You can’t always get a friend or relative to drop you off at the airport—and if you live in a big city, this can mean you’re faced with the staggering expense of airport parking, which can easily cost more than the airfare itself.
Lucky for you, there are numerous public transit options to help you keep costs down while ensuring you leave your car in a safe place.
The Windy City isn’t the cheapest or safest place to leave a car, which makes O’Hare International Airport’s transportation exceptionally handy. Operating 24 hours a day, the Airport Transit System (ATS) is a free, fully-automated rail system that spans the entire 2.7 miles through O’Hare’s domestic terminals 1, 2, and 3, International Terminal 5, the Kiss’n’Fly drop-off point, the PACE bus stop, and the remote parking lots—all the way out to Parking Lot E. From the first stop to the furthest one out, the duration of the ride is only nine minutes. Better yet, each point on the ATS route is accessible to people with disabilities, and elevators are available at every stop.
If you take public transport to O’Hare or find someone to leave you on the outskirts of the airport, you won’t have to worry about a long trek or the hefty price that comes along with leaving your car close to the terminals.
The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is without a doubt the most economical, environmentally friendly option to get to Logan International Airport. However, if you need to reach the airport from outside Boston itself, you can travel by Amtrak to South Station or Back Bay Station from almost any major city or town on the East Coast.
Reaching San Francisco International Airport (SFO) by public transit can be easy if you know where to look. BART Rapid Rail can take you from San Mateo County, San Francisco, and the East Bay to SFO, and you can also ride BART to Millbrae and transfer to Caltrain Commuter to finish your trip to SFO from there.
If you want to go by road instead of rail, SamTrans bus routes KX, 292, 397 and 398 connect San Mateo County, San Francisco, and Palo Alto to SFO, and fare can cost as little as $2 depending on where you start. Shared Ride Vans cost $16–$17 and the travel time takes longer than a bus ride, but it still saves you the trouble of finding a place to park your own vehicle.
Taking into account traffic and time of day, the train is often the best choice when you’re between Manhattan and JFK International Airport. AirTrain has stops at all JFK terminals, and it connects with the NYC Subway’s Howard Beach and Jamaica stations, and with Long Island Railroad’s Jamaica station. If you prefer to travel by bus, you can take NYCAirporter, authorized by the Port Authority, for just $17.
The largest airport in the United States, Denver International Airport (DEN), often referred to as DIA, is located 25 miles northeast of downtown Denver. The airport has plenty of locations to leave your car, and, fortunately, the rates are pretty good. The East and West Garages are available for $3 an hour, or a maximum of $24 a day, and the East and West Economy Lots beside the Jeppesen Terminal garages go for $13 a day (although they usually fill up first). The Pikes Peak and Mt. Elbert shuttle lots are a fantastic parking alternative, because they’re only $8 a day—just remember to arrive an extra 30 minutes early when using them, or you’ll run the risk of being late.
When you’re flying out of Denver to one of the previously mentioned cities or to anywhere else in the world, and you need safe, affordable parking that’s close to the airport, you can rely on DIA airport parking services to be just what you need.