Free ride over at BWI airport

BWI parking garage

For years, a nice perk at Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) has been free 30-minute short-term parking. It meant you could drive someone to the airport and, instead of rushing them out of the car at the curb, you could park, help carry in their suitcase, and walk your friend or family member to the terminal.  The perk also worked in your favor if you were picking someone up at the airport, if their flight was on-time.

You can still do that, of course. But those first 30 minutes of parking at BWI airport are no longer free. Now it will cost you $2.

BWI parking garage 2

Why the change? With the downturn in travel, airports everywhere are looking around for new ways to earn money.  BWI figures it can make $500,000 a year from charging for the short term parking. (There’s more information about BWI’s decision in the Baltimore Sun.)

While some small airports still offer free short term parking (and a few really small airports offer free parking all the time), most large airports don’t offer any sort of free short term parking anymore.

Unless you count the cell-phone lots where, for now, the parking does seem to be free.  But who wants to lay odds on which airport will be the first to start charging for that?

Do you know of an airport that still offers free short term parking?  If so, please leave a comment below.

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3 thoughts on “Free ride over at BWI airport

  1. Stephanie says:

    The first hour is free in Tampa.

  2. Thanks, Rob. You’re right. Better yet: first 40 minutes of parking at Orlando Airport is a grace period (free!).

    But better be sure to leave within 40 minutes because after 40 minutes normal garage rates apply from time of entry. Then it’s $1 per 20 minutes.

    Still, very good!

  3. Rob says:

    As of a couple of months ago, Orlando still gave you a free half-hour in short-term.

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