Is Onsite BWI Parking Safe?

Earlier this year, the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) received honors in the Annual Service Quality Awards by the Airports Council International World. The competition was judged based on 34 performance indicators, including airport cleanliness, parking, and wait times at security.

BWI and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport came out on top among airports that receive between 25 million and 40 million passengers per year (pre-COVID). While BWI received high marks for its parking facilities, ground transportation, and terminal access, the airport has recently come under the spotlight regarding its patrons’ safety.

On June 11, the Daily Garage at BWI parking was forced to shut down after a man died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after an eight-hour standoff with the Howard County police. Earlier in the year, Anne Arundel County police investigated an attempted abduction of a woman outside a hotel near BWI airport. These incidents have raised questions of passenger safety at the airport, especially at BWI parking garages.

Thankfully, there are plenty of offsite parking garages near BWI airport that offer a safe and secure parking space for your car as well as shuttle services to the terminals and other perks such as a complimentary car wash and oil change. Let’s take a look at the benefits of opting for an offsite parking near BWI airport.

Why should I choose offsite BWI parking?

While Baltimore/Washington International Airport provides an exhaustive list of options for parking your car, onsite BWI parking can get quite expensive depending on the demand as the airport serves Baltimore and Washington DC. Currently, onsite parking at BWI costs between $2 an hour to $12 a day, whereas you could find offsite parking for as low as $5 a day!

But isn’t onsite parking more convenient?

Of course, onsite airport parking is the most convenient option for air travelers, thanks to their proximity to the airport terminals. However, the convenience does come at a price. Not only are onsite garages more expensive, but they aren’t the safest options either, as proved by the recent incidents at BWI.

Since onsite parking lots have to be easily accessible to the public, anyone can enter them quite easily. Moreover, their size and high occupancy rates make them hard to monitor. Most onsite parking garages are poorly lit to make matters worse, making them quite challenging to spot obstacles while parking your vehicle.

That said, if you’re flying out of Baltimore or Washington on business, it may be worth paying a little extra for an onsite long-term parking spot at BWI for some peace of mind. Finding a parking spot that meets your requirements could help you focus on the meetings you have lined up ahead.

Alternatively, if you are flying away on vacation, worrying about your car’s safety could take away the feeling of being present and interrupt your chill time on the beach or in the mountains.

Are offsite BWI parking garages safer?

Yes, offsite BWI parking garages are safer than onsite garages as they have security measures such as 24/7 surveillance, gated entries, fences, and even security personnel in place.

There are numerous offsite parking garages to be found on parking websites or apps, and almost all of them well-lit and offer complimentary shuttle service to the terminals to ensure the safety of travelers. Some even offer a free car wash and regular maintenance checks, including oil changes, at no extra cost!

What else do offsite BWI garages offer?

If you search for an offsite parking garage on a parking website, you will find various services such as valet parking and park-sleep-and-fly options at hotels. Valet parking lets you drive up to the terminal and hand over the keys to your car to a waiting valet while you make your way to the gates.

On the other hand, park-sleep-and-fly services let travelers departing BWI at odd hours drive up to the hotel, park their car, freshen up, or take a quick nap before a long flight.

To find the best options for onsite and offsite parking at BWI, use a parking website or app like that will help you compare rates and read reviews about the various lots on offer.