Destination UK

Airport Parking Options

Posted on
January 8, 2016

We are going away later this year and flying from our local airport at Bournemouth. As we live just 4.5 miles from the airport I thought a taxi might be cheaper than parking onsite but I couldn’t be more wrong – it is almost double what it would cost for us to park our own car there.

It has made me look into which airport parking options they offer it seems we have a three to choose from:

Meet and Greet Parking (Valet Parking)

The most convenient option when travelling with a young family and we have used this a couple of times. Meet & Greet is the most expensive option as this is where you arrive at a pre-specified location, as close to the terminal as possible and are met by a representative of the company you have booked with. Your car is taken from you and parked in a nearby secure car park. On your return, the company know what time your flight is due in and once you have collected your luggage your car is waiting for you in a pre-specified location.

On Airport Parking

Also known as on-site airport parking is where you will be parking your car on the airport premises. Larger airports may offer a car park some distance away from the terminal but still class this as ‘on airport’. In most cases a transfer to the terminal is available if it is not within walking distance, but In Bournemouth it is less than a couple of minutes walk.

Off Airport Parking

Off airport parking is where the car park is located further away from the terminal and not within the grounds of the airport and is normally the cheapest parking option. The transfer time to the terminals will be longer, taking anywhere from 5 mins up to 30 mins. This option of parking is usually less expensive as you are not within the airport boundary and you are transported via car / minibus to your terminal once your car is parked so leave plenty of time before boarding to get there.

As we are flying from Bournemouth and the carpark is so close to the terminal we shall be choosing onsite parking on this occasion, but for flights from large London airports I would choose Meet and Greet every time!

Have you tried these options – which is your favourite?

  1. Reply


    January 8, 2016

    I don’t think it matters so much at small airports but we fly from Gatwick and always do meet and greet.Bit more expensive but worth it if you’ve got a night flight / bad weather/ young children x

  2. Reply

    angela hamilton

    January 9, 2016

    I don’t drive but I love the idea of the meet and greet service. So much easier and worth paying that extra for

  3. Reply

    Rachel In Real Life

    January 10, 2016

    When we were going to Belfast last summer we looked into the different options too although we didn’t end up going due to my being ill.

  4. Reply


    January 10, 2016

    Meet and greet is definitely my favourite – with 3 kids and luggage it makes life so much easier.

  5. Reply


    January 11, 2016

    The last time we used airport parking was a place at Manchester. They had a large car park away from the airport and then you caught the minibus to and from the airport. We did make sure we took photos of our car when we left and checked the mileage. I knew someone who found their car had an extra 200 miles on the clock after they came back for a week!

  6. Reply


    January 11, 2016

    When I travelled a lot on my own as a single woman with work, I used to use valet parking – I loved it!

  7. Reply


    January 11, 2016

    I love the meet and greet services – it just makes your journey less stressful!

  8. Reply


    January 12, 2016

    Interesting, I would have thought a taxi would have been cheaper too

  9. Reply


    January 9, 2017

    Valet parking has always been my go to option. It’s so easy to use valet parking and I’ve always felt safe doing it. Thanks for sharing!

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog