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How Safe Are Airport Parking Lots?  

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 6 minutes

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You think about how safe airport parking lots are every time you must catch a flight from an airport near you. The thing is, you don’t want to annoy your friends or family by asking them to drop you off at the airport at unearthly hours. But you don’t really want to spend a lot of dollars on a cab, either.

The solution to this dilemma seems rather obvious. Drive down to the airport and leave your car at an airport parking lot. But then, how safe are airport parking lots? Will your car be secure while you’re away? Will you have to come back to dents, scratched doors, or cracked windows? With car thefts from airport parking lots on the rise, you’re right to be worried, especially if you are going to be away for a more extended period of time.

Airport parking lot safety

We’ve decided to take a long, hard look at the safety measures offered by airport parking lots. We’ll also compare the safety standards of offsite, onsite, and valet parking lots with a particular focus on the safety of long-term airport parking. We’ll also give you few tips to ensure your car’s safety in an airport parking lot.  

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Are airport parking lots safe?

On-air or onsite airport lots are usually adjacent to the airport, and the airport authorities own and operate the tickets. Proximity to the airport comes at a price, though, and on-airport parking will cost you more than offsite parking. Consider Atlanta Airport parking, for instance. Even the cheapest ATL parking lot, the Economy lot costs $10/day, while offsite parking is available for half that cost! Similarly, an onsite IAH Airport parking spot will cost you around $6/day even in the Ecopark lots, while offsite parking is available for less than $3/day.

Does the extra cost at airport parking lots mean you get extra security? Unfortunately, that is not true of most onsite lots. Airport parking lots must be accessible to the public, and anyone can easily enter them. Some of them are monitored, but their size and high occupancy rates can make checking on each car in the lot quite difficult. Security measures are typically limited to a drive/walk-by guard or surveillance cameras that may or may not be covering your spot. What’s even more worrying is that most of these garages tend to be poorly lit. When it comes to the safety aspect, we’re going to have to go with a thumbs down for on-airport lots.  

How safe are offsite airport parking lots?  

This is a bit more of a dicey question because different offsite lots will offer various amenities and features. Some lots are gated, guarded, well-lit, and have 24/7 security and camera surveillance. If you choose to park at such a lot, your car will be far more secure than if it was in a garage that’s open to the public. On the other hand, you also have lots that do not offer much in terms of security but are way cheaper than the other lots. The safety of your car in an offsite airport parking lot will ultimately depend on the type of lot you choose.

So, compare all your options, considering both safety and cost factors. Use sites like Way.com that can help you search across a wide assortment of airport parking lots and compare rates and safety features. When it comes to safety, we are going to give a very cautious thumbs up for offsite parking lots.  A word to the wise – when parking offsite, always choose lots that offer airport shuttles to ensure your safety and your vehicle’s.

Regarding offsite parking lots, it is best to avoid lots located closer to the seedier parts of the city. Choose ones that are in well-lit, safer areas. Booking a spot hotel parking lot is one of the safer options when it comes to the safety aspect. Better to be safe than sorry!

How safe are valet parking lots?  

Valet parking lots, albeit expensive, are generally gated, manned, and guarded well. Valet parking lots are also typically out of bounds to the public, less crowded, and easier to monitor. The only problem is that when you hand over your keys to someone else, you can’t see where they will park your car. The best way to deal with this is to book your valet parking online after checking user reviews and ratings. Again, we’ll give a very cautious thumbs up for valet parking lots.  

Is it safe to leave your car at long-term airport parking lots? 

safe airport parking lot

We understand the concern that you may have while leaving your car at long-term airport parking lots. You’ll be away for quite a long time, giving thieves plenty of time to break into your vehicle and steal your belongings or even your vehicle itself! As we pointed out earlier, it’s up to you to choose a parking lot that will take good care of your car while you’re away. Your vehicle will be safe if you park with a trusted parking provider who offers adequate safety measures. If you need affordable long-term or monthly airport parking, it’s best to look at offsite options.  

How to keep your car safe at airport parking lots 

While plenty of airport parking lots are safe as houses and well-guarded, it’s still a great idea to take a few precautions to ensure your car’s safety. 

  • Don’t leave anything in your car that could tempt a thief to try to break into your car. That includes electronic equipment, chargers, sports gear, or loose change.  
  • If your parking lot allows you to choose your spot, always choose a well-liarea as close to the gate/exit or elevators/stairways as possible. 
  • Similarly, choose a spot where your car is clearly within sight of a surveillance camera. This can be a deterrent to would-be thieves.  
  • If you can afford it, invest in anti-theft gear like steering wheel locks and gas tank locks.  
  • Make sure not to leave your parking ticket or travel itinerary in a very visible part of your car. This will let anyone looking into your car know exactly how long you will be gone.  
  • Make sure you lock all your doors when you leave. It does sound rather obvious, but when you’re rushing to catch your flight, you may end up forgetting to lock up!  

The next time you’re flying, make sure you book your spot at a short-term or long-term airport parking lot that can keep your car safe. That way, you’ll have peace of mind while you’re away. 

Safe airport parking

Reserve your airport parking space in advance with Way online or via the iOS and Android apps!

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