Should you drive yourself to the airport or hire a taxi, Uber, or car service?
There are ample offsite and onsite parking facilities in many airports, yet still, for-hire airport transportation is big business. There is almost a 50/50 split between those who prefer Airport parking and rideshare/car service.
Is it cheaper to drive and park at the airport than hire a car service? It depends on how to do your math.
20-mile car service to BWI may cost $60.00 one way, while parking may cost only $10.00 a day. If you are gone for five days, Airport parking will cost you $50.00 plus gratuity, while your car service cost is $120 plus tip.
At first, it looks like it is much cheaper to drive and park at the airport, but proper calculations are never that simple.
When you consider your time, gas, and effort, suddenly, the price of a car service begins to look like a bargain.
Your journey begins from the minute you step out of your door as you head to the airport. You get into your vehicle, navigate the traffic, and make it on time to the airport. At least $10.00 worth of gas is gone.
You may have picked an offsite parking facility ahead of time, or if not, you are driving around looking for offsite parking signs. Either way, you arrive at the airport parking lot, and suddenly you can’t find space.
You have to quickly drive to the next one, which is only 4 minutes away. But this is 4 minutes you don’t have.
Once you get there, you find a spot somewhere at the far end of the vast parking lot, and now you have to drag your bags 100 meters to the designated pick-up area.
You are already drenched in sweat and stressed from the thought of maybe missing your flight. The airport parking shuttle is not coming back fast enough. It is still dropping off those who parked before you with their many bags, which the driver has to unload from the shuttle one by one.
Finally, the airport shuttle arrives after a 10-minute wait. You now only have 15 minutes to get to the airport and check in. The airport is only a 5-minute drive. You get to the terminal, but then you are seated at the back of the airport parking shuttle with your two bags.
In the van with you is a family of six, and they have a total of 15 bags which the driver has to unload one by one and shake their hands before they can hand him his tips. That is another 6 minutes gone.
You are finally out of the airport parking shuttle and running like an Olympics pro to catch your flight, but one thing is clear- Airport parking is not cheaper than a rideshare or car service.
You will not be in such a rush on your return but will likely spend a great deal of time getting to your dusty car at the airport parking lot. There is an unexpected car wash cost to consider too.
Sit back, relax and let a professional chauffeur conveniently drop you off at the airport terminal or pick you up as you walk out of the airport doors.
The driver will handle your luggage and safety drive you to your destination. If you are a frequent traveler, you will also be familiar with your car service drivers and enjoy the human social aspect of courtesy, great conversation, and a smile.