Any BWI Airport experts out there


<font color=teal>When angels visit us, we do not h
May 16, 2001
We usually fly out of philly but I got roundtrip non stop airfare for 4 of us for $464 out of BWI and couldnt pass up the $300 plus savings over flying out of philly. I have never been to BWI and was wondering how the long term parking is there? Is it safe? Do they have frequent shuttles? We will be arricving at around 6AM since we have a 7:45 flight and dont want hubby to have to stand around in long term parking forever waiting for a shuttle.

Any info or suggestions is appreciated


We went on the inaugural western and parked long term. It is safe and there were plenty of shuttle buses, but they did fill up fast, we might have waited at most 10 minutes to get on a bus. The drive to the airport is about 5-7 minutes and they drop you off downstairs. You have to go up 1 level to the check in. BWI is a great airport and the security is tight, if you are leaving on a FRI or sat morning you may want to get there a little earlier, as the line can be long. We have never had a problem. I assume you are flying on SWA since you are coming to BWI? We love it and haven't had problems at all.
Hope this helps,
thanks for the response Bernadette. We are flying on AirTran and we are flying on a friday morning. What time would you suggest being at the airport for a 7:45AM flight. I was thinking that hubby would drop me and the kids off at the terminal and he would go park the car and catch the shuttle back.

I have been flying out of BWI since it was Friendship Airport and find it to be great. There has been a lot of construction going on there recently but they say that it hasn't affected things too much. I usually get a ride myself but I have heard that depending on the length of your stay, it might be cheaper to get a hotel room at BWI and come in the night before (Easier than getting up at 3:00AM too!) The reason for the cost difference is that some of the hotels will let you leave your car in the hotel lot for free during your trip. I'm not sure of the details but it would be worth the time to make a few phone calls. The official website of the airport is:

Here is a website with a list of hotels. Look for "Park and Fly" packages.
When we flew out of BWI we went the night before our early AM flight and stayed at a hotel that had park and fly rates. Can't remember the name of the hotel but there were several there. They had a shuttle that took you to the airport in the morning. It was very convenient.

We are 1 hr from BWI and think it is the best! Left our car there on both our Europe and West coast trips. Used their parking garage w/o any problems (other than dust :-) $50 for the week. The shuttle is frequent...every 10 min - they asked us which airlines and dropped us at upper level right at our ck in. I would recommend getting there 2 hrs early if possible. Can't help you with the P&R, maybe this link will help with parking and accomadations. Good luck!
I hate to be a bummer, but the long term parking situation at BWI is abysmal. The first time we used the long term economy parking lot, we waited 1.5 hours at 2am for a shuttle bus to it (our plane was delayed around 5 hours). Although it was infuriating watching all of the other shuttles go by but no green lot bus, I guess we could KIND of understand it given the hour. Eventually a police officer had to do something as another family who was waiting with us had their exhausted very young children with them and the father was about to go ballistic.

The second time we tried the long term economy parking lot, we once again had a ridiculous wait at the terminal for a bus to bring us back to the lot. 45 minutes later a bus finally arrived, but not until my husband started bugging the driver of every other bus that came by to radio in and ask for them to send a bus to pick us up. We shared a stop with the Amtrak bus, the express lot bus and several others. There are two economy lots... one is blue and one is green. Blue has been full the two times we went there, but the bus service from green is awful. We saw 6 blue busses stop at our stop before a green finally arrived.

Of course, the green was packed because everyone at all of the other stops at the terminal had ALSO been waiting 45 minutes for a bus, but we crammed ourselves on there and stood, afraid of how long it would take another bus to come. When the bus was dropping us off and not picking up other passengers, the people waiting for a bus were absolutely FURIOUS so I guess they had been waiting just as long for a bus.

When we got home, my husband called the BWI parking line that we wrote down from a poster that said "tell us how to serve you better" to complain about the horrible wait time we had both times we used their economy lot. They apologized and when he asked what they were doing about it he said that they were aware of the problem (got many many complaints daily) and had recently called a meeting about it but could not think of a way to remedy the problem. So, there you have it.

There is ALSO an express lot there that i believe is $11/day. It's still kind of "out there" and requires shuttle access but both times we saw the express shuttles (which are much smaller, kind of mini coach busses, but run much more frequently) come by every 5 minutes at MOST. Next time we fly out of BWI if we don't do towncar service (which we do if we are going away for 2 weeks or more) we will probably try the express lot. THe extra few $$/day seems worth it for the difference in service.

We have done the park and fly through a hotel thing at dulles (not at BWI yet, the timing never works out for us) and it worked out GREAT. The hotels are very prompt about picking up their customers.

All of this is a rant against the long term economy parking lot at BWI which has problems because it is the largest. BWI itself is just fine to fly out of. Security is tight but they are professional and efficient and I haven't seen very long lines... they quickly pull people who are flagged for further screening out of the way. Even when you are flagged for further screening, they are fairly quick and efficient about it.

We always fly out of BWI when we cruise and go to Disneyworld..we are infact going to Disney in November and just got great rates of $79/each way to Orlando..we love BWI, but it is a 3 hr. drive for us here in PA...our flights always seem to be early in the we always drive up the night before and stay at the Hampton Inn outside of the airport. They offer a park and stay package...we are paying $129 for a room for 2 adults/2 kids and will leave our car there for 8 days. They provide a nice breakfast in the am and complimentary shuttle service to the airport, which has been very good every time we have used it. There is always a shuttle ready to drive us in and drop us right off in front of SWA...when we return, we simply call the Hampton Inn, and a shuttle is sent to get us (within 10 minutes) and we then go back to the Hampton to get our great for us!!!
We flew out of BWI in April of 2001. We drove to Baltimore area the night before our flight and stayed at an Amerisuites. VERY nice clean room and it included a FREE rather bountiful continental breakfast in the morning. We were able to park there for FREE and they also offered FREE shuttle service to and from the airport. All in All it was cheaper to stay at Amerisuites than it would have been to drive directly to BWI in the moring and long term park there.
I booked a park and fly package at the hampton inn - this way I dont have to leave NJ at the ungodly hour of 3AM to get to the airport.

I had to laugh when I read wovenwonders assessment of the Amerisuites near BWI. We stayed there for one night prior to our flight in June 2001. We were disappointed with it. It was clean and adequate but we had stayed the night before in a very nice plush hotel in D.C. (lucked out on Priceline) and we were spoiled.

Its been two years since I've flown out of BWI, but I believe the Ramanda also offers a park and fly rate.

There is also a private run parking facility, Airport Fast Park. There are two locations now. Its about a five minute shuttle ride to the terminal. You pull into their lot, the shuttle picks you up at your car and on your return drops you off at your car. I believe its $10 a day. The shuttle runs 24 hours a day. On your return flight, you just flag down the shuttle and they stop for you. If they are full, they radio the shuttle behind them and say 4 passengers at the Delta terminal, etc. Their website, which is something like, usually has coupons.


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