Members and guests of CheapAirportParking.org

Our team receives thousands of questions about airport parking in particular and travel in general every month. In response to these questions we started this blog. We'll answer the most common ones and write about various aspects of travel such as transportation to and from the airport, finding the best deals for airline tickets, choosing the best hotel, etc.

Feel free to ask us questions. If you query may be of interest to other travelers, we'll post the answer here, otherwise we will reply to you via email.

Secrets for getting the most comfortable airline seat

1 May 2014 by Catey Hill, MarketWatch

Airline SeatsThere are a lot of things people hate about air travel. The food (or the lack of food), the hidden fees, even the other passengers.

In fact, out of 43 industries, airlines rank 40th in terms of satisfaction, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. And ask people what part of the already-unpleasant flying experience they hate most, and they'll tell you this: the seats. The study reveals that seat comfort is "poor" and is the item consumers say is the most unsatisfying aspect of flying.

What's more, that's getting worse: "Economy class seats are getting thinner and less padded to save fuel...and there's less leg room so they can get more seats on the plane," says George Hobica, founder of AirfareWatchdog.com. "They're making it so uncomfortable that they're forcing people into economy plus and business class." In other words, they're turning your extreme discomfort into profit.

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Sixt Car RentalsBack in 1912, with Mercedes as its signature car, Martin Sixt, the founding father of what is known today as one of the biggest car rental companies in the world, had a drive, a vision to mobilize the entire travel community. Inspired by his deep vision, Sixt is the best in giving literal meanings to their age old slogan, "The Spirit of Mobility".

This European car rental company is headquartered in Pullach - Germany, while intensively serving its clients through a diverse list of 4,000+ destinations. Interested in getting premium car rental services, without having to worry about flat tires, cranky mechanics, poor customer service and rigid rates? Go ahead and give Sixt a shot, it'll be truly worth it.

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Reserve Airport Parking While Airborne

6 Mar 2012 by Dean Adams

Delta's Inflight InternetWould you like to get your go-go inflight internet bill refunded so that you can enjoy it for free? Just spend 10 min of your flight time reserving airport parking with us. Chances are you'd parked your car at one of the parking lots we work with. By reserving online my girlfriend (on the picture) reduced our JFK parking bill by $30, with almost covered one month of Delta's onboard internet. It's that simple: park at the airport, board your plane, wait until you're above 10,000 feet, go online, select your parking facility and reserve parking AFTER you parked.

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The "Emerald" Airport

22 Jun 2011 by Julie Dorris

Panama City, FloridaFlorida has a new, green landing spot

The Florida panhandle is affectionately known to locals as the "Redneck Riviera", given its dive beer bars, t-shirt shops, tattoo parlors and burger joints all steps from the beach. "Cheeseburger in Paradise" could be its theme song. At the same time, the area is known as the "Emerald Coast" for its white sands and blue-green waters. It is definitely one of the country's best-kept secrets.

The word is about to get out, however. The newly opened Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport provides easier access to an area frequented mainly by residents of the Southern states. In the summer of 2010, many around the world got a glimpse of the area's beautiful white sands threatened by the BP oil spill. They heard the names of areas such as Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Destin and Alys Beach. But when Florida has Orlando, West Palm Beach and Miami, why would anyone choose to vacation in these tiny beach communities?

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Best Airport Art

21 Jun 2011 by Jennifer MacLean

Chicago Airport ArtWhether you travel for business or pleasure, you're bound to spend a great deal of time in an airport someday soon. The next time you're walking through to catch your flight, or waiting to pick up a friend at the arrivals gate, look around. Airports everywhere are putting a new focus on public art, in an effort to make your visit more pleasant, and perhaps even a little inspirational.

While the trend is worldwide, some of the very best works of art can be found in American airports. The Miami International Airport has chosen stunning works of art, with a distinctly Latin feel. The new South Terminal features two massive murals by the Brazilian artist Carybe, which were brought here from a soon-to-be-demolished terminal at New York's JFK airport. In the North Terminal, airy mobiles by the artist Emilio Adan Martinez drift like sails and kites high above your head.

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Marfa, Texas

19 Jun 2011 by Rachel Khona

Visit Marfa, TexasMarfa is not the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of Texas. But this often overlooked town is a hidden gem worth exploring. Founded by minimalist artist Donald Judd in the seventies, it's now a haven for artists, as well as home to the Marfa Lights, a mysterious light phenomenon that occurs every night over the desert horizon.

Stay

The Thunderbird Hotel is still a favorite of both hipsters and artists. Owner Liz Lambert turned created Marfa's must-go hotel with minimalist blond wood furniture, a restaurant, bar, and pool. Meanwhile film buffs gravitate towards the Hotel Paisano, which served as the headquarters for the filming of the Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, James Dean movie, Giant. James Dean fans can ask for room 223 where he stayed while filming. There's nothing left of the original set, but you can check out the memorabilia in the hotel lobby.

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How to Find the Best Fares

16 Jun 2011 by Roseann Lahey

Cheap AirfaresEverybody works hard all year long and looks forward to the magical time called Vacation! It's a wonderful time to relax and spend some quality family time without the crazy hustle and bustle of normal, everyday life. With the economy in the state it's in, everybody needs to save money when they're booking their flights. Follow these tips to find the best fares to save money on flights.

A Flight for All Seasons

Trying to find the best fares while looking for vacation flights can be a stressful thing to do. Before you worry about actually booking cheap airfares, you'll need to do a little bit of homework. It will be well worth your time to save money on flights.

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How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying

14 Jun 2011 by Roseann Lahey

Fear to FlyMany people are ashamed to admit that they are afraid to fly in an airplane. Fear of flying isn't as uncommon as you might think. Nearly ten percent of the American population has a fear so overwhelming that it is classified as Aerophobia. This fear can hamper your ability to enjoy exotic vacations or even progress in your career because you won't fly to a business meeting. There are ways for you to get through a plane flight without panicking, vomiting or losing control.

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Twin Terminal Confusion

12 Jun 2011 by Kathleen Krueger

Twin Terminal Confusion at MSP airport"I'll meet you at baggage claim," my mom had said, when I talked to her before boarding my flight.

We'd coordinated out flights into Minneapolis. Mom was flying in from Texas and I was flying in from Oregon. My trip hadn't started out very good.

The first hiccup on the trip had been my flight out of Portland. It had been delayed. That meant hanging around the airport waiting. I hate waiting. I hate wasting time. Plus, it meant that our carefully planned connection at the Minneapolis airport was messed up too. Mom was going to have to hang around the airport waiting for me to get there.

Just as I picked up my cellphone to call her, it rang. It was my mom. "Where are you?"

"I am at baggage claim, like I'm supposed to be. Where are you?"

"That's where I am too, but I don't see you."

"You can't be. This place isn't that big, I'd see you,"

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Drive, park and flyOur flight to Washington DC was completely paid for. They were even flying us directly out of our small hometown airport in Brainerd, MN, so that we wouldn't have to drive to the Twin Cities to catch our flight. With our family of six taking our first big trip together, we were pretty thrilled about this. Since our youngest child was only two, a one hour flight to the Twin Cities sounded quite preferable to the normal two and half hour drive. We were wrong.

Neither my husband nor I had ever flown out of the Brainerd airport before, so we really didn't know what to expect. We knew it would be a smaller plane, but we really didn't know what that meant in practical terms. We found out.

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Top Five Party Cities in the World

7 Jun 2011 by Martin Docherty

A list of the best places in the world to get your groove on:

New York1. New York
Perhaps the party and culture capital of the world, New York deserves its place at the top of the list with ease. The Lower-East Side is still the reigning king of the party scene but Soho and the Meatpacking District are both still hanging in there with some fantastic cocktail bars and great clubs. For those who are more interested in an arty evening, a trip across the Brooklyn Bridge to Williamsburg is your best bet.

2. Rio de Janeiro
The Samba capital and home to one of the most vivacious party scenes on the planet. Whether drinking Caipirinhas on the Copacabana or dancing in the streets of Lapa, you are guaranteed a great time in this wonderful city where all night drinking and lazing on a beach are regular parts of a holiday. Zona Sul is ideal for those who enjoy a classic cocktail on a rooftop bar with the beautiful people.

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A list of the most entertaining ways to spend your time before flying:

SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course at Hong Kong airport1. SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course - Hong Kong.
A nine-hole, professionally designed and USGA authenticated course that is accessible by shuttle bus and located next to the airport terminal. Could there be a more luxurious way to spend time whilst waiting at an airport? Probably not. There is also a clubhouse with a fine Thai restaurant.

2. Cinema and the Worlds Tallest Airport Slide - Singapore Changhi.
Singapore Changhi Airport has regularly been included in the lists of the best airports in the world for a number of reasons but the two most fun are the Cinema, where the latest blockbusters are shown for free and the slide that goes from the 4th floor to the ground. You have to spend $10 in duty free for a ticket but it may just be worth it...

Casino at Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam3. Casino - Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam.
Not only can you get married in the airport lounge, you can also fritter away the remains of your honeymoon budget in the attached airport casino. Poker, blackjack and roulette are available for the discerning gambler or those with extra holiday cash.

4. The Juko Oxygen Lounge - Tokyo Narita Airport.
If you believe that a flavored oxygen shot can cure you of jet lag then this may be the place for you. $6 will buy you ten minutes of fresh air heaven or $12.50 for twenty in a variety of flavors.


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To most customers it seems obvious, but some are confused, so I decided to clarify. We do not own any parking lot that is listed on Cheap Airport Parking. These lots are owned and operated by external companies: some are owned by hotel chains, some are mom and pop businesses, some are large public parking companies. Our model is similar to the one of Expedia for example. If you booked your flight at Expedia, then an airline kept you onboard aircraft for two hours before take off, would you blame Expedia?

What we do is we negotiate discount rates with airport parking lots and sell spots on this website at discounted rates.

What does it mean to you, our beloved customer? If you liked the service of a particular lot, keep using it - every lot appreciates your continued business (especially during tough times like now). If you did not like you airport parking experience, try a different lot for your next flight. We have several parking lots available at most airports.

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LAX Airport ShuttleHere's what most airport parking customers experience: they land, pick up their luggage (if checked in), and walk out of the terminal to the shuttle bus stop. Let's assume the average wait time would be 15 minutes. That is quite a long wait to start with. In order for an average wait to be 15 minutes, shuttles should run every 30 min. Let's take two extremes as examples to understand why. Assume there are two travelers. One traveler arrives 1 minute before the shuttle leaves and waits 1 minute, while another person arrives 1 minute after the bus leaves and waits 29 minutes. Average is (1 + 29) / 2 = 15 minutes.

On average, 10 shuttle buses travel through the airport every minute. During 15 minutes of waiting, our traveler will see 150 shuttles pass him. That's where frustration comes from, the first thought that comes to mind is something like every other company's shuttle already circled at least once, but the company I parked with hasn't sent even one bus to pick me up. That's almost like saying the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

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Hmm... Do you HAVE to? No. Does it make sense? Let's see.

Economics theory calls it price differentiation. Here's what it means. Imagine a company that makes some product or provides service (airport parking is a service in our example). How much should this company charge to maximize its profit? The answer is both simple and complex: as much as customers would be willing to pay. The trick is that different people would be willing to pay different price for the SAME product (or service). You can see examples of price differentiation everywhere. Take apparel for example. Can you find the same blouse in New York City on 5th ave, at Macy's and in a discount store, Marshal's for example? The blouse is the same, do you think the price will be the same? Of course not. It's price differentiation.

Let's go back to the airport. Which traveller would be willing to pay the highest rate for airport parking? The one that drives in 1.5 hours before his flight. How much would he pay? He would pay pretty much any sane rate that parking attendant would ask. That's because he would have neither choices nor time to explore and compare them. Consider another extreme: who would be willing to pay the least? I bet it would be a person comfortably sitting in front of his computer and having parking lots listed in front of him sorted by rate per day. If you have a choice of not making a reservation, parking lots encourage you to reserve by offering their best rates. That is why our rates are low.

Finally a couple of words about commitment. Who likes commitment? Not everyone. That's why we do not ask you to be committed. If you have more than 24 hours before your flight and a friend agrees give you a lift to the airport, you just cancel the reservation and get your money back. All of it. Even if you cancel on the day of your travel, reservation site will only charge you the rate of one parking day, which is usually $4 - $10.

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Half Empty Airport Parking LotIt has been in 2009 when we started, it was like that in 2010, and 2011 is no different. What does it mean to you, off season traveller? Low airport parking rates!

Let's take a closer look at several airports.

LAX

Hilton LAX lowered its self parking rate to $8 per day for stays of 4 days and longer, Marriott self parking is at $7 and sometimes drops the rate to $6 per day. Marriott valet gives you one day free if you park for at least seven days. Johnny Park has never been at $5.50, the lowest rate I remember is $5.90.

JFK

With expensive real estate around the airport and high NY/NJ Port Authority taxes, fees, surcharges and whatever name PA may invent to put its hands into parking operators' profits, online JFK parking rates almost never deviate from $13.95 per day. There is an exception in January: U-Save JFK Parking gives you one buck off it's rate.

Newark Airport

E-Z Way Parking lowered its daily valet rate to $8.50

Orlando Airport

Marriott airport parking is located just across the road from MCO terminals and currently offers self parking for $4.25 and valet for $6 per day. Bargain, isn't it?

I could go on and on with such examples, but the point is that off airport parking is cheaper in January, whereas taxi, limos and parking at terminals is as expensive as it was last Christmas.

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