Park ‘N Fly Looks Back on 50 Years of Airport Parking in the USA

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Airport parking has seen a tremendous amount of exciting changes over the years. With all of the upgrades and enhancements, airport parking has gone from hassle to heaven. As technology continues to evolve, airport parking has had to keep up with the ever-changing landscape.

In the last 50 years, the travel industry has expanded significantly as more people are spending their disposable income on experiences versus materials. In order to keep up with the demand of these authentic journeys, the airline industry has had to make some serious change to accommodate the increasing desire to travel. With the remarkable growth of the airline industry, it only makes sense that airport parking has had to expand at the same pace.

Given the demand for travel and millennials’ need for instant gratification, airport parking has evolved from a simple infrastructure to an entire customer experience and Park ‘N Fly has grown and adjusted with the times. Shuttles are more comfortable and spacious than ever (hello leg room) making the entire process convenient and even enjoyable. You can reserve your parking space online and avoid the hassle of driving up and down the aisles only to be tricked by a motorcycle or smart car taking up a spot (we’ve all been there!). There are even loyalty programs you can take advantage of! If you park frequently enough, you can earn points and rewards for free parking. Who doesn’t love free?

Airport parking also offers many amenities and services that will make you feel like you’re visiting a spa for the day. In addition to upgrades in technology, there have been many historic events that have impacted airport parking. After the events of September 11th, safety became a top priority of airport parking. Needless to say, there have been many advancements to improve the customer experience and we are excited to look back on 50 Years of airport parking in the USA.

Back in the day (otherwise known as the 1940’s), many Americans did not own cars and instead relied heavily on public transportation. Today, 95% of American households own a car. In order to accommodate this growth, airport parking lots have had to expand tremendously to support the amount of parking needed. Airport parking has become a critical part of the traveler’s journey, as well as a very important revenue source for airports. Given the demand for parking, it’s become increasingly important that the facilities are well-built, user-friendly, and have the space to accommodate all travelers. I’m not a mathematician but less airport parking = unhappy travelers. Consumer driving habits have also impacted airport parking. As more and more people adopt electric vehicles and look to “go green,” there’s now a need for new technologies such as charging stations. As new car models and styles have been rolled out, the spaces have had to evolve to accommodate the variety of cars in the market.  Park ‘N Fly offers extra wide spaces and charging stations in several of the lots throughout the county to provide an extra level of service.

The entire process of parking has significantly changed over the years. When airports were first built, there weren’t as many options or price points when it came to parking. There certainly weren’t the fancy parking websites and apps we have today! How did anyone survive without reserving their spot ahead of time? Nowadays, you can choose between several lots depending on what makes the most sense given the length of your trip. If you’re taking an extra-long trip (lucky you), you can take advantage of long-term parking for a more affordable option. All Park ‘N Fly facilities have complimentary shuttle service (door-to-door) to make the extra miles well worth it! Speaking of shuttles, these vehicles are nicer than ever before. You’ll feel like you’re in a stretch limo with all the extra space and seating. Thanks to modern technology, you can reserve your parking space online for the most convenient experience. You can check availability and find the lot that makes the most sense for you. Simply visit PNF.com and all of your airport parking dreams will come true. As an additional perk, you’ll be able to locate your car far easier than ever before. Kiss those tennis ball antennas goodbye because the days of tirelessly searching for your car are behind you. In today’s society, people are more obsessed with their cars than ever before. Thanks to security cameras and well-built infrastructure, people can leave their cars with peace of mind that their vehicle will be safely guarded. You can also reserve a space in a “covered” lot to ensure your car stays out of the sun, rain, or snow. There’s no better way to start your trip than with a positive parking experience.

Airport parking has really stepped up their game and rolled out loyalty programs with fantastic benefits. PNF offers a very compelling program for frequent parkers. As a member, you will be eligible to earn one free day of parking for every seven paid days, plus even more benefits depending on your membership level! Additionally, you can link your credit card to your loyalty card for easy access in and out of the lot. In addition to these fancy loyalty programs, airport parking offers countless amenities to enhance the experience from start to finish. Below are just a few of the many services offered:

  • ​24-Hour Access: No matter what time your flight departs or arrives, the lot will be open and the complimentary shuttle service will be running.
  • Luggage Assistance: Courteous shuttle drivers will be available to help you lift your bags in and out of the shuttle.
  • Car Wash and Detailing: Come home to a clean (and detailed car) so you don’t have to make an extra stop on the way home.
  • Pet Boarding: Treat your pets to their own vacation in a convenient location, close to the airport!

While there have been many historic events throughout American history, none have impacted the travel industry quite like the events of 9/11. There was a drastic change in airport security as stricter laws were implemented, which still apply today. While most of us are very familiar with the tighter security laws (don’t forget to take off your shoes), very few are aware of the effect on airport parking. Many airports have had to implement additional measures such as vehicle searches, license plate running, and an increase in security personnel. For newer airports being built, the most effective way to minimize any security threat has been to increase the distance between the parking lot and terminals. While some of these measures may create a bit more “hassle,” these extra precautions are well worth it.

Airport parking has made many advancements over the years to increase efficiencies and create the ultimate customer experience. It’s never been easier to reserve your spot in advance, locate your car and pay for these services – and all at the touch of your fingertips. Some of the amenities offered via airport parking are even more advanced than those at the airport itself. From valet parking to checking in for your flight at the lot, the process is more pleasant than ever imaginable. Airport parking has kept up with the latest trends and shifts in the market to ensure a positive experience. Airports represent our freedom to explore new places and cultures. They also give us the opportunity to conduct business and further our professional goals. Through the years, airport parking has allowed every traveler to enjoy their trip and successfully return home, at least until the next journey.