SAN airport to undergo expansion: How it will impact San Diego Airport Parking

Rohan Mathew

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Terminal 1 in San Diego International Airport (SAN), built originally in the 1960s, is set to get a revamp at a $2.2 billion budget as part of a redevelopment plan. The joint project of Turner Construction and Flatiron will replace the existing terminal with a 1.2 million sq. ft terminal once the facelift is completed. The number of gates in Terminal 1 will increase to 30 from the existing 19 as part of the redevelopment plan. The work will begin late this year and is expected to be complete by 2025. The redevelopment plan also includes a facelift for Terminal 2, bringing the total number of gates at San Diego International Airport to approximately 62. How will the San Diego airport parking change as more gates open and facilities be added? Surely, the passenger volume will increase, necessitating the need for more onsite parking spaces! Don’t worry; a 7,500-space parking structure is also part of the redevelopment plan.

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About San Diego airport parking

The San Diego International Airport is located about three miles northwest of downtown San Diego and is the busiest single-runway airport globally. The breath-taking view of Downtown San Diego skyscrapers when the flights touch down on the runway charms anyone who visits San Diego. Many people may book a flight to San Diego just to catch a glimpse of this mesmerizing view alone. With nearly 25 million passengers passing through each year, you can imagine how difficult it will be to find onsite parking in San Diego. The SAN airport has numerous onsite parking lots with plenty of parking spaces. However, as San Diego airport parking spots are likely to fill up quickly, pre-booking a spot is always a better option!

Onsite San Diego airport parking

The SAN airport provides onsite short- and long-term parking in three main lots: Terminal 1 Parking, Terminal 2 Parking, and Terminal 2 Parking Plaza. The San Diego airport parking rates are not particularly low, and you may have to pay more during peak hours or on holidays. After circling all of the onsite lots, you might not even find a parking spot. It happens to many of us on our way to SAN airport. So, better arrive early at the airport or look for offsite parking!

Terminal 1 Parking: The San Diego airport parking lot closest to Terminal 1 is located here. For the first ten minutes, you will have free parking in this lot. You’ll have access to the terminal via a covered walkway while parking in this lot. Getting a parking spot will cost you $2.50 for the first 30 minutes, and the rate will rise to $6 for an hour after that. If you use the parking lot for 5-7 hours, you will be charged $28. Daily parking in this lot costs $32 per day.

Terminal 2 Parking (McCain Road): This San Diego airport parking lot is close to Terminal 2. This lot, like Terminal 1 Parking, offers free parking for the first 10 minutes. Short-term parking will cost you $2.50 for the first 30 minutes and $6 for the next 30-60 minutes. If you use the parking lot for 5-7 hours, the fee rises to $28, and daily parking costs $32.

Terminal 2 Parking Plaza: This onsite parking lot is a huge help to Terminal 2 passengers. There are approximately 2,900 parking spaces, and access to the terminal is via a covered walkway. Getting a daily parking spot in this San Diego airport parking lot costs $32. The hourly rates are the same when compared to the other two lots. And there’s more. While using the lot, you will have covered parking and access to 16 EV charging stations. 

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Other San Diego airport parking options

Other San Diego airport parking options include the Long Term Lot and Valet Parking. However, both are currently closed! When it is open, the Long Term Lot charges around $20 per day for parking, whereas Valet Parking charges a whopping $40! 

Offsite San Diego airport parking

Everyone wants to have a stress-free parking experience when flying out of San Diego. However, if you arrive at the airport late or during peak hours, you may not be able to get one. You might have to circle the onsite San Diego airport parking lots and finally settle for an offsite parking spot. It may be a common problem that everyone encounters at SAN airport. There’s nothing to be worried about! Numerous offsite garages and lots near the airport offer free hourly parking for rates as low as $1 per hour. While daily parking at San Diego International Airport appears expensive, you can book long-term parking in offsite lots for as little as $8 per day. These offsite parking lots also provide amenities such as camera surveillance, round-the-clock security, 24-hour lot attendants, free airport shuttles, and more. You could get cheap parking through their apps or websites, or you could use the app or website to get offsite parking spots at unbelievable prices!

Free San Diego airport parking

Do you need a parking lot that offers free parking while you’re waiting to pick up someone? Yes, the San Diego airport parking features a Cell Phone Lot too!

  • The lot has around 100 parking spaces.
  • Equipped with portable restrooms.
  • All vehicles must be turned off while using the lot. The driver should always be present in the vehicle. 
  • The maximum lot usage time is 60 minutes.

Tips for San Diego airport parking 

  • Reach early if you want to use the onsite San Diego airport parking lots.
  • Accessible parking is available in all lots. The airport also provides a wheelchair-accessible complimentary shuttle to the terminals. 
  • All the lots are constantly patrolled by airport personnel.
  • 16 EV charge points are available at Terminal 2 Parking Plaza. 
  • The exit lanes in San Diego airport parking lots are unattended and automated. 
  • Cell Phone Lot has around 100 parking spaces and can be used for free up to 60 minutes.

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