I never pay for parking when flying out of Reagan National Airport. There’s a “hidden” secret I use, that you can too to avoid paying daily fees, and other outrageous costs.
Just south of the airport, about a 10-20 minute subway ride away is the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station (on the blue line) and the Huntington Metro Station (on the yellow line). Both offer service to DCA airport.
Both stations also offer free long term parking, subject to availability. So, when you need to go to the airport, you simply drive to one of these two nearby stations. Once you are inside the garage, you’ll notice a designated floor for multi-day parking. Follow signs.
The row of cars in the overnight parking of Franconia-Springfield is usually fairly full, however there is usually some spots available. Sometimes, where there isn’t a spot available, I’m lucky to grab a close enough spot nearby and have never had any trouble with getting a ticket or anything.
Along the row, you’ll see signs designating the appropriate spaces you are allowed to park in.
Simply park, lock your vehicle and you’re on your way! You’ll pay a meager fare to take the Metro train to the airport, and all in all, you’re maybe looking at a cost of only a few dollars for what could be several days to weeks of “free parking. It’s a no brainer, and essentially is with no to little cost.
When you leave, after your journey, you’ll exit through a marked gate. If you exit on a weekend, there’s no gate down, so you’re free to leave for free. On weekdays, you’ll have to only pay a mere $4.85. This isn’t per day – this is per the entire length of your stay, which is really neat (and cheap).
Some people ask me whether I have had security issues with my vehicle here overnight, and I can honestly say I’ve never had a problem. I know the area is regularly patrolled by Metro Transit Police, and I’ve always felt safe (and my vehicle safe, too).
Looking at Metro’s website, here’s the specifications on the parking spaces at Franconia-Springfield (which is the closest Metro station to me, and the one I use most often when traveling).
Metro also describes their multi-day spaces, too.
Overall, this is a great money saver, considering parking directly at DCA airport could run as much as around $20 a day. Parking at a Metro station and then taking the Metro train in not only saves you hefty parking fees, but also allows you to beat some traffic on the roads, and arrive directly at the airport terminal – a short 2 minute walk to the ticketing counters and security. One great way to get free parking at DCA is also to use Park Sleep Fly, which I do often. Park Sleep Fly combines hotel nights with free parking – for example, if you’d ordinarily spend $50 on parking, Park Sleep Fly will find you a hotel room for a similar price where you can also get free parking included. You can use code TFC to get $20 off Park Sleep Fly, too.
Now, if you’ve never used Uber before, consider them an option too – by using this first time user code you’ll get $20 off your first ride, which you can’t beat. So, instead of driving to Franconia and taking the Metro, you may find it more cost effective to take Uber, with the $20 deduction on your first ride.
Save Even More
If you haven’t considered before, I highly recommend enrolling in SELECT, which gets you a ton of travel discounts, which can help you save quite a few bucks out of Reagan Airport, or when visiting DC:
- 20% off Virgin Atlantic tickets to the UK, originating in the US or Canada, plus complimentary Flying Club Silver Elite status after just one flight.
- 5-25% off Cathay Pacific flights, plus complimentary Marco Polo Silver Tier status.
- 5-10% off most Virgin America fares.
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