a short term parking lot. You’ll find these located at a short distance from the terminal. Most airports offer a shuttle service that helps you get from the parking lot to the terminal.
Long Term Parking Lots
Also known as satellite parking lots, long term parking lots tend to be located at some distance from the airport. A shuttle service helps you travel from the parking lot to the terminal. The rates for parking at these lots differ considerably than those at a daily or short term parking lot. They are much lower. If you’re planning to leave your car in the parking lot for multiple days, then a long term parking lot is the most economical option.
Airports like John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City and the Dallas Love Field Airport also offer valet parking. It’s convenient, but it is also priced accordingly. You can expect to pay a minimum of $10 per hour for the initial two hours. As the minutes go by, the price also gets raised accordingly. Unlike short term and long term parking lots, some airports offering valet parking do not allow you to park your car overnight in these lots.
Because of the traffic at airports on a daily basis, off-site parking companies are seeing a rise in demand. They hold several advantages and are becoming an increasingly popular option these days.
One of the obvious benefits to off-site parking is the affordability. Since an airport costs a considerable amount of money to run, the price of occupying a space in their parking lot is automatically higher. Companies offering off-site parking differ considerably in their prices because they only need to cover the costs incurred in running the parking lot.
A lot of offsite companies also offer promotions, loyalty programs, and online discounts to repeat customers. Besides the cost-saving advantages, one of the most appealing aspects of using an off-site parking company is that you can reserve a parking spot in advance. Managing to park in an airport parking lot has a lot to do with luck, and you can easily get stuck with the most remote spot in the entire parking structure. A lot of off-site companies provide the added convenience of online booking as well. The friendly staff is an added bonus and helps make everything a little easier.
Alternatives to Airport Parking
If you’re not quite sure about driving down yourself, there are other alternatives to airport parking as well. Some of the main alternatives you can consider include:
Using a Ride-Hailing Service
An easy alternative to airport parking, ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft can help you get to the airport as well. The rates vary according to the distance, but you might not always get the quality of service you’re looking for.
Hailing a Taxicab
Another convenient, albeit extremely expensive option, is hailing a taxicab.
Booking an Airport Shuttle
You may also be able to reserve a seat on an airport shuttle bus or van. The driver can pick you up and drop you off at your residence. However, this option largely depends on where you live. It’s also likely that the driver will be picking up other passengers, so make sure you time everything carefully and don’t end up missing your flight. If you live close to the airport, then this option may cost you the same amount as a taxi. It becomes a lot more economical if you live far away.
Other alternatives to airport parking include hitching a ride with a friend or using public transport. Be sure to reimburse the person picking you up or dropping you. Using public transport is also relatively inexpensive, but as is the case with using an airport shuttle service, make sure you leave the house with enough time to get to the airport. If you opt for airport parking, make sure you don’t lose your parking ticket since losing it could mean an extra penalty charge. If you’re planning to leave your car in the long term parking lot in the winter, keep an ice scraper in your baggage. You can use it when you return and happen to find your car coated in ice.
Finally, always allow yourself plenty of traveling and parking time if you are making a trip during the holiday season. Both on-site and off-site airport parking lots get filled pretty quickly during peak seasons.
Here are some best airport parkings :