Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Parking at BWI

It is not often that things get better and cheaper, but this has actually happened with parking at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (I think BWI has the longest official name of any airport I know!)

For years, there was parking available very close to the terminals, but the price crept up to $30.00 a day, which seemed too high even when traveling on an expense account. The satellite lots were too far away and, after digging my car out of snow after a winter trip, I began to seek alternatives.

From the Columbia perspective, Columbia Cabs provide service that is only barely acceptable. Previous problems include arriving late, drivers who talk loudly on the cell phone while driving, and drivers who find their credit card facilities are not available despite assurances to the contrary when making the reservation.

Columbia Airport Shuttle has provided me with good service (click here fore a description) although I have used them only when I have traveled out of Dulles Airport (IAD).

But I have recently had two good parking experiences. The first was on a recent business trip to Boston. I was in a hurry, and it was a two-day business trip. I got an on-line coupon here, and was able to park in the hourly lots right next to the terminal for $15.00 a day. These spaces are also sheltered in case you are anticipating snow.

Another experience was a trip where I was paying for myself. I used Econopark Express. (A coupon from this site allows you to park for $5.75 per day; otherwise you pay $6.75.) As soon as I arrived, they told me the exact spot where I could park, and the bus was at that spot ready to whisk me off to the terminal. On the way back, I called their number from my mobile phone. A friendly driver was where I needed him within five minutes, and I was taken back to my car. To make matters even more pleasant, the bus had a cooler full of bottles of water to refresh the weary traveler. Good value and friendly service!

If you want to get to the Econopark lot, and you are traveling on I-195, make a right (Exit 1-B) and go south on Route 170 (Airport Loop). After about one mile, make a left. Follow the signs to the employee parking, and the Econopark lot is just to the right of the employee parking lot. Click here for their directions.

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