Helping to share the web since 1996

What No One Tells You About Airport Parking Costs

black sedan parked in parking lot

Have you ever been shocked to discover that your airport parking charge was higher than the price of your plane ticket? This isn’t an urban legend – many consumers have reported that short term parking close to terminals can be alarmingly high.


What often doesn’t get reported is the convenience of terminal-adjacent parking. If you’re a senior citizen or wheelchair user, traveling with kids and with mountains of luggage, the price you pay for the comfort and ease of airport parking gets discounted when it’s time to pay up.


Why Are Airport Parking Costs High?


Parking lots in airports or close to them are on prime real estate, and rents can be crippling. Cost of utilities such as electricity and water would be add-ons.


Costs of maintaining a safe, covered and well-lit facility are high. Most airport parking lots have 24×7 surveillance both electronic and human. Salaries have to be paid.


These facilities have to be well-maintained, with state of the art services. They have to be cleaned regularly. Emergency issues such as flooding have to be handled promptly. Drainage has to be well-maintained, paving has to be kept neat and smooth.


Multi level parking facilities must have elevators and safety features which add to the initial costs of creating the parking lot.


Airport parking is a business, and it has to be run with profits in mind. The initial cost of construction and infrastructure have to be factored in when the final cost to the consumer is calculated.


There is fierce competition for getting the parking contracts in major airports, and costs can differ based on distance from the terminal, facilities available, safety features and convenience.


Coming to specifics, Melbourne airport being the second busiest airport in the country, has one of the highest parking fees too. Nearly 40% of the airport’s profits come from parking. Some experts opine that it is the single biggest source of income for the airport.


Airport authorities understand very well that they have a captive audience, and they assume that if you’re willing to pay hefty prices for a vacation or a business trip, you wouldn’t mind forking out a bit more for the convenience of airport parking.


Tips and Tricks to Get the Best Out of Airport Parking


Whatever your financial status, you would love to save parking fees if you had the chance. There are lots of things that no one tells you about airport parking costs, and these are some of the best kept secrets in the travel industry.


Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport has a range of parking facilities both inside the airport premises and outside. Some of them are run by the airport authorities, while others are privately managed.


Finding the perfect spot is a process where you need to juggle lots of variables such as convenience, access to your terminal, whether long or short term costs, safety, trustworthiness and more.


The most important thing is to plan ahead. This gives you the time to research, compare prices and look for the best deals. Showing up just before your flight time can work out to be an expensive proposition as you have to settle for higher charges. Besides, you have fewer options in terms of choosing the right spot. Explore the possibility of getting frequent flyer discounts on your airline ticket which include airport parking fees.

If you can afford it, choose deluxe options such as valet parking or premium parking. They offer convenience, safety and can accommodate vehicles of any size. Valet parking means you don’t have to hunt for a parking space before you leave or remember where you parked after you arrive. Premium parking spots are usually located within a short stroll to the counters, and if you choose to self-park, you can keep your keys with you. These features come at a price, but if peace of mind is your thing, go for it.


Apart from airport websites, you can find super deals on coupon websites. If you have the time and leisure to do it, scour social media for current deals and tips on how to get big savings on airport parking from other travelers. Just be wary of scams and iffy deals.


Traveling during non-peak seasons is a good way to minimize parking fees. If you can plan your vacation when it’s not school holiday time, or Christmas and New Year, you are sure to find some attractive airport parking discounts. Try to bundle your travel plans together with booking your airport parking in advance to get the best deals.


Choose wisely:


  • For long term parking, select value parking
  • For short term travel, parking close to terminals is better
  • If you have a lot of luggage, valet parking, though expensive is convenient
  • Off-site parking is a great option for long term
  • Book airport parking online for the best deals


Go about it systematically. Analyze your own needs, budget and preferences. Jot down your unique requirements and then go online for comparison shopping.


If convenience is on top of your list, you can choose Terminal parking at Tulla. You may not know this, but the first 15 minutes are totally free. This makes it ideal for rapid drop-offs and pick-ups.


Booking online comes with a slew of great deals and discounts. You can pick a spot close to the lifts and you’re all sorted.


If budget is a priority, choose the Value Parking facility – it’s a great combination of convenience and affordability. This is open-air parking, and there are convenient, 15 minute shuttles that run 24×7 to all the terminals.


Did you know that Melbourne Airport publishes a regular Parking Deals newsletter? Subscribers get updates about limited time discounts, general offers, loyalty programs and more. You can also explore the personalized discount code facility that’s linked to your email id and name. This is a great way to stay in touch with what’s new, and grab the best deals going.


Business travelers can avail of advantageous deals through Melbourne Airport’s corporate parking program which offers easy drive-ups, quick invoicing and a smoother booking process.


Not all airports charge the same fees for airport parking. Some may be expensive but offer more conveniences and security, while others may be cheaper but don’t give you the same benefits. If you have fly-out city options, look for airports that charge lower parking fees, but keep other important factors in mind and strike the right balance.




Back to news headlines