Off-site airport parking refers to parking facilities that are located away from the airport terminal, typically within a few miles. These parking lots provide shuttle services to transport travelers to and from the airport terminal. Off-site airport parking offers travelers a more affordable and convenient parking option compared to parking directly at the airport.
What is Off-Site Airport Parking?
Off-site airport parking facilities are independently owned and operated parking lots that are situated near airports, but not directly on airport property. These parking facilities are located within a few miles of the airport, usually 5 miles or less.
Over 50% of airport travelers now choose off-site parking, as it provides advantages over on-site airport parking in terms of cost, availability, and amenities. Off-site parking facilities provide shuttle services that pick up travelers from the parking lot and drop them directly at their airport terminal. The shuttles operate continuously, ensuring travelers make it to the airport in time for their flight.
On returning from their trip, travelers simply take the shuttle from their terminal back to the off-site parking facility to collect their vehicle. This allows them to avoid waiting in long taxi lines or paying expensive rideshare fares after their flight.
Benefits of Off-Site Airport Parking
There are several key benefits that make off-site airport parking an attractive option for many travelers:
One of the main benefits of off-site airport parking is the significant cost savings compared to on-site parking directly at the airport.
Off-site airport parking is up to 70% cheaper than on-site parking. On average, the cost of on-site airport parking is $37 per day, while the average cost of off-site airport parking is $15 per day.
For travelers going on longer trips, these savings can really add up. Off-site parking provides an affordable alternative so travelers can avoid paying the high daily parking rates charged by on-site airport lots.
In addition to being budget-friendly, off-site airport parking is a convenient option for travelers. The parking facilities offer continuous shuttle services that quickly transport travelers to and from the airport terminal.
This allows travelers to simply drive their own car to the off-site lot and then relax on the shuttle ride, rather than having to find alternate transportation to the airport. Many off-site parking companies also have self-serve check-ins, allowing customers to bypass waiting in line to park.
Off-site airport parking lots typically have more parking spaces available than on-site parking lots. This makes it easier to find an open spot, especially during peak travel seasons. Travelers don’t have to worry about circling endlessly looking for parking at the airport.
Most off-site airport parking facilities provide heightened security measures to keep vehicles safe. Safety features often include 24/7 video surveillance, security patrols, gated entrances, and individual space alarm systems.
Off-site airport parking is typically safe and secure, giving travelers peace of mind while they are traveling. Travelers can feel assured knowing their vehicle is protected while they are away.
4. Additional Services
In addition to parking and shuttle services, many off-site parking companies offer extra amenities and conveniences for travelers. These can include:
- Covered or garage parking options to protect vehicles from weather elements
- Car wash and detail services so vehicles are cleaned upon return
- Oil changes and vehicle maintenance while parked
- Valet parking for added convenience
- 24/7 customer service help if needed
- Luggage assistance on the shuttle
The extra services and amenities provided enhance the travel experience for flyers.
Benefits for Different Types of Travelers
Off-site airport parking caters to all types of travelers and trips:
For those going on vacation, off-site parking can mean significant cost savings on parking fees. This allows extra money to spend on the getaway itself. Off-site parking facilities allow easy access to luggage assistance on the shuttle for those with lots of bags.
Road warriors can take advantage of off-site parking’s flexibility for long-term parking. Additional amenities like car washes and maintenance checks keep vehicles in top shape in between trips.
Families benefit from more spacious parking for large vehicles like vans and SUVs. Covered parking protects vehicles with car seats and strollers inside. Shuttle services mean less walking for families.
Travelers with Disabilities
Those with disabilities can benefit from off-site parking’s close parking spaces and shuttle services which minimize walking. Some facilities also offer wheelchair assistance.
How to Choose an Off-Site Airport Parking Facility
When selecting an off-site airport parking provider, travelers should consider the following factors:
1. Location and Proximity to the Airport
The ideal off-site parking facility has a location close to the airport, usually within 5 miles or less. Proximity to the airport ensures shuttle rides are short and convenient. Longer shuttle rides can mean more time in transit.
2. Security Measures in Place
Examine the security protocols the off-site parking company has in place, such as surveillance systems, security staff, and gate access. Companies that prioritize security can provide greater peace of mind.
3. Price Comparison
Travelers should compare rates across multiple off-site parking providers. Some companies offer discounts for booking in advance or for longer-term parking. Make sure to factor in any fees or surcharges as well.
4. Availability of Shuttle Service
The timing and frequency of the shuttle service to the airport is key. Shuttles should operate continuously so travelers don’t miss flights. Shared ride shuttles are common, so be sure to allow enough time.
5. Customer Reviews and Ratings
Reading customer feedback provides insight into service quality, facilities, and overall satisfaction from past travelers. High ratings indicate a reputable parking provider.
6. Extra Services Offered
Consider which on-site amenities are priorities, like covered parking, car washes, or valet service. Compare options across providers.
7. Booking Process
The reservation process should be quick and straightforward online or by phone. Clear booking policies and prompt email confirmations are favorable.
8. Payment Options
Most off-site parking companies accept major credit cards and some accept debit cards or PayPal. Understand payment terms and when you will be charged.
9. Cancellation Policy
Check if reservations can be canceled or changed. Many companies provide flexibility to modify or cancel bookings, sometimes with a fee.
10. Operating Hours
Off-site parking facilities should be open early and close late to accommodate flight schedules. Facilities open 24/7 provide maximum flexibility.
Why Choose Off-Site Airport Parking?
There are many reasons travelers may opt for off-site over on-site airport parking:
- Business travelers who take frequent, longer trips can maximize savings with off-site parking.
- Families traveling together can get more spacious parking spots for large vehicles.
- Those with early morning or late night flights benefit from facilities open 24/7.
- Travelers with disabilities can benefit from shuttle service and closer parking spots.
Off-site airport parking companies are generally well-rated by customers based on factors like affordable rates, security, convenience, and customer service. Reviews indicate most travelers have positive experiences using off-site airport parking.
The off-site airport parking industry is rapidly expanding to meet traveler demand:
- The off-site airport parking market is expected to grow to $20 billion by 2027, according to Allied Market Research.
- New off-site parking facilities are opening near major airports each year.
- Parking companies are enhancing amenities to attract travelers.
Off-site airport parking provides an affordable, convenient alternative to airport parking. Here is more on the top parking providers, how to book off-site parking, tips for using these facilities, common misconceptions, and how it compares to on-site parking.
Top 5 Off-Site Airport Parking Companies in the US
The off-site airport parking industry has expanded rapidly across the US. Here are 5 of the top national off-site parking providers:
1. Park ‘N Fly
Founded in 1967, Park ‘N Fly operates near over 60 airports nationwide. The company prides itself on excellent customer service and amenities like covered garages, valet parking, car washes, pet boarding, and electric vehicle charging stations. Park ‘N Fly has a user-friendly website and mobile app for reserving parking spots. They frequently offer discounts and rewards programs for travelers.
2. The Parking Spot
With 75 locations across 23 states, The Parking Spot is one of the largest near-airport parking companies. They focus on premium services like covered garages, complimentary car washes, and bottled water upon return. The Parking Spot also offers valet parking, electric car charging, pet services, and luggage assistance. Customers give high marks for their friendly shuttle drivers.
3. Park Shuttle & Fly
Park Shuttle & Fly provides off-site parking with complimentary shuttles at over 20 major airports coast-to-coast. They offer both outdoor and covered garage parking with security patrols. Unique amenities include air conditioning, power outlets, and Wi-Fi on shuttles. There are many positive reviews for Park Shuttle & Fly’s affordable rates and attentive customer service.
4. Smart Park
Known for spacious parking lots, Smart Park has locations at 13 busy airports. They offer uncovered and covered parking with video monitoring, along with maintenance and car wash services. Smart Park has flexible cancellation policies and accommodates larger vehicles. Customers highlight their prompt shuttle service, clean facilities, and friendly staff.
5. Peachy Airport Parking
A top parking provider in the South, Peachy Airport Parking operates near major hubs like Atlanta, Nashville, Orlando, and Tampa. Their amenities include covered parking, car charging stations, and a rewards program. Peachy Airport Parking is lauded for low rates, cleanliness, security features, and responsive customer service agents.
How to Book an Off-Site Airport Parking Spot
Booking off-site airport parking is simple, with most companies offering online reservations or phone booking:
The easiest way to book off-site parking is through the company’s website. After selecting your airport:
- Choose your dates of travel and confirm availability.
- Select covered or uncovered parking if offered.
- Indicate if you need any extra services like car wash or maintenance.
- Provide contact and payment details to complete reservation.
- You’ll receive a confirmation email with arrival instructions.
To reserve parking over the phone:
- Call the company and specify your airport location and travel dates.
- Request covered or uncovered parking if available.
- Ask about add-ons like valet or maintenance if desired.
- Provide contact information and payment details.
- Obtain your confirmation number and arrival instructions.
Some companies offer mobile apps for added convenience booking and managing reservations. Most also provide airport-specific driving directions right to the facility.
Tips for Using Off-Site Airport Parking Facilities
To ensure a smooth experience using off-site airport parking:
- Allow plenty of time – Build in extra buffer before your flight since you’ll need to take a shuttle to the terminal. Have bags ready to go to avoid delays.
- Follow signs – Most facilities have clear signage directing you where to park and catch the shuttle. Park in designated areas only.
- Bring your reservation info – Have your booking confirmation on hand for check-in, whether printed or on your phone.
- Load luggage – Take advantage of help loading bags onto the shuttle if offered by drivers.
- Relax – You’ve done the hard part by parking, so enjoy the shuttle ride. Consider it a perk, not an inconvenience.
- Ask questions – Drivers are there to help if you have any questions or concerns about your parking stay.
- Check-in if returning after hours – Look for instructions on how to gain entry and catch a shuttle when the office is closed.
- Allow time for pickup – On returning from your trip, keep in mind it takes time for the shuttle to pick you up.
Common Misconceptions About Off-Site Airport Parking
While off-site parking has many benefits, some travelers have misconceptions about the service. Here are some myths dispelled:
Myth: Shuttles take too long.
Fact: Most off-site parking shuttles take 10 minutes or less to reach the airport thanks to close facility locations. Frequency is typically every 5-10 minutes so wait times are short.
Myth: Off-site parking lots are unsafe.
Fact: Off-site parking facilities invest heavily in safety through security staff patrols, 24/7 video monitoring, gated access, and individual parking space alarms. Lots are well-lit and secure.
Myth: Reservations are non-refundable.
Fact: Many off-site parking companies allow free cancellation or changes up to 24 hours before parking starts. There is flexibility if plans change.
Myth: Shuttles only run during office hours.
Fact: Parking facility shuttles operate continuously, well before first flights and well after last flights, including to redeye flights. Some run 24/7.
Myth: Off-site parking is inconvenient.
Fact: With online booking, near airport locations, frequent shuttles, early/late hours, and luggage assistance, off-site parking is highly convenient.
Off-Site vs. On-Site Airport Parking: Which Is Better?
When choosing between off-site and on-site airport parking, there are key differences in factors like convenience, availability, price, amenities, and flexibility. This table provides a helpful side-by-side comparison:
According to a survey by The Points Guy, over 2 in 3 travelers (67%) consider off-site parking more convenient than on-site parking.
|Factor||Off-Site Parking||On-Site Parking|
|Convenience||Located within 5 miles of the airport. Requires a quick shuttle ride to terminal. Shuttles depart frequently.||Right at the airport terminal. No need for a shuttle.|
|Availability||Ample parking capacity. Easy to find open spots.||Limited parking. Often reaches full capacity during peak times.|
|Price||50-75% cheaper on average. Significant cost savings.||More expensive parking fees.|
|Amenities||May offer covered garages, car washes, valet service, maintenance checks.||Typically lacks amenities beyond basic uncovered parking.|
|Flexibility||Accommodates both short and long-term parking. Cancellations and date changes are often permitted.||Less flexibility for short or long-term parking needs.|
As shown, off-site parking comes out ahead for price, availability, amenities, and flexibility. The only advantage of on-site parking is the closer proximity and slightly more convenience. However, off-site parking shuttle frequency and airport priority lanes minimize the added transit time. When weighing the overall benefits, off-site parking is preferable for most airport travelers.
The Bottom Line
For most travelers, off-site airport parking provides an affordable, convenient, secure alternative to parking at the airport. Services like shuttles and luggage assistance simplify travel, while amenities like covered parking and car washes provide added benefits.
With the ability to save up to 70% compared to on-site parking, along with excellent customer ratings, off-site airport parking delivers immense value to travelers. As the off-site parking industry continues its rapid growth, travelers can expect even more facilities and amenities in the future.
Doing research and comparing options for location, pricing, and services is advised to identify the best off-site parking provider for your specific trip needs. However, the vast majority of off-site parking companies aim to make travel smooth and hassle-free.
So next time you are headed to the airport, consider using off-site parking for a seamless, stress-free travel experience.