Getting To the Airport Without Your Car Part 1
Going to the airport is often a trip in and of itself, as they tend to be situated on the outskirts of a city due to the noise generated by aircraft and the large amount of space that is required. If you’re leaving your home for a long period of time, driving out there seems obvious (never mind convenient), but might not be the best solution for you; long-term parking rates can get expensive pretty quickly, and there’s always the fear of inadequate security and theft or vandalism.
It feels safer to leave your vehicle in your garage, but how can you make your flight on time by other means? Luckily you’re not alone, and there are a multitude of different services which will get you on your journey by providing that first step. Here are a few of the different methods for alternate transportation. Each has advantages and disadvantages, depending on your situation.
This method is most likely the cheapest, which is very beneficial. Many major cities have specific routes that go to the local airport, and sometimes larger-size buses (like double decker or elongated varieties) are employed on these routes so that your suitcase can be accommodated. However, the routes may take a long time, as there will be a variety of stops along the way, and you’ll be limited in the amount of luggage that you can realistically take with you. You will need to travel to the appropriate pickup stop, which might be out of your way and tough to access for people with mobility issues.
Somewhere between a public bus and a shuttle service are the express coaches. These are usually long distance buses that operate out of the airport (companies like National Express will actually have headquarters there), and will usually transport passengers to and from one place—such as the hotel district in the downtown hub of a city, where most of the travelers will be going. The vehicles are usually more comfortable than public transportation, and the routes more direct (and thus shorter) with under-carriage storage for luggage. But if you’re not headed to or coming from one of the handful of destination points serviced by the route, you’ll have to make arrangements to accommodate that leg of your journey.
Shuttles are usually quite reasonable in price; their trips may cost a fraction of a taxi fare, and will be more direct than a public bus route. Larger shuttle companies can usually accommodate last-minute passengers when picking up from an airport, however these services may need to be arranged in advance, sometimes by as much as a day, if you choose to go with a smaller shuttle service. Furthermore, the service will likely have several designated stops at various locations to pick up travelers, which will add time on to your trip. Some shuttle services will arrange to pick you up and drop you off at your home or office, but with others you may have to travel to one of these stops in order to get on, so plan in advance and be early! There are racks for luggage and the booking service will be tell you when you’ll need to get on in order to make your flight on time.