Recently I saw a Groupon for a new off-site airport parking company, Swiftpark. They had a deal for 3, 4 or 7 days and it happened that we had an upcoming 7 day vacation planned, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try out a different parking option. We normally park at the north remote parking site which is reasonably priced and gets you to the gate quickly, but are always open to better ideas. The deal was $28 for 7 days of parking which was fantastic. A few weeks later, I saw the same Groupon again and since we had a few weekends away on the horizon, thought it a good idea to buy the 3 day one which was $12. Great deal, right?
Well, it should have been. The Groupon price was great but I would not pay normal rates to park there.
When we used the first Groupon, we drove to the site and there was no one there when we went in, and no way to take a ticket or otherwise document your entry, but there was a sign that said, “If no one is here, park in row F and the shuttle will come get you.” OK, fine. That took quite a long while and I was wondering if anyone even knew we were there. Finally we do find the shuttle and get to the terminal without incident. Upon our return, we called for the shuttle and had to wait what seemed to be an eternity, although to be fair we had just come off an overnight flight from Hawaii so I am sure my patience was not at a high point. While we were waiting, we saw no fewer than 12-13 of the Parking Spot vans and I remarked we should have parked there and apparently we would have our car back already. Finally the shuttle comes and we do get to use the Groupon without any issues.
I was not impressed, but we had the other Groupon, so I decided to use it. This past weekend I was gone for three days and so used that option. Similar to the last trip, no one was at the entrance and they had posted a sign asking us to park in row F, but this time the shuttle took even longer. We were waiting by the car and saw a shuttle *leaving* the parking area to to go the terminals, without us on it! I eventually called and told whoever answered that we were needing a shuttle to the airport. Finally they came back and picked us up but we lost about 15 minutes; we had plenty of time to make our flight, but I don’t normally like wasting time getting to the terminal. On the way back, I called to ask for the shuttle and to their credit, they did come a little faster than on the last trip. As before, I had no trouble using my Groupon to pay for the parking.
I noticed when I called that their phone number appeared to be a cell phone. That tells you something about a business, if their main contact number/office headquarters is a cell phone.
All in all, I would not choose this option again for airport parking. The Groupon price was good but their normal rates are no better than what you can find a lot closer (and more convenient). It’s a nice idea but if you are going to have a parking area far off-site from the airport, and have incredibly slow shuttle service, you have to make it worth people’s while.
It’s back to north remote for us. Anyone else have input on great options for airport parking? I’m always up for hearing them.