Parking sign

Shuttle parking vs. valet parking

In principle, there are always different parking possibilities for long-term and short-term parking at the airport. The most common are shuttle and valet parking. Parking within walking distance of the terminal is also in high demand. We will explain the differences between these three parking methods and what you should pay particular attention to when parking valet.

Shuttle parking at the airport

Those who love comfort will certainly want to board a shuttle bus. For the trip between the car park at the airport and the terminal, you won’t find a more convenient alternative that also protects against wind and weather. If you have chosen a parking offer with shuttle service, first drive to the parking area of the provider, which is located near the airport. On arrival at the car park, you will get a first impression of the provider and its professionalism. If you find the parking area just as you expected after booking, this will give you a good feeling and you will be calm on your way to the airport terminal.

Shuttle service at  the airport

With shuttle parking, you know exactly where your car is parked during your journey. Depending on the offer, it may also be possible to choose between covered and uncovered parking spaces. Covered parking spaces and parking garages at the airport offer protection against ice, snow and frost, especially in winter. But a roof has its advantages in summer too: At this time of year, it offers optimum protection from direct sunlight and thus prevents the vehicle interior from heating up. After parking, take the shuttle bus that will take you directly to the airport. If your airport has several terminal buildings, briefly check which airline you are flying with. The drivers usually know exactly which terminal you need to be taken to in order to check in for your flight.
Little tip: Asking for information costs nothing and avoids stress in the expansive airport buildings.

After your landing on the booked departure day you will be picked up at the airport by shuttle and brought back to your parked car. You can find out how parking works in detail in your booking confirmation, which you will receive by e-mail after the booking has been made.

Valet parking at the airport

At first glance, valet parking is a comfortable alternative to parking your car at the airport. But as tempting as it may sound to simply drive ahead and fly off, giving away the car key involves a number of risks. Some air travellers have already experienced a “crash landing” (so to speak) after their return, because they thought that they had given their vehicle to an employee of a trustworthy parking company at the terminal for parking. Throughout Germany, the media repeatedly reports on dubious companies at airports that lure gullible travellers into tempting traps with super-low prices. The Express has already reported on this. There are also reports in other newspapers about massive problems with valet parking at the airport.

Car keys in the airport car park

Numerous testimonials about valet parking, especially when parking at Düsseldorf Airport, confirm that many would rather park their car themselves and keep the keys with them. A short transfer in the shuttle bus or a short walk before the flight is much less risky. Behind most valet parking companies hides an opaque number of limited-liability companies, which are only rarely available to the authorities in the case of complaints and lawsuits. In addition to the annoyance and stress after the holiday, valet parking victims often have to pay themselves for any damage to their car. During valet parking at Düsseldorf Airport, a few cars have even been stolen in recent years.

The cars of air travellers, for example, are often not parked in the car parks shown on the websites of Valet Parking in Düsseldorf. Instead, they are parked in the residential areas around the airport. This simplifies logistics for the dubious suppliers while reducing costs – and the customer doesn’t know anything about it. While the customer is enjoying the sun on their holiday, expecting their car to be safe in a parking garage, in actuality the car is sitting somewhere on the dark side of the road out in the open and is freely accessible to third parties. Many air travellers have received a parking ticket in the mail for parking incorrectly after giving their car to the valet parking at the airport – an unwanted holiday memory!

Our advice: You’re better off staying away from valet parking. By handing over the car key to a stranger at the airport, you are also handing over control at the same time. It has happened before that customer vehicles were used for illegal races or even as shuttle buses. That’s why many traffic associations recommend parking the car yourself and keeping the key afterwards – better safe than sorry. And it’s simply not worth the stress and annoyance after a relaxing holiday just to save a few more euros.

Parking at the airport and walking to the terminal

Stay away from valet parking! But does a shuttle bus to the airport necessarily have to be the alternative? – No. There is another possibility to park your car without risk at the airport. Some providers in the airport area are so close to the terminal that it is easy to walk there, even with children and luggage.

This variant of the airport car park may not necessarily offer as much convenience as a comfortable shuttle bus at first glance, but if you take a closer look, you will quickly see that this form of parking offers the advantage of maximum flexibility. Those who are in a rush and don’t have much time until departure can be worn down by waiting for a shuttle bus and the transfer to the terminal. With a car park within walking distance of the airport, you will save yourself this ordeal. Park, unload your suitcase and you’re as good as at the terminal. The same applies to the way home: No long queues or waiting at the bus stop. In this way, the short distances guarantee you maximum flexibility and control.

Tip: If you not only want to save time, but also money, you should consider our tips & tricks when booking your flight.

Travel professionals book a parking space in advance with Easy Airport Parking, for example. By booking the car park at the airport, you save waiting times at selected airports and avoid the long queues at the automatic pay station after landing. Thanks to the booking, a parking space on the day of arrival is guaranteed to be available and paid for in advance, that’s how easy it can be!