We’ve all been there: after days or weeks of planning (and maybe months of dreaming), you’ve finally booked the plane tickets and reserved the hotel rooms for your upcoming vacation. You can finally relax, not worry about logistics, and just daydream about your trip. Or can you?
As the time to takeoff gets closer, you’ll start feeling the gnaw of that universal question that all flyers have to deal with: How are you getting to and from the airport?

Maybe you think you can wait until the last minute to figure it out. Or maybe you’ve never really thought too much about all the different kinds of airport transport. But getting it sorted out ahead of time can ensure you set the tone for how your trip starts and ends. You don’t want to start off stressed with worry about making your flight or end with angry regret over a final cost that overshot your travel budget.

Obviously, every airport and destination is different with its unique mix of transportation to choose from. Yet, it’s worth knowing what kind of options there usually are and the advantages and disadvantages that usually come with them. So, here’s a breakdown of different ways to get to and from the airport that everyone should know.

The Pros & Cons of Using a Taxi to get to and from the Airport

The local taxi fares can vary widely from city to city, but in most instances, the fee to the airport will be a flat fare (with tolls and tips). Since, for the most part, taxis are unionized, the fare will be quite similar within a certain radius. The pros? You can pretty much know what to expect. The cons? Taxi drivers can choose circuitous routes with more tolls and fees to jack up the prices. If your driver puts on the meter, monitor the route closely via your GPS.

What to Consider About Using a Car Service for Getting to and from Airports

When you book a car from a car service, you know exactly what you’re getting (chances are you can prepay via credit card). So, there are fewer surprises than with taking a taxi. The cars are also apt to be cleaner and can be scheduled to pick up well in advance. If you shop around, you can likely find a car service to take to the airport that’s not outrageously expensive, but you should expect to pay a much higher fee if they’re picking you up at the airport. But you do get to have someone holding a sign with your name on it to meet you, which is pretty cool…

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Are Rideshare Apps Really Worth it?

There is no doubt that the rise of rideshare services such as Uber or Lyft has revolutionized the way that travelers get to and from the airport. Not surprisingly, this is an extremely convenient option for ground transportation. Not only will you enjoy door-to-door service, but you will also have the vehicle to yourself. However, what you enjoy in convenience, you will make up for in cost. This personalized level of service will cost you more money than more traditional options. You will have to decide if the extra cost is worth adding on top of any cheap flight deals.

You may also be able to offset those costs with the option for sharing your ide with other passengers, like with UberPool, but only if it’s available.

Airport Shuttle Services Can Still Be a Good Deal

Although they’ve experienced a noticeable decline since the rise of Uber and Lyft, airports shuttle services still have a reputation for being a value-driven option for ground transportation. Many airports, as well as larger name hotels and resorts, feature dedicated shuttle services that will drop you and pick you up right at the terminal. But depending on the operator, where you are traveling to or from, and the particular route, you may need to make several stops along the way. That’s why it’s important to allow yourself plenty of time before takeoff if you’re taking one to the airport

When to Consider Public Transit to and from Airports

The most affordable way to get to and from the airport will generally be by using a public transit service. Depending on the airport you are using, there may be a wide array of transit options available to you. Using public transit is also a good option if you are traveling in a city that suffers from traffic and congested routes to the airport. Traffic jams don’t affect subway trains and public buses often have their own lanes or can at least use HOV lanes. So, the time that you lose making transfers or waiting for your bus/train can sometimes be made up when you are not sitting in traffic.

The Thing About a Direct Bus or Train to/from an Airport

Some public transit systems also offer direct service from the center of the city to the airport, making it easy to get to where you need to be quick. This is generally in the form of a direct bus or train. Keep in mind that a bus or a train will run on a fixed route operating out of a central hub. And that means that you will also need to arrange additional transportation to get and from there as well. For example, if you are taking a bus directly to the airport, you will need to figure out how you are going to get to the bus station from your starting point.

One Response

  1. Marcus Coons

    It helped when you mentioned how most fares to the airport have a flat fee when traveling by taxi. It is important to understand this if you need to travel and want to plan your time and money carefully. Personally, I would want to read online reviews in order to find the best taxi services in my area.

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About The Author

Dave Odegard is an ex-army brat turned internet word person, whose work has been published on Maxim Online, USAToday, Buzzfeed, and more. He is currently the Senior Content Writer at Fareportal (CheapOair's parent company) and spends his free time exploring the wilds of Brooklyn, New Jersey, and Sweden.