When you have to pick a passanger at the airport—Do you:
- Park in the short term lot and meet your passenger inside
- Stay in your car and meet your passenger outside in the pick up lanes
- You don’t do airport pick ups. You have the passenger take a cab home
Some general thoughts on the Options:
Option #1. If you’re early, no problem, find a seat and read a book. If the plane is late, no problem, find a seat and read a book. If you’re late and the plane is on time, the passenger can find a seat and read a book. (Or get a cup of bloody coffee for the non reading types) Main Disadvantage: You’re out a few bucks for parking fees.
Option #2. If you’re early, you’re basic options are to circle round and round the pick up lanes until your passenger arrives. If the plane is delayed, you’re basic options are to circle round and round the pick up lanes until your passenger arrives—you have no way of knowing how long the delay will be, so you just drive round and round and round and round and round and round and round. If you’re late and the plane is on time, then your passenger gets in hang in the pick up lanes with the fumes and the weather until you show up. If you are on time and the plane is on time, then this option can work well. Otherwise, if you like driving around aimlessly, this is the option for you. Main Advantage: You save a few bucks in parking fees.
Option #3. Main Advantage: No costs, no lost time, no hassle. Main Disadvantage: You need a Pitting.
NOTE: I’m basing the options on large, busy airports—(Washington National, Dullas, or BWI.) If you’re picking up at smaller airports, the circumstances could change.
Can you guess which I prefer?
I always short term park and meet my Sister inside.
My usual airport has a 15-minute free period in the car park. So I’ll park, and if there’s a big delay, I can leave again and go somewhere else to kill time without paying for the priviledge. Plus, they don’t have a pick-up zone anyway.
Any other airport, it’s a two or three hour drive, so I’ll want to park and take a break anyway.
My wife travels so much on business that when we moved, one of our “must-haves” was proximity to the airport.
Now, when she arrives, she calls me on her cellphone as soon as she gets off the plane. By the time she claims her luggage, I have the car at the curb just outside the baggage claim area. We’re home in ten minutes.
If it’s anybody else, I’ll park in short-term (first half-hour is free), and meet them inside. But still, given our proximity to the airport and the fact that I can check flight arrivals for delays online, I rarely have to park beyond a half-hour. Usually, the person is standing by the luggage carousel by the time I walk in.
My trick at Dublin airport to avoid car parking charges (because there’s no access to the arrivals section for private vehicles):[ol]Passenger calls me on their cellphone as they exit the plane.I start driving to the airport.Passenger gets bags from carousel and then goes to Departures, not Arrivals.I drive into the ‘drop off’ section at Departures and pick them up.[/ol]This works particularly well as it’s only 20 minutes from my house to the airport, though you could go and sit in a café near the airport and wait for their call, if you weren’t so close.
SFO’s short term parking garage is expensive and a pain, so I only use it when picking up my kids, or when someone has a lot of luggage. Circling is out of the question. So, we park in a hotel lot a few exits south on 101 (we’re going north to SFO) and wait. Whoever arrives calls on a cellphone when they arrive at baggage claim. The bags are there by the time the driver gets there, so circling and waiting time is minimized. Cost - zero.
Since my out of town friends all say that the airport here in Las Vegas is confusing for passenger pickup, I will park in short term parking, plug a quarter in the meter and wait for them outside baggage claims.
When we have to pick up family/friends who live here, the procedure is just call when we get off the plane and head for the departure dropoff- super easy, because arrival pickup is such a zoo (total chaos)
To see if a plane is on time or not, I will either call the airline or go online as some carriers have a section on their webpage to see the ETA (estimated arrival time) when you type in the flight number.
I live 10 minutes from McCarren airport so getting there is quick and easy.
I always park in the short term lot and wait for them at the baggage check. I’d think it would be a pain in the ass to try and look for folks waiting outside while trying to drive through the usually congested pickup/dropoff lanes, so it’s worth a couple bucks not to deal with that.
Park, go inside and wait for them at the baggage claim - and I tell them in advance where I will be waiting as far as possible (typically, I find the claim associated with their flight, unless there’s another good place to meet them).
I’ve picked up people at major airports and smaller airports, and this always seems to be the best way to go about it.
I live very close to the airport, so I usually do the ‘call me when you land and I’ll be there when you’ve got your luggage’ routine.
With me, it depends on who I’m picking up and when. If it’s my daughter, I don’t want her standing outside on the curb waiting for me. My husband also just hates to wait, since he’s usually tired after the flight. So in both cases I park & go inside. The exception, of course is when the traveller has a cell phone. The easiest person I ever had to do an airport pickup for was my uncle. He figured that since I was being kind enough to give him a ride, he would make it as simple as possible. He’d wait until he had de-planed and retrieved his luggage, then call from an airport phone (this was way pre-cellphone) and then just wait at the very end of the pickup area so he could be seen easily. He’d linger patiently, smoking his pipe, for as long as it took.
I feel like the person visiting me deserve the respect of me getting out of my car and greeting them inside.
However if it’s someone that just needs a ride, then I’ll do the passanger pick up thing.
My trick at Dublin airport to avoid car parking charges (because there’s no access to the arrivals section for private vehicles):[ol][li]Passenger calls me on their cellphone as they exit the plane.I start driving to the airport.Passenger gets bags from carousel and then goes to Departures, not Arrivals.I drive into the ‘drop off’ section at Departures and pick them up.[/ol]This works particularly well as it’s only 20 minutes from my house to the airport, though you could go and sit in a café near the airport and wait for their call, if you weren’t so close.[/li][/QUOTE]
Ha ha! (and Grrrr. at the same time cause I wanted to be the first smart one)
This is the trick my family uses, although we use it at DIA. Oh yeah, we have parking and arrivals, but it’s soooo much easier, and it’s not like we’re waiting a half hour, we tend to combine it with the cell phone trick, but it’s sooooo much easier.
Mr. Legend travels quite often for business. For a while, he was going out every Monday and returning Thursday or Friday, then it was every other week, and now it’s maybe once a month. Regardless of how often he travels, though, our routine is the same: when he leaves, I drop him off at the Departures curb, but on his return, I park short term and meet him inside. Pre-9/11, I used to meet him at the gate, but nowadays it’s just before the metal detectors. It takes between 15 minutes and a half hour, and I pay a dollar if the plane’s on time, more if it isn’t, but he feels loved, and that’s what matters.
We live about 15 minutes from Hartsfield-Jackson International so we do the “call as you exit the plane and I’ll head to the airport then” routine that a lot of others posting use. My husband, daughter and I have “our place” at the curb we always wait ( if we have to )…at the end, outer circle, has a bench which is under cover. We just say “do the usual.”
If I am picking someone up for the first time I meet them at baggage claim.
When I traveled a lot for work, I always just parked in the long term parking because it is so easy and if I changed my travel plans at the spur of the moment my husband did not have to change his plans and come pick me up.