National Airport Parking - Everything You Want to Learn About

Washington National Airport (DCA). Photo: Derek Key on Flickr.

In an effort to control aircraft noise, flights at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) are only to destinations within 1,250 miles. Nevertheless, nearly 20 million passengers still pass through DCA Airport yearly, which is greater than in most medium-sized airports in the U.S. Remarkably, National Airport parking isn’t as problematic as in some other airports with comparable passenger traffic.Daily and Hourly Parking

There are more than 9,400 National Airport parking bays available at present. About 2,956 are located at the economy parking facility in the south end of the airport. Daily and hourly parking are offered at airport garages A, B, and C. Hourly parking can be quite costly at $4 per hour, not to exceed $36 for a full 24 hours period. Still, this is the best parking option when you have business at DCA and would need to leave your vehicle for 2-3 hours. If you need to park longer, you’re better off taking a daily parking spot at the rate of $20 per day. Finally, there’s always the economy lot for only $12 per day.

Parking for Disabled Passengers

There are numerous designated National Airport parking spaces for disabled travelers, conveniently located close to elevators and shuttle vehicle stops. Vehicles with disabled persons on board requiring parking assistance are encouraged to display their state-issued placards or plates to the uniformed parking assistants, who will also assist in locating a convenient parking space in case the assigned bays are already full.

Cell Phone Waiting Area

If you’re picking up a family member or a friend from the airport, you can use the airport’s cell phone waiting lot. Unattended cars inside the waiting lot will be impounded and you can only stay for up to 2 hours, but this still beats burning gas to pass the time or paying $4 an hour at the airport garages.

Long Term Parking

If you’re flying out of Reagan Airport during a week long vacation or business trip, daily parking is clearly the most financially sound option. Of course, just like in any other city, airport-run parking spots are always available at inflated rates because of their proximity to the terminals. For less expensive DCA parking destinations, the best bet will be the outside private parking garages and lots offering very competitive rates.

DCA Parking Info on Squidoo

Off-Airport Alternatives

Many of the good hotels around the airport have very affordable long term parking services. Courtyard Crystal City (half a mile from the airport) and Sheraton Crystal City Hotel (1.20 miles from the airport), both located on Jefferson Davis Hwy, have a daily parking rate of only $8 at their indoor parking facilities, for instance.

The Obvious Choice

If you’re on your trip for 5 days, for example, parking at the airport garages will cost you $100, $60 at the economy lot, but only $40 at the hotel parking locations. Factor in the free shuttle service that will take you to and pick you up from your terminal when you arrive, your choice for your National Airport parking becomes really apparent.

Reserve Your Parking in Advance

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), at the very center of the nation’s capital, is relatively more strict than most other airports, in terms of security, number of flights, and international entry. Nevertheless, with over eighteen million travelers flying through the airport annually, National Airport parking can at times be a a bit difficult especially during the holidays. You don’t have to go through any hassle, however: just know your options and book your parking space in advance.

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