I love simplicity and the more simplicity I can add to my life when I can travel, the better. Of course, the ultimate in simplicity for me would a chauffeur driven car to secluded airport with a private jet waiting for me. In the meanwhile, it is a self parked car, thru TSA, to a commercial, oversold flight. Pre-paid airport parking would be one simple step that would simplify at least one part of air travel.
My case for pre-paid parking is very simple – my flight ticket is pre-paid. Why not my parking?
Pre-paid parking is becoming popular and more prevalent. It works great. You have a pre-paid flight ticket (duh!), so you know your departure and arrival dates. Just book and pre-pay your parking before even heading to the airport. Then park and fly. More importantly, when you arrive, get in your car and leave. No getting in line to pay. I don’t know about you, but I hate getting in line, either in my car or at the terminal, to pay for my parking, on my way home. I just want to get home at that time.
The second benefit of pre-paid parking is the savings. Almost all pre-paid parking companies sell pre-paid parking at a rate much lower than the ‘gate’ prices. This is a win-win for all. We the travelers save money, time and reduce hassle; the parking companies have customers who reserve and pre-pay.
My local airport, Washington Dulles (IAD), does not have any pre-paid parking option. We do have valet parking though (ah, I can dream). More and more airports are getting pre-paid parking options available. In the US, it is still rare. I have seen pre-paid parking at only a few airports – Philadelphia (PHL), Denver (DEN), Los Angeles (LAX), to name a few. If anyone is aware of other airports with pre-paid parking in the US, please share by leaving a comment below.
In the UK, pre-paid parking is much more prevalent. Almost all airports have it. Many travel companies, such as Holiday Extras also offer pre-paid parking (such as Heathrow Airport parking) on their websites.
I hope to see pre-paid parking become pervasive. As an add-on benefit, my wish list – Airline Miles for pre-paid parking (of course) and pre-assigned parking slots for travelers with Airline Elite Status!