National Airport Parking Choices For Washington DC Travelers
National Airport parking is relatively easier at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), in Arlington County, Virginia than in most other airports in the country. Reagan Airport is the closest commercial airport to Washington D.C., the capital city of the United States. Originally known as the Washington National Airport, it was renamed in 1988 in honor of former U.S. president Ronald Reagan. DCA airport serves over 18 million passengers every year.
Hourly and Daily Parking
There are over 9,400 National Airport parking spaces in service at present – about 2,956 of these are in the economy parking lot, located in the south end of the airport. Daily and hourly parking are available at airport garages A, B, and C. Hourly parking can be quite expensive at $4 per hour, maximum $36 for a full 24 hours period. This is ideal when you have business at the airport and would need to park for up to 2 hours. If you need to park longer, you’re better off taking a daily parking space for a rate of $20 or park at the economy lot for only $12 per day.
Parking for Disabled Passengers
There are designated National Airport parking spaces for disabled passengers, conveniently located near elevators and shuttle bus stops. Vehicles with handicapped or disabled persons on board needing parking assistance are requested to show their government-issued plates or placards to the uniformed parking assistants, who can also help locate a convenient parking space should the designated areas be 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 area. You’re not allowed to leave your vehicle while inside the waiting area, and you can only stay for a maximum of 2 hours, but this beats burning gas to pass the time or pay the hourly parking rates at the airport garages.
Long Term Parking
If you’re flying out of Reagan airport for an extended business or vacation trip, daily parking is by far the most financially sound option. Still, like in any other city, airport-run facilities are always available at an inflated price because of their proximity to the terminals. For less expensive alternatives, the best choice would be the off-airport locations offering highly competitive rates.
Most of the good hotels near the airport offer very affordable long term parking rates. Courtyard Crystal City (half a mile from the airport) and Sheraton Crystal City Hotel (1.20 miles from the airport), both located along Jefferson Davis Highway, have a daily parking rate of only $8 at their indoor parking facilities, for example.parkobility.com
The Obvious Choice
For a hypothetical 5 day trip, you’ll be paying $100 at the airport garages, $60 at the economy lot, while only $40 at hotel parking locations. Factor in the complimentary shuttle service that will take you to and pick you up from your terminal at the end of your trip, your choice for your National Airport parking becomes quite obvious.
Book Your Parking in Advance
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), being very close to federal government offices including the White House, is relatively restricted than most otherairports, in terms of security, number of flights, and international entry. Nevertheless, with 18 million passengers using the airport every year, National Airport parking can still be a problem especially during the holidays. This can be easily avoided, however: just know your options and book your parking in advance.