The Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), located in the cities of Dulles and Chantilly in Virginia, is named after John Foster Dulles, U.S. Secretary of State during the term of President Eisenhower. Dulles Airport parking can be quite a challenge due to the sheer volume of passengers using IAD. Every single day, an average of 1100 flights originate from or land at Dulles. Yearly, over 23 million people pass through Dulles Airport, making it one of the largest airports in the U.S..
Dulles airport parking spaces are available in the airport garages and lots located within the airport compound. Passengers at Dulles also have the option to park at nearby private garages and lots. Below are some of the parking options available to you:
At the published rate of $4 per hour (maximum of $36 per day), this is easily the priciest Dulles airport parking option available. It’s ideal for quick trips to the airport, staying for 2 hours or less. Of course, it’s also the most accessible, sitting right in front of the main airport terminal.
If you’re willing to pay for an added level of convenience, you might want to consider valet parking at Dulles airport. Nothing beats having your car waiting for you at the terminal doorsteps after hours of flying 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 many people.
The daily Dulles airport parking garages 1 and 2, located at the back and to the side of the hourly parking lot, are connected to the main terminal through a designated pedestrian lane. At the published rate of $17 per day, these parking garages are certainly more economical than either valet or hourly parking.
Located at a distance to the north of the main terminal are the economy parking lots Blue, Green, Gold, and Purple. Serviced by frequently running shuttle vehicles, the economy lots are the best option for people who would like to economize on their long term parking expenses. The daily rate is only $10.
Cell Phone Waiting Area
If you’re picking up someone from the airport and are waiting for your party to call, Dulles has a Cell Phone Waiting Area close to Autopilot Drive. Parking here is free for up to one hour only but you’re not allowed to leave your car unattended while inside the area. To be appraised of the status of a particular flight, call 703-572-6240 ( have the flight details ready), while waiting.
Off-airport Dulles Parking
There are a number of outside providers who operate IAD parking garages and lots near Dulles airport. The rates are easy on the pocket and these establishments are serviced by shuttle vehicles available by request or on regular schedule. SpringHill Suites by Marriott, for instance, located 3 miles from the airport along Spring St, offers a wallet-friendly rate of only $8 per day.
Park, Sleep, and Fly
This package is offered in most hotels serving Dulles Airport passengers. Hilton Garden Inn in Ashburn, to cite an example, offers free parking for up to 7 days and complimentary 24 hour airport shuttle transportation with a one night stay deal starting at $120.
With these various Dulles airport parking choices available, which one should you go with? Primarily, it depends on how long your trip is going to be. If you’re looking at a prolonged trip covering several days, however, the best parking option if you ask me, 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 enticing – for the same amount ($120), you’re getting 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. Just do a little research, take note of the multiple options to go with, and book your Dulles airport parking long before your flight date.