Dulles Airport Parking - Steps To Skimp on Your Parking Costs

Aerial view of Dulles International Airport. Photo: www.WorldIslandInfo.com.

There are more than 24 thousand Dulles Airport parking bays available, at this time. That number would seem to be sufficient for any large airport. However, considering that at least 12 US-based carriers and over 2 dozen foreign airlines have operations at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) transporting passengers and freight to over 80 national and 40 destinations overseas, that number sometimes is not enough.

Dulles airport parking spots are available in the airport lots and garages located within the airport compound. Travellers flying out of Dulles also have the option to park at off-airport garages and lots. Below are a few of the parking options available at IAD:

Hourly Parking

At the published rate of $4 per hour (maximum of $36 daily), hourly parking at IAD is obviously not the cheapest Dulles airport parking option available. It’s ideal if you need to park your vehicle for 2 hours or less. For that price, it’s also the most accessible, sitting right in front of the main airport terminal.

Valet Parking

If you’re looking for an extra layer of convenience, Dulles Airport’s valet parking service is your best choice. It’s cool to have your vehicle waiting for you at the terminal doorsteps after a long flight but at the rate of $30 for the first 24 hours and $19 for each additional day, this alternative is not the most budget-friendly for a lot of people.

Daily Parking

Adjacent to the hourly parking lot are the daily Dulles airport parking garages 1 and 2 which are accessible from the main terminal by designated pedestrian lane. At the published rate of $17 daily, these parking garages are certainly cheaper than the two options discussed above.

IAD Airport Parking Lens

Economy Parking

Located a bit farther north of the main terminal are the economy parking lots Blue, Green, Gold, and Purple. Serviced by free shuttle vehicles, these lots are the best option for travelers who want to save on their long term parking payments. The rate is $10 daily.

Cell Phone Waiting Area

If you’re picking up a family member at IAD and are waiting for the call from that passenger, Dulles provides a Cell Phone Waiting Area close to Autopilot Drive. Parking here is free for up to 1 hour only but vehicles may not be left unattended while inside the area. You can call 703-572-6240 to track a particular flight ( be ready with the flight number), while waiting.

Off-airport Dulles Parking

There are a number of private providers who operate IAD parking locations close to Dulles airport. The rates are quite reasonable and these establishments have their own fleets of shuttle vans available on demand or at regular intervals. Marriott’s SpringHill Suites, for example, located 3 miles from the airport on Spring St, has an affordable rate of only $8 per day.

Park, Sleep, and Fly

This option is available in most hotels serving Dulles Airport passengers. Hilton Garden Inn in Ashburn, to cite an example, provides free parking for up to 7 days and free 24 hour airport shuttle transportation with a one night stay package starting at $120.

With these different Dulles airport parking options available, which one should you choose? Primarily, it depends on the length of your trip. If you’re going on a prolonged trip lasting several days, however, the best parking option in my opinion, is off-airport parking. For a weeklong trip, parking cost will be $56 off-airport, $70 at the economy lots, and $119 at the daily garages. $119 is just too much, even the ‘Park, Sleep, and Fly’ hotel package looks more attractive - for the same price ($120), you’ll have both parking and a relaxing one night stay at a premium hotel prior to your flight.

Parking at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) doesn’t have to be an irksome task. Simply do your bit of homework, take note of the multiple options available, and book your Dulles airport parking well ahead of your actual flight.

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