Long-term airport parking refers to parking at an airport for an extended period of time, typically for a trip lasting a week or longer. It allows travelers to leave their vehicles conveniently at the airport while they are away on their travels.
Most major airports offer long-term parking options, either in garages or surface lots located on the airport property or at off-site facilities nearby. These dedicated long-term parking areas provide secure and affordable options for airport passengers who will be gone for multiple days or weeks and want to avoid paying daily rates.
Why Choose Long-Term Airport Parking?
There are many benefits to using long-term airport parking rather than alternatives like rideshares or taxis for extended trips:
- Convenience – Travelers can depart right from their own car at the airport, avoiding drop-offs and pickups. Upon return, their vehicle is waiting for them.
- Flexibility – With their own car, travelers avoid coordinating rides or rental cars. They can come and go freely from the airport.
- Affordability – Long-term airport parking can cost significantly less than alternatives over multiple days. Special discounts and weekly/monthly rates make it very economical.
- Security – Dedicated long-term lots feature security patrols, surveillance, and access control. Vehicles are safe while travelers are away.
- Amenities – Many long-term parking facilities offer extra amenities like baggage storage, shuttle service, car washes, and more for added convenience.
For travelers who need accessible and hassle-free airport parking for a week or longer trip, long-term parking is an optimal choice.
How Does Long-Term Airport Parking Work?
Long-term airport parking facilities are specially designed for extended stays. Key features include:
- Dedicated sections away from the busy short-term parking areas. This provides easy access and exit for travelers.
- Large surface lots and tall parking garages to accommodate thousands of vehicles. Long-term parking accounts for 20-30% of total airport parking revenue.
- Shuttle services to transport travelers between the parking facility and airport terminals. For large lots this service is essential.
- Automated payment kiosks for cashless transactions upon arrival and exiting. Travelers’ credit cards are charged accordingly.
- Security patrols and surveillance cameras monitoring vehicles around the clock while travelers are gone.
Travelers simply park their cars in the designated long-term parking area, take a shuttle to the terminal, and go catch their flights. It’s an easy and reassuring way to leave your car while traveling.
How to Book a Spot in Long-Term Airport Parking?
There are a few ways travelers can secure spots in long-term airport parking facilities:
1. Online Booking
Many long-term parking operators allow travelers to pre-book and pre-pay for parking online. This locks in rates, guarantees a spot, and allows fully automated check-in/out using license plate recognition. Travelers can conveniently book parking on airport websites or parking aggregators like Parkopedia.
2. Phone Booking
Calling the parking facility is another option for reserving and paying for long-term parking in advance. This provides customer service assistance in navigating options and ensuring reservations.
3. Walk-In Booking
Travelers can also just drive up and park in long-term parking on the day of travel. No reservations are required. However, prices may fluctuate and spots may fill up, so booking ahead is recommended.
Advanced booking for long-term parking is always a smart choice to lock in rates and availability.
What are the Rates for Long-Term Airport Parking?
Long-term airport parking rates are typically calculated based on duration:
1. Daily Rates
The average daily rate for long-term airport parking in the U.S. is $30. Daily rates allow flexibility for travelers uncertain of exact return dates.
2. Weekly Rates
Airports offer discounted weekly rates for airport parking averaging around $60-$100 for 7 days. This saves over paying daily rates.
3. Monthly Rates
Monthly long-term parking rates offer deeper discounts for extended trips, typically ranging $100-$250. Parking for a full month costs significantly less than daily/weekly parking.
4. Special Offers and Discounts
Many long-term parking operators run special deals like 50% off the first week or discounts for AAA members and seniors to attract travelers. Comparison shopping can yield excellent deals.
Considering duration and options, long-term airport parking can be very affordable, especially split among multiple travelers.
What are the Benefits of Using Long-Term Airport Parking?
Let’s look more closely at some of the appealing benefits long-term airport parking offers travelers:
Travelers simply park at the airport once and walk straight to their terminal, with their car waiting upon return – no coordinating rides or rental cars required.
Long-term parking facilities have constant security patrols, perimeter fencing, and video monitoring to keep vehicles safe in owners’ absence.
Special weekly and monthly pricing, coupled with discounts and deals, make long-term airport parking very affordable for longer trips.
Having your own car allows you freedom to easily come and go versus relying on rental cars or taxis.
5. Additional Services
Many long-term parking operators offer perks like shuttle buses, luggage assistance, car washes, and pet boarding for added convenience.
Considering the convenience, security and affordability long-term parking provides for extended trips, it’s easy to see the appeal to travelers.
Tips for Using Long-Term Airport Parking:
To maximize value and minimize hassles from long-term airport parking, keep these tips in mind:
1. Book in Advance
Booking parking online ahead secures the best rates and guarantees a spot. Trying to get parking last minute often costs more.
2. Compare Prices and Services
Don’t assume the airport’s parking is the best value – compare alternatives. Shop rates and amenities like shuttles.
3. Check Security Measures
Look for lots with video cameras, security patrols, and controlled access for maximum security.
4. Take Note of Your Parked Location
Snap a photo of the parking section, row number, etc to help relocate your vehicle upon return.
5. Keep Your Receipt Safe
Retain receipts or parking pass as proof of payment to exit the facility.
6. Consider Shuttle Service Availability
For off-site parking, factor in shuttle schedules and convenience.
7. Check Vehicle Size Restrictions
Some garages have height and width limits, so check that large vehicles or SUVs will fit.
8. Be Aware of Extra Charges
Many parking facilities add fees for lost tickets, going over allotted time, etc. Know the rules.
9. Check Operating Hours
Ensure the parking facility’s operating hours accommodate your late night or early morning departure/return.
10. Check Customer Reviews and Ratings
Research reviews and complaints regarding facilities before committing to improve your experience.
Following these tips will help maximize convenience and cost-savings using long-term airport parking.
Long-term vs Short-term Airport Parking: Which One to Choose?
Should you use long-term or short-term parking based on the length of your trip? Here are some guidelines:
- Use short-term parking for quick trips under 5 days. Hourly and daily rates are affordable. Short-term parking is closer to terminals for faster access.
- Choose long-term parking for trips 5 days or longer. The weekly and monthly discounts make it significantly cheaper. Long-term parking has more capacity for extended stays.
- For medium 5-10 day trips, compare pricing between short and long-term parking. Do the math to see which saves more based on daily/weekly rates and discounts.
- When using long-term parking, don’t pay for more days than absolutely needed. Paying for 2 weeks for a 9 day trip wastes money.
Analyze rates and trip duration to decide between short and long-term airport parking options. Optimize cost savings in line with convenience needs.
For travelers embarking on extended week+ long trips away, long-term airport parking presents an affordable, secure, and convenient option to leave their vehicle at the airport while gone. Taking advantage of weekly and monthly discounts, advanced booking, and off-site parking deals can minimize costs. Following airport parking tips such as comparing facilities, noting your parking spot, and reviewing shuttle availability ensures a smooth experience. Analyzing the length of your upcoming travels and parking rates helps determine whether long-term or short-term parking makes the most sense for maximizing value. With appropriate planning, long-term airport parking can save travelers both money and headaches while away on extended vacations and business trips.