Hampton Inn Chester
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Stupid Tip of the Day: Do Not Try to Park For Free at a Hotel Near the Airport

“Has anyone parked at hotels without staying there and leaving your the car for 2-3 days without getting in trouble ? if so what hotels do u use? I’m thinking ill be using a high traffic hotel so hopefully they don’t notice my car!”

Stupid Tip of the Day: Do Not Try to Park For Free at a Hotel Near the Airport

FlyerTalk member futbol90x is already starting off on the wrong foot with that question.

First, property near an airport can be priced at a premium; and a hotel property is not maintaining a parking lot — which includes such elements as paving, striping and lighting — so that someone can park free of charge. In fact, many hotel properties which are located near airports charge their paying guests an additional fee for parking vehicles…

…and with so many options near the airport which charge for parking, imagine what would happen if word spread that a hotel property is allowing people to park their vehicles near the airport free of charge — whether or not it was intentional.

Second, how is futbol90x going to travel between the hotel property and the airport? Taxi cab? Bus? Rental car? The answer is most likely the shuttle bus operated by the hotel property. Operating a shuttle bus requires paying the driver, purchasing insurance, the cost of fuel, and wear and tear on the vehicle itself. A portion of the room rates which are paid by guests at the hotel property are most likely paying for the operation of the shuttle vehicle. Some hotel properties charge some paying guests to use the shuttle bus to and from the airport — such as the Hilton Dublin Airport, which now charges five euro per person for a return trip; or three euro per person one way.

Finally, most — if not all — hotel properties located near airports have security. Cameras, security personnel, gates and alarms all cost money. Activity in the parking lots are usually monitored; and a vehicle parked for three days in a parking lot is likely to arouse suspicion.


Many hotel properties located near airports not only will not give away free parking; but they attempt to sell excess parking spaces — which would otherwise be perishable for the night — for a discounted fee through services such as Airport Parking Reservations. Some hotel properties even offer stay and park packages for guests who travel far to get to the airport and need a place to stay for the night.

If your thoughts are similar to that of futbol90x, you can take your chances and attempt to park your vehicle for free in the parking lot of a hotel property located near the airport — and the vehicle may very well safely be there untouched when you return from your trip…

…but do not be surprised if that vehicle is either “booted” or towed away instead.

Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.


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