As one of the busiest airports on the Northeastern Seaboard, the Philadelphia Airport occupies a prime position in the country’s aviation sector. It serves nearly 30 million passengers every year and is easily in the top 20 busiest airports in the country. It also handles cargo worth millions of revenues and is the airport of choice for trans-Atlantic flights to Europe.
Besides that, the City of Philadelphia is a major tourist attraction, primarily because of its cultural and historical importance. With so many visitors coming to and from the city, it is becoming increasingly hard to find affordable Philadelphia Airport parking. Though the airport does have on-site parking lots, most visitors find that it is either too expensive for them or unreliable at times. It is common to hear visitors’ stories of having to drive around the lots several times before they find a suitable parking spot. Even those who do find a good spot may return from their trip to find their car scratched or dented – not exactly what you expect!
But don’t worry, every problem has a solution. With a proper checklist, you can beat the competition and secure that elusive Philadelphia airport parking spot. Using these tried and tested methods, you can choose the best Philadelphia Airport parking lot, with rates that you can afford and which give you the benefit of a safe space to park your car. Read on to know the 5 things you must do before booking a parking spot at Philadelphia Airport.
1. Review the different Philadelphia Airport parking lots
There are different parking lots which you can opt for, depending on how long you want to park at the airport. The three lots are: the Short-term (ground level), Garage (Upper Level) lot, and the Aadvantage® Aviator® Mastercard® parking lot (Credit Card lot). The airport parking facilities and airport parking rates differ based on which lot you choose and whether it is hourly or daily parking that you want. The cheapest rate is for daily parking at the Garage lot, which costs $16. The most expensive is the Short-term lot, which costs up to $44 for a day’s parking.
So how do you make sense of the different parking lots and rates? We’ve simplified it for you below so that you can make the best possible choice from the lots on offer.
2. Choose between long-term or short-term parking
You can choose short-term parking in case your trip is less than 24 hours long. This can include an urgent business day trip, a personal emergency trip, or even a short round-trip to see a friend. The benefit of short-term parking is that you only need to pay based on the number of hours you park. Short-term parking is offered at all three lots. The Short-term lot will cost you $4 for between 0-30 minutes and an additional $2 for every 30 minutes until a daily maximum of $24. The Daily Garage lots will cost you almost the same except for the daily maximum of $16. The credit card lots start at $3 for 0-30 minutes and increase $2 for every additional half-hour until the maximum of $36 is reached.
Long-term Philadelphia airport parking is best for trips that are longer than a day. These could be short trips of 3-4 days or week-long trips for work/leisure. Long-term parking is slightly cheaper because you are only charged a flat daily rate and not hourly. Philadelphia long-term parking rates will cost you $24 at the Short-term lot, $16 at the Garage, and $36 at the credit card lot. However, leaving your car at a long-term parking lot means it could be scratched or dented by careless drivers.
There’s also a more convenient option – offsite parking near the airport. You can find many cheap and safe lots using websites like Way.com and the Way app. Most of these off-site lots also offer free shuttle, saving you the hassle of parking at PHL airport.
3. Compare the costs of on-site vs. off-site parking
You might have noticed the steep rates for on-site parking. You might wonder if you always have to pay an arm and a leg to park at the airport! Well, there’s a better option literally around the corner if you’re willing to park near the airport instead of at the airport. Off-site parking can be as cheap as $5/day!
Yes, there are several off-site parking lots just a stone’s throw away from the airport that offer much cheaper parking. These lots belong to airport hotels near PHL airport and can afford to give you discounted rates that shave up to 60% on your parking cost. While the PHL airport parking rates start at $16/day, off-site lots have rates as low as $5/day! An added advantage is that they also provide additional services like car wash, oil changes, detailing, and more.
4. Check for cheaper airport hotel parking deals nearby
Off-site parking is very convenient if you have a late-night or early morning flight to catch – popularly called ‘red-eye’ flights. Many airport hotels offer greats deals with which you can park your vehicle at their lot for dirt-cheap prices, and also book a room to spend the night in case you want to. This makes it easier for you to relax and catch your flight on time.
You can use websites or apps like Way.com to book a spot in just a few minutes at heavily discounted prices. You can park at airport hotels even if you are not booking a room with them. Complimentary shuttle services are available 24×7, making this option an absolute steal!
5. Leave home early to beat rush hour traffic
The distance from downtown Philadelphia to Philadelphia airport is a little over 11 miles. At an average speed, it will take you around 30 minutes to cover. However, unexpected delays can increase the traveling time, especially if you leave during rush hour or if there is construction on the highway and traffic is diverted. To be safe, start a good one hour before you’re supposed to be at the airport.
- Philadelphia Airport is located at the following address: 8000 Essington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19153, United States
- There is a height restriction of 6’2” for vehicles at both the Short-term and Garage parking lots.
- Parking coupons are often available for parking at PHL and can be availed through sites like Groupon, RetailMeNot, and Ebates.
- In case you need assistance for any issue such as vehicle lock-or security, customers may call the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) Airport Operations Division at 215-683-9840.