Why is airport parking so expensive?

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After two years of closures and restrictions, it looks like we’re about to have a bumper summer when it comes to travel. Unfortunately, the rise in energy prices has already started to affect the price of plane tickets.

So here you are now having saved up for your long-awaited getaway only to discover that not only is your ticket priced, but it’s going to cost you a small fortune to leave your car at the airport.

Airport parking is big business

Have you ever wondered why it costs so much to park at the airport? The reason is quite simple because the airport car park is run like a business. First there is the initial cost of the land, then the construction costs. Once it’s built, whether it’s a multi-storey car park or just a paved lot in the open, it needs to be maintained. You have to hire people to make sure everything is running smoothly and pay for electricity to keep things safe. Airport operators, many of which are private companies, also know that airport parking is more convenient and they will always have a captive audience because of it.

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Airport parking can be expensive. Photo: Pixabay

Among the most expensive airports to park your car is London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at $236.81 for a week. Next is Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) at $233.30 for a week. When looking at parking rates at airports around the world, the cost to park your car at an airport in the United States is not that expensive outside major cities. Parking at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) is the most expensive in the country, with its operator, Massport, charging $25 per day.

Public transport to the airport

Some of the world’s newer and well-planned airports have dedicated train or metro stations that allow you to get to the airport using public transport. This is a great option if you live in the city where the airport is, but not so great if you’re traveling from an area without a train or metro.


If you live in the United States or another country where Uber operates, this can be a great option for getting to and from the airport. Cheaper than a taxi and faster than taking a bus, Uber offers a service called Uber XL that guarantees you’ll be picked up in an SUV or minivan with a minimum of six passengers.

Airport transfer service

A dedicated airport transportation service is another great option for people in countries that don’t allow ride-sharing apps. A driver will come to your place and take you to the airport. On your return, a driver will come to the arrivals area of ​​the airport, holding a sign with your name on it. They will then help you carry your luggage to the car and drive you home.

The significant advantages of using an airport transfer service are knowing the total cost in advance and that someone will be at the airport waiting for you when you arrive home. Plus, you feel a bit like a VIP having a driver waiting for you at the airport.

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Consider parking at an off-site parking lot

Alright, let’s say you have no choice but to drive to the airport and park your car while you’re away. The first thing you need to do is look for long term parking signs. Typically this is much further from the terminal than short term parking, and depending on the distance you may need to take a shuttle bus from the parking lot to the terminal.

Many airports offer a second, usually much less expensive way to leave your car at the airport, namely off-site independent car parks. Located on the outskirts of the airport, off-site private car parks offer a shuttle service between their car park and the terminal. You park your car in their car park, drop off the keys and take a minibus to the airport. On your return, once your plane has landed, call the car park, a transport will be waiting for you to take you to your vehicle.


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