If your job requires you to fly four or five times a month, you’re probably an expert in certain elements of airport survival. You know the most efficient airlines, the most friendly airport attendants, the cleanest bathrooms, the best places to eat, and the fastest airport checkouts. You probably also know all the right places to park.
For most travellers, it’s possible to get a ride to the airport. You can take a cab, or ask a friend or relative to drop you off. You can follow the same procedure after you flight back home. However, there are situations when these aren’t viable options.
You might be taking a family vacation, so there’s no one left to do the pick-up and drop-off. Or your flight may be at an awkward hour. Not everyone is willing to do an airport run at 3.00 a.m. so that may limit your options. Maybe you’re the kind of person that doesn’t like asking for favours, especially the kind that get people out of bed.
Also, if you fly that often, you probably don’t want to be a consistent bother to loved ones. And if you live far away from the airport, those taxi fares can really accumulate. While your office will cover your flights, they will often leave the taxi prices to you, and it can get very expensive very quickly.
In such cases, airport parking becomes an essential part of your flight itinerary. You need a safe place to leave your car, whether it’s for a few hours or a few days. You need the reassurance that it will be safe and clean when you get back and that it won’t have accrued ridiculous parking fees.
Some airport parking services charge less than $50 a day, and the longer you stay, the lower your daily fees. You have the option to park your own car, or you can use the valet service to keep your car sheltered. This is especially important during winter when constant drizzles could turn your car mouldy. It’s also helpful if you’ll be gone for a while and are worried about the Aussie sun baking your car and cracking your paint job.
Parking bays are sometimes far away from the main airport area, so parking services offer free shuttles from the car park to the terminal. If you use the valet service, drivers will collect your car when you arrive and bring it straight to arrivals when you get back. They’ll help with your baggage, and they’re also pretty good about securing items you might have forgotten in your car, as long as you let them know to keep an eye out.
As for the security of the car itself, parking services provide 24-hour surveillance, so your car is probably safer at the airport than it is at home. And if you’re stickler for cleanliness, you can ask the service to wash your car while you’re away. You can ask for a basic wheel and body wash, or more thorough steam and wax that includes your car interior.
Washes are often done by hand since there are no machine wash facilities at the airport. This can be an advantage, since the wash is more detailed and meticulous, thanks to the human touch. Handwashing also improves the chances of staff finding and securing any valuables you might have left behind.
Since you travel often, the airport can give you more than frequent flyer miles. Many airport parking services offer frequent parker bonuses. Your accumulated points have a cash value that can be traded in for discounts on future parking.
When you’ve been away from home for a while, jetlag isn’t your only concern. You want to get right back into your regular rhythm. Driving home in your own car helps, especially if your car smells nice and fresh. Airport parking is a reassuring, cost-effective way to make that happen.