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Airport Parking Vs Airport Transportation

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Which One is Better? – Airport Parking Vs. Airport Transportation

The choice between airport parking and airport transportation is a crucial decision when travelling. The high cost of airport parking is due to real estate costs, airport revenue maximization, high demand, and operational costs. Alternatively, airport transportation can be more cost-effective and less stressful, with various options available to travellers. To make the best choice, it’s important to consider both the costs and security concerns associated with parking, and the convenience and pricing of transportation options.

Six Reasons Why Airport Parking Costs So Much

1. Real estate costs

The first reason airport parking is so expensive is due to the prime cost of the land occupied by the parking lots. Demand increases the closer a parcel is to the airport, and there is a high demand from car rental companies, hotels, parking services, and other businesses that benefit from being as close as possible to the airport. Land at the airport is at a premium, is heavily taxed, and the costs need to be recovered. 

2. Convenience 

Despite the growing number of transportation options for getting to and from the airport, many people find the convenience of driving their own vehicle and storing it at a “park and fly” to be worth the extra cost of parking, especially if they live an hour or more from the airport. 

3. Airports need to maximize revenue

Although nearly all airports are publicly owned, they are expected to be as self-sustaining as possible. The local, regional, or state authority that operates the airport will seek ways to maximize revenue in all its operations. Thus, airports usually charge whatever fees the market will bear for airport parking

4. High demand

The demand for a fixed number of parking spaces at or near the airport is high. As every student learns in Economics 101, a limited supply paired with high demand puts upward pressure on prices. If you choose to drive to the airport, you’ll pay!

5. Operation costs

There is a lot more to operating a parking lot than collecting fees. Certain costs must be covered, including payroll, security, repairs, snow clearing, lighting, repaving, entrance and exit booths, etc. 

6. Parking monopolies

Parking lots at the airport are usually run by one entity, meaning there is no competition nearby, allowing them to set parking fees as high as they are able. 

What to Know About Airport Parking?

The most important thing to know about airport parking is that it is only one option. There are many ways to get to and from the airport, and many are more cost-effective and even more convenient than driving, discussed later in this post. 


Unsplash: Taken from the Holiday Inn Hotel at Southend Airport


The closer you park to the airport terminal, the more expensive parking will be. Most parking lots that are not located at the airport but cater to fliers will have a free shuttle between the lot and your gate. This is often called the airport park-and-ride option. An example of how much money you can save with this option is that a park-and-ride at the Orlando Airport (MCO) can cost as little as $5 per day, while airport parking near the terminal runs $19 per day. 

Long-term parking is usually less expensive than short-term parking. Look for long-term lots for the best prices, and when comparing parking lot options, check to see if there are better deals for parking over a certain number of days. Parking rates can also fluctuate seasonally, such as during the Christmas holidays, and are based on demand. 

Security is an important concern for cars parked in airport parking lots. They can be easy targets because their owners are likely to be gone for a while. Always be sure the lot you choose is secure, preferably with 24-hour staffing, has plenty of security cameras, and is fenced. 

Thieves know that cars in airport parking lots can be easy targets because their owners are likely to be gone for a while. Always be sure the lot you choose is secure, preferably with 24-hour staffing, has plenty of security cameras, and is fenced. 

When is Airport Transportation the Better Option? 

It is very common to get used to driving everywhere that we can easily forget there are other options. In reality, parking at the airport will cost more for most trips. In addition, when you consider how stressful airline travel has become, do we really want the stress of driving added to the beginning and end of our trips? 



With the Internet, it’s easy to compare airport transportation options and costs with the fees for airport parking. Here is a chart of 10 popular airports comparing the costs of the airport parking fees paid there, and a chauffeur-driven ride secured through Jayride.

Airport Parking, 24-Hour Period Chauffer-Driven Ride with Jayride
LAX From $50 From $80
JFK From $70 From $80
MCO From $19 From $20
SFO From $21 From $40
FAO From €21 From €6
MIA From $10 From $22
SYD From $65 From $19
NAS From $20 From $58
LAS From $30 From $40

The costs listed above are for a chauffeur-driven car. If you take an airport shuttle to the airport, it’s going to be far less expensive. There are many options for airport transportation to the airport. Jayride can help you sort through all of them.

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FAQs - Frequently asked questions


Taking a taxi will be a lot less stressful. On trips of two days or more, it is common for a cab to be more cost-effective. Other options include Uber, Lyft, town cars, and limousines. Use Jayride to compare options and prices.

An airport transfer to the airport refers to any pre-arranged transportation between an originating point and the airport. The originating point may be your home, office, hotel, tourist site, convention center, etc.

The main difference between a transfer and a taxi is that taxi fares are generally paid based on the distance traveled, while transfers have a fixed cost. With Jayride you have the option to choose a range of vehicles, from a shared airport shuttle to a luxury limo with the best price available from multiple, listed, expert transport companies.