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How Can I Avoid Airport Parking Charges?

By Felicia Dye
Updated May 23, 2024
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To avoid paying airport parking charges, you may want to get someone to drop you off. You can also consider taking a taxi or using mass transportation if stops are available at or near the airport. Renting a car will allow you to drive all the way while avoiding airport parking charges. If this is not a viable option, you may want to park at someone's house or use off-site parking facilities.

Most airports tend to allow vehicles on the premises for a certain amount of time before they are charged any fees. Others allow vehicles unlimited free access to the arrival and departure areas and charge fees only if vehicles enter the parking facilities. Considering this, one of the best ways to avoid airport parking charges is by getting dropped off and having someone pick you up when you return. If you do not have someone who can do this for you, you may want to take a taxi to and from the airport. Determine the costs of a taxi in advance because the fares may not offer much, if any, more savings than the airport parking charges.

If you know that you will be staying in a hotel prior to your departure, you may want to select one in close proximity to the airport. As you are making your selection, look for a hotel that has a free shuttle service to the airport. Public transportation may also be an option because some airports are accessible by train or by subway. In many cities, there are also bus stops at various locations near the airport and on the premises.

If you are in a situation where you need to drive, there are a couple options that you can consider. To begin with, if you must drive your own vehicle, you may want to reserve parking at an off-site facility. You can generally do this online, and the rates are usually lower than the airport parking charges. These facilities tend to offer transfers to the airport.

There are also some websites that allow drivers to connect with residents near the airport who are willing to allow the individuals to park at their homes. Although there may be a charge assessed for this, these residents are well aware that a person's motive for this type of arrangement is avoiding airport parking charges, so the costs should be cheaper. You may also want to consider renting a vehicle that will be returned at the airport that you are departing from. This way, you will have convenient access, and you can avoid the parking charges.

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Discussion Comments

By Buster29 — On Mar 23, 2014

The tip about finding a hotel near the airport is a really good one. Whenever I fly into Nashville, I always book a room at the hotel nearest to the airport if I can. They do provide a shuttle, but I can just about walk to the airport on a good day. I don't usually rent a car, because Nashville has really good taxi service and a lot of attractions are within walking distance of each other.

By Phaedrus — On Mar 22, 2014

Our local airport used to be a little casual about enforcing time limits in the loading and unloading area. If I parked in one of those spaces to wait for my wife's arrival, I could safely stay there for an hour or two. After 9/11, however, the airport started enforcing all of their parking rules, including a strict ten minute limit on parking near the front of the terminal. I could get around it by driving a constant loop around the airport grounds until my wife showed up outside the door.

It may not save on gas, but driving a loop around the airport can save you some money on parking fines or short term parking.

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