If you’re going on holiday, you probably plan on driving to the airport and leaving your car at the airport parking site – this makes it easier to get home when you get back, and saves you dragging your luggage around town as well.
One thing that a lot of people don’t think about, though, is getting from the airport parking to the airport itself – sometimes the airport parking is a couple of miles away! Airport parking shuttle services can help you with this; they’re usually provided by either the airport themselves, or by the management company running the parking service. Sometimes there is more than one airport parking company operating the service, so you need to make sure that you choose a parking lot that has airport parking shuttle services, and that the shuttle is available at times that will match up with your flights.
You can reasonably expect that shuttles will run at least once every 30 minutes, if not more often. Some services charge a couple of dollars for the shuttle, others will run the shuttle for free – but it’s reasonable to tip the driver a few dollars, especially if you have a lot of bags to carry.
Shuttles to bigger airports run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and you can expect that they will be reasonably comfortable, with plenty of space for your bags, low floors, and a lift to make them accessible to wheelchair users. The shuttles should travel to each terminal at the airport, so that you can get off at the one that is closest to where your flight will be departing from, and make it from arrivals to your car quickly and easily.
Double check whether that is the case at the airport you are traveling from, though. In some smaller airports you might need to book a shuttle – especially if you are travelling at a time that is not peak time for that airport. The owners of the parking lot won’t run a shuttle if they don’t think it’s going to have users, and if there’s just a couple of departures that day then you might need to book ahead. This is common in Europe, but not such a common issue at bigger US airports, and it can be quiet a culture shock for some people!