In this series, I will talk about how to use Buffalo as an alternate airport to Toronto.
- Buffalo Airport Overview
- Examples of savings
- Driving to Buffalo Airport from Toronto
- Where to park at Buffalo Airport
- Getting to Buffalo Airport – The 1-way Car Rental
- Getting to Buffalo Airport – Bus, Shuttle & Taxis
- Using Buffalo Airport when visiting Toronto
In the previous post in this series, I discussed the best routes to take to Buffalo when driving your own car. That is great information to have, but the next logical questions is “where is the best place to park my car?” In this post, I’ll comment on the different Buffalo airport parking options.
There are a few different parking options near Buffalo airport. I have tried a few of them out, and you will have to judge where the best value is based on the length of your journey, how far you are willing to park from the airport and the expected weather in Buffalo while you are away. Those who normally park at YYZ will be pleasantly surprised at the significantly lower prices.
Save Money Booking Online
I find that it is usually not necessary to make a booking for parking at Buffalo airport. During peak times, especially during the winter, it might be a bad idea to make a reservation online. The booking engines that I have found that do a good job of laying out your options are About Airport Parking and Airport Parking Reservations. For some lots, such as my preferred Budget-Rent-A-Car, there are sometimes specials for booking in advance. In a quick search, I noticed that About Airport Parking had a rate lower than the listed rate as an incentive to book online.
Whenever I am planning a trip, I like to check out some parking comparison sites, including About Airport Parking, which shows the lowest rates for parking only. If I am considering an early morning flight, I also look in the ParkSleepFly options at the hotels in the area. I usually check out the rates at ParkSleepFly.com. Sometimes, you can get a night at the hotel, with a few days of parking (usually a week) for the same price as parking would have cost you alone, which is regularly the case for the EconoLodge hotel. One of the advantages of the ParkSleepFly option is that you can earn hotel loyalty points or frequent flyer miles for your stay, which always come in handy.
My Favorite: Budget Rent A Car (1)
Overall, my personal favorite, which is a balance between distance from the airport and price would have to be the Budget Rent a Car. This one is also called Airport Valet Parking if you are booking on About Airport Parking. It is directly across the street from the airport so you can walk there if you don’t feel like waiting for a shuttle and the prices are very reasonable. They also include a valet service so in the winter, they will make sure your car gets shoveled out and is nice and warm for you.
If you are taking a short trip in the winter, your primary concern will be ease of access to the airport and not having a car stuck in snow when you land. If you are going for 3 weeks, you will be concerned with the lowest daily rate you can find.
Here are my suggestions for the places to park, based on your trip type:
|Trip Type||1st Choice||2nd Choice||3rd Choice||4th Choice|
|Weekend Trip||Airport Short||Budget||Quality Inn||Thrifty|
|<2 week Trip||Budget||Quality Inn||Airport A||Thrifty|
|Long Trip||Econo Lodge||Quality Inn||Airport A|
|During Winter||Airport Short||Budget|
|Cost Containment||Econo Lodge||Quality Inn||Millenium Hotel||Airport B|
Locations of Lots
Here is a map of the various parking options at BUF. This map includes the airport lots and the off airport lots.
View Buffalo Airport Parking Map in a larger map
Airport lots: 11 – Short Term, 12 – Long Term A, 13 – Long Term B, 14 – Long Term C
Park, Sleep, Fly lots (zoom out): 21 – Millenium, 22 – Econo Lodge, 23 – Hilton Garden Inn
I classify the parking options into 3 different categories:
- Off-Airport parking lots (my favorite)
- Airport parking lots
- “Park, Sleep, Fly” options, which include a night at a hotel
|Parking Lot||Location||Distance to Terminal||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate||Best Usage||Notes|
|Budget Rent-A-Car (1)||3999 Genesee St Tel: 716 632-4662||10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||$8.65/day||$50/week||Always a good choice Best choice during winter due to valet||Excellent daily and weekly rates, including valet service|
|Quality Inn Hotel (2)||4217 Genesee St Tel: 716-633-5500||10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||$8.65/day||$50/week $70/2 weeks||Always a good choice||Best long term rate within walking distance of Airport|
|Thrifty Airport Parking (3)||4301 Genesee St Tel: 716-634-3600||10-15 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||$8.65/day (walkup) $9.78*/day||Good alternative to Quality Inn or Budget||*Discounted rate for making reservations at parkingatbuffalo.com|
|The Parking Spot (4)||4099 Genesee St Tel: 716-633-6040||10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||$10.89** /day||$66**/week||Weekend Trips or if Preferred airport is full||**Weekly rate includes frequent parker discount of “Every 8th day free”|
As stated earlier, my favorite spot is the Budget Rent-A-Car because it is the best value of convenience and price. The fact that you get value service is definitely nice.
|Parking Lot||Location||Distance to Terminal||Daily Rate||Weekly Rate||Best Usage||Notes|
|Short Term-Red (11)||Adjacent to terminal
|Negligible||$4/hour or $24/day||$168/week||Airport pickups or short trips during the winter||Covered / Garage parking|
|Long Term A-Green (12)||Adjacent to terminal
|<5 min walk||Two hours or less is free $13/day||$78/week||Weekend Trips|
|Long Term B-Orange (13)||Adjacent to terminal
|<10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||Two hours or less is free $11/day||$55/week||Trips longer than 3 or 4 days|
|Long Term C-Blue (14)||Adjacent to terminal
|20-25 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||Two hours or less is free $9*/day||$45*/week||*Rates displayed include a coupon from the airport website saving $1 off daily rate of $5 off weekly rates.|
The airport short term parking is great during the winter because you get to park it in a garage. The price is high, but if you are going on a short trip, this can be very valuable. The Long Term A parking lot (Green signs) is a great place to park if you are just coming to pick someone up, or drop someone off. You get 2 hours of free parking so you can park the car and go inside the terminal to meet your loved ones. I find that he Long Term C parking lot (Blue signs) is never a good deal. It is far to walk from the terminal and the prices are still higher than the off-airport lots that are significantly closer.
Park, Sleep, Fly options
|Parking Lot||Location||Distance to Terminal||Weekly Rate||Park, Sleep, Fly Rate||Best Usage||Notes|
|Quality Inn Hotel (2)||4217 Genesee St Tel: 716-633-5500||10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||$50/week or $70/2 weeks||~$120 for 1 night and 2 weeks of parking||Always a good choice||Best hotel with parking within walking distance of the airport|
|Econo Lodge (22)||48 Freeman Rd, Williamsville NY Tel: 716-634-2700||3 – 5 miles Requires Shuttle Service||~$85 for up to 21 days of parking, including 1 night hotel stay||Long trips and early morning departures||This hotel is about 3 miles away from the airport but the ParkSleepFly rate is better than just parking anywhere else for 21 days, and includes a night at the hotel.|
|Millenium Hotel (21)||2040 Walden Ave, Buffalo NY Tel: 716-681-2400||3 – 5 miles Requires Shuttle Service||$7.65/day or $55/week||~$120 for 1 night and 2 weeks of parking||If staying at the hotel||This hotel is one of the nicer ParkSleepFly hotels. Given the distance, it is not your best choice for parking options|
|Hilton Garden Inn (23)||4201 Genesee St Tel: 716-565-0400||10 min walk Or Regular Shuttle Service||N/A||~$200 for 1 night and 2 weeks of parking||If staying at this hotel||This is one of the nicest hotels walking distance to the airport. Use only if you must stay at this hotel.|
When it comes to Park, Sleep and Fly, the room that you get might have more of an impact to your decisions. Econo Lodge is definitely the cheapest here. In fact if you are going for a long time (3 weeks) and you dont even want the hotel room, the Econo Lodge is still more cost efficient. I do know that if you do want to use the Econo Lodge parking lot, they will allow you to use your hotel night on a different occasion. The Hilton Garden Inn is very close to the airport, but they do not offer standalone parking, so to use that lot, you are going to have to stay the night and pay the very high prices. This lot is adjacent to the Quality Inn lot.
There are a lot of Buffalo airport parking options. I have laid out the best ones in my opinion and the reasons for each of them. My personal favorite option for most people will be Budget Rent-A-Car due to its proximity to the airport and the fact that they will valet your car for you.
Next time you are flying out of Buffalo airport, consider some of these parking options.
Disclaimer: I do get a commission if you make purchases through some of the links on this page. I try to provide the best advice and only take commissions from the best products. If you find a better, cheaper way of doing something, please post it in the comments.