SpotHero School: The Do’s and Don’ts of Airport Pickup

The holidays are almost here! This means celebrations and some seriously busy days. To help you stay prepped for family visits from out-of-towners, SpotHero is gifting you with a list of do’s and don’ts for navigating airport pickup.

DON’T: Wing it at pickup.

With increased holiday travel comes an uptick in traffic, especially around airports. Heading to the airport without knowing which terminal to go to, what area traffic is like, and where to pick up arrivals safely could cost you a lot of time as you try to navigate the airport.

DO: Study up and plan ahead.

Save yourself a headache and come prepared! Before heading out, check the airport website for maps and helpful pickup tips, and familiarize yourself with the airport layout, parking options, and any rules or regulations before pickup. Take a look at the airport’s social media pages before you get behind the wheel; many airports offer live updates about traffic conditions and parking lot occupancy.

DON’T: Pull over and turn on your hazards if you’re early.

Just because the hazards are on doesn’t mean the vehicle is safe. Pulling over on a shoulder or a place that is not a parking spot near an airport is dangerous and could cost you: cars left standing in an unauthorized spot may be subject to a hefty ticket. 

DO: Find a legal parking spot to wait in.

Better safe than sorry! Look for temporary parking in the cell phone lot or pay a small fee to park at the terminal instead. You can also look for a spot near the closest public transit stop or park in a paid lot with a shuttle. That way, your traveler can meet you away from the frenzied arrivals terminal!

DON’T: Go into airport pickup blind.

Increased travel comes with inevitable delays and traffic. Just because you’ve been to the airport a million times doesn’t mean you shouldn’t expect big surprises like construction, road closures, lot closures, and long wait times.

DO: Check in and expect the unexpected.

To speed up the pickup process and make room for others, track the traveler’s flight before heading to the airport and chat with your passenger periodically to confirm they’re on the way! The airport may also offer updates on baggage wait times, so check and see when you can expect to meet up with your traveler.

Have a happy and safe holiday season!