Your trip is booked, your bags are packed and your ready to go. But the question you need to ask yourself before you get to this point is: What is the best way to get to the airport from either your hotel or home and also how are you going to get back from your trip when you land and you are at the airport.
This is, of course, something you only have to think about if you don’t have a friend to drop you off and/or pick you up, as you have no volunteers because you mistakenly mentioned that your flight leaves at some unconscionable hour in the morning or your flight doesn’t get you back home until the wee hours of the morning!
I have purposely only included the most common ways that all people can get to an airport. For example, I did not include trains as this type of shuttle service is not available to all travelers, at least not here in the United States.
This the easiest way to go or should I say less problematic as everything is in your control (for better or worse). You can pack up the car and get going on your own schedule. The potential issues you have with this what happens if you get to the airport and the airport parking is full or nearly so. You could spend quite a long time going down isle after isle looking for that one open spot and meanwhile your departure time is getting closer and closer and you start getting concerned that you may be late for your flight.
And on top of all this you have to pay for the privledge of parking. Depending on how many days you are away, this could get very expensive. You also have to mark or write down where you parked the car so that when you get back home your not going down aisle after aisle again, this time looking for where you parked the car.
You also have to be somewhat concerned about your car breaking down, not that I have ever had this happen to me, but if it does than you probably will have a tough time making your flight as you will have to wait for help to arrive and then go with car to see what the issues are.
Uber or Lyft:
Let me state right off the bat that this is my preferred way of getting to any airport. Your friends or family will love you for it and you don’t have to feel like you imposing on anyone. Both Uber and Lyft are generally very reliable as you just use the app just before you are about to head out and in not too short of time a driver arrives to take you to the airport. The cost for this is very reasonable and you if you leaving on a flight you get dropped off right in front of your gate. Nice and Convienient. Getting home from the airport is just as easy.
What I do is if I have checked any bags then I wait until I get to the luggage carousel and then while I am waiting for my bags, I request a driver. Normally by the time the luggage arrives the driver is close if not already there waiting. If I am not checking any bags then as soon as the plane lands and the lights come on and everybody starts to get up, I put out my phone and open the app to request a driver. Again, usually by the time I am getting outside the airport the driver has arrived or is not too far away. And this, mind you, has been regardless of the hour I arrive.
The only downside I see to using this method is your not sure what size car is going to come and pick you up, so if you are taking a lot of luggage you have to keep this in mind. I also do not do the pool option as this eliminates and potential arrival problems.
If Uber or Lyft is my favorite way of getting to or from the airport, then this is the least. Calling the taxi company and waiting on hold until you get to dispatch to tell them where you are going and where you are located and have someone show up at a uncertain time, I have found to be a very frustrating experience and actually kind of old school compared to Uber and Lyft .
I prefer to use their online booking as it much more convienient at least for going from your home to the airport. A taxi, however, can be an easy way to get home from your trip and there is usually no shortage of cabs waiting as you come out of baggage. However, I found that this is much more expensive way of getting home and not as comfortable a ride as some other methods.
Before Uber and Lyft this or a taxi were the only ways to and from the airport if you didn’t want to drive yourself or have someone dropped you off. And if you chose this method you never really knew how many stops the shuttle would make either going to or coming from the airport. I remember taking a shuttle and I was the last one to be dropped off and it took nearly 2 hours to get home whereas by taxi it would have been a half hour.
Of course, things have changed since then and services such as the super shuttle have expanded their offering so not only can you take the shared option but you can also now choose from executive shared, the standard non stop or the executive non stop, of course all with an increase in price as you go up in category. No matter which one of these methods you choose, they are all more expensive then taking Uber and Lyft.
To conclude this post I did a small comparison using the same starting point and arriving at my local airport which would be about 15 minutes away, just to give you an idea of what the variations in cost are for the different types of airport services:
- Drive Yourself – Cost $5 – 8$ (This would be basically just the gas, but not including the parking for the time you are away)
- Uber: $16.20 – Booked on my phone using the app.
- Super Shuttle: – $64.00 (This is for the non stop shuttle, which I considered most similar, however if you take the shared shuttle the cost is $30.50)
- Taxi: – $26.00 – This was for yellow cab which I booked online.
Note: I did not do a comparison from the airport to the hotel or your home but I think the pricing would be the same for Uber and more expensive for the shuttle and taxi as they have to pay fees to the airport in order to have their respective stations there. Also the drive yourself option is going to be more then just the gas as you will have to pay the parking fee which at my local airport is $15.00 per day.