June 18, 2018

Preflight Parking Philadelphia Airport Review

Preflight Philadelphia Airport Parking Sign

The Preflight parking facility at the Philadelphia Airport is located at 4700 Island ave. in Philadelphia.  From I-95, take the Island Ave. exit.  Signs for the facility can be seen on I-95 and when you first exit I-95 on Island ave.

Services

Preflight Philadelphia sign for indoor and outdoor parking
Sign for the indoor or outdoor parking options.

The Preflight Philadelphia Airport location is open 24 hours a day.  Parking shuttles to the airport operate every 4 to 6 minutes.  Preflight Airport parking offers covered and uncovered parking options at the Island ave. facility.  Daily parking rates include:

  • Uncovered Parking: $8.54 per day (with prepaid reservation).
  • Covered Parking: $11.62 per day (with prepaid reservation).

The daily parking rates do not include the 20% Philadelphia parking tax or the $1.88 Airport Access fee.

Preflight is the only parking service that offers covered airport parking outside of the Philadelphia Airport.  Customers interested in covered parking should make advance reservations, particularly during winter.

By making a reservation in advance, customers have access to a lower rate than the daily posted rate at the parking facility.  When I parked in the outdoor parking lot, the posted daily rate was $10.31 compared to the online uncovered parking rate of $8.54 per day.

Frequent Parker

Indoor parking entrance at the Preflight Philadelphia parking facility
Indoor parking entrance.

Preflight offers regular customers the ability to sign up for the Frequent Parker program.  Membership in the program is free.  The Frequent Parker program offers the following benefits:

  • Customers have the option of earning a free day of parking for every six paid visits or to earn 1 mile per dollar spent with either American Airlines or United Airlines.
  • Frequent Parker members receive a guaranteed parking space (the guaranteed space could either be covered or uncovered).

Express Pass

Preflight ticket machine
Preflight Express Pass customers scan a card at the entrance instead of taking a ticket.

The Preflight Express Pass provides customers with a membership card that links directly to the Frequent Parker membership.  Customers use the Express Pass card to enter and exit the parking facility via an express lane rather than hold onto paper tickets.  The Preflight Express Pass includes the following benefits:

  • Access to the express parking lanes for faster access and exit of the parking facility.
  • An additional discount of up to 15%.
  • Emailed parking receipts.

Coupon

Preflight parking coupons for the Philadelphia airport location are available on the Company’s web site.  It’s important to be aware that Preflight coupons can not be used with any other discounts, including the discount received with online parking reservations.  The current Preflight coupon posted online includes the following:

  • Uncovered parking rate of $8.96 per day.
  • Covered parking rate of $13.75 per day.
  • The coupon rate does not include the $1.88 airport access fee or the 20% city tax.

App

The Preflight parking app provides customers with a free app available on both the apple and android devices.  The Preflight app allows customers to make reservations at any of the 8 Preflight parking facilities.  Notable features of the app include:

  • Make parking reservations and modifying existing reservations.
  • View parking history and progress towards free parking.
  • Parking facility maps and shuttle information.
  • Preflight parking facility coupons.

My Experience Using the Service

Philadelphia Preflight parking facility
Entrance to the Philadelphia Preflight airport parking facility.

In mid-October, I used the Preflight uncovered parking service.  The facility is well marked from I-95.  A large billboard directs customers to take the Island ave. exit.  A second sign on Island ave. reminds customers to keep following the road to the parking facility.

The entrance to the Preflight Philadelphia facility is hard to miss.  Large signs brightly display the entrance to customers on Island ave.  Arriving customers pull in to a long drive way to a ticket gate.  I pulled a paper ticket from the machine and drove up to the ticket gate employee who directed me to drive to lot 14.

The Preflight parking lot is shaped like a large circle with the covered parking facility located inside the center of the circle.  I arrived slightly before 8 and the parking lot was already crowded from the morning rush hour.  Additional parking spaces were still available.

Shuttle

Preflight Philadelphia parking shuttle
Parking shuttle in front of the indoor parking facility.

On my way to lot 14, I noticed one shuttle bus waiting for customers.  In my section, I didn’t see any nearby parking shuttles.  The downside of the covered parking facility location is that it blocks the view to see where other shuttle buses were located in the parking lot.

I would have liked to see signs in the parking lot directing customers where to go to wait for a parking shuttle.  Should I stand at my car or should I walk to a central bus stop?

I decided to walk towards the entrance of the lot assuming I would pass a shuttle bus.  I approached a shuttle bus exit from the indoor parking facility.  Assuming I would see a shuttle bus at this spot, I stopped and waited.  A shuttle bus pulled out of the parking facility within two minutes of my arrival.

The driver pulled right up to me.  He stopped the shuttle, greeted me, and offered to pick up my bags.  Three other customers were inside the shuttle.  After picking me up, the shuttle bus drove directly to the airport.

The ride to the airport from the parking facility was between 5 and 6 minutes.  From the time I parked at the Preflight lot until I reached the Philadelphia Airport was approx. 13 to 15 minutes.  Preflight recommends arriving at the lot 20 minutes before the time you would like to be at the Philadelphia airport.  I agree with that range since you could either lose or gain a few minutes based on whether the shuttle picks up any more customers before leaving for the airport.

Inside the Philadelphia Preflight Parking shuttle
Inside the Preflight parking shuttle.

My Return Trip

After picking up my bags, I walked outside to wait for the parking shuttle.  I didn’t see a red parking shuttle in view, so I checked the company web site for the Preflight Philadelphia shuttle bus locations.  The Preflight shuttle bus finder highlights each parking shuttle by number.  The closest shuttle seemed to be one terminal away from my location.

The Preflight shuttle bus locator turned out to be pretty accurate since a Preflight parking shuttle pulled up in less than 5 minutes.  The shuttle bus was more crowded than the trip to the airport, but I could still find a seat on the bus.  I arrived back at the Preflight parking facility in about 5 minutes.  Dropping other customers at their cars took another 7 to 8 minutes.  The total time from picking up my bags to getting off the shuttle at my car was approx. 20 minutes.

Preflight shuttle bus pickup
Parking shuttle returning to pick up customers at the Philadelphia Airport

Pros

  • Online shuttle tracking at the Preflight web site.
  • Only facility outside of the Philadelphia Airport with indoor parking.
  • Ability to earn airline miles with American or United Airlines.
  • Low parking rates.
  • Online reservations guarantee parking and provide the best available rate.
  • Easy to find the facility with signs on I-95 and on Island ave. near the exit from I-95.

Cons

  • The large indoor parking facility blocks the view of other nearby parking shuttles.  This can cause customers to be unsure of which direction to walk towards the nearest parking shuttle.
  • No clear direction about where to stand for the parking shuttle.  This is compounded by not being able to see nearby shuttles due to the covered parking facility in the center of the lot blocking the view.

Final Thoughts

Preflight parking offers a really nice service with competitive rates.  It’s the only parking facility outside of the Philadelphia Airport that offers indoor covered parking.  Frequent customers benefit from lower parking rates with online reservations, the ability to earn airline miles or free parking, and access to an express lane with the Express Pass.

What I liked most about the Preflight service was how quickly a shuttle picked me up from the airport.  In the past, I’ve spent upwards of 20 to 30 minutes waiting for the economy parking shuttle to pick me up.  When you arrive back at the airport tired with jet lag, the only thing you care about is getting back to your car as quickly as possible.  Preflight parking did an especially good job with the shuttle pick up combined with the ability to actually track nearby shuttles on their web site.

For additional airport parking information see the Philadelphia Airport Parking Guide.

About First Class Travel Guide 128 Articles
Travel enthusiast that spent years flying in the back of planes and staying at cheaper hotels in order to save a little money. After learning how to leverage airline and hotel loyalty programs, I've developed an interest in luxury travel and write about my experiences with it.

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