Although I had plenty of time to catch my flight, there is something about making “good time” getting to the airport. As I pulled into the San Jose Airport (SJC) long term parking lot, I spied the shuttle bus making its way into the lot. I had to act fast – get to a stop in front of the bus, park, grab my bags and go.
I rapidly scanned the unfamiliar surroundings – the lot expanded far to the left and right. I quickly turned right and parked in the first available stop that looked to be two stops away from the incoming shuttle. I dashed out of the car, opened the trunk, and yanked my bags to the ground. With a huff I closed the trunk and made a quick run to bus stop C just as the bus arrived. I did it! Yes!
The bus then continued on to stop D, then stop E, then stop F, then stop G. As I passed stop G I saw another bus going the other way, stopping just a few feet away at stop M. What? Then the layout became apparent, the bus goes all the way down, then all the way back up the lot on the other side. I should have walked over to area P and gotten the other bus instead. As we passed H, I, J, and K, I had time to reflect on a better strategy – lots of time.
Don’t make my mistake, stops A,B and C are best for disembarking. When going to the airport head over to P, Q, and R the last stops before returning to the airport.
The long term parking at San Jose (SJC) airport is just past the runways (but a long-ish shuttle bus ride). The parking rates (as of February 2011) are $1 per hour up to a maximum of $15 per day.
Oddly, all the parking at SJC is more expensive than its big brother SFO. I guess when you keep scaring airlines away with high landing fees – you need to bleed the passengers dry to make up for it. The entrance to the lot is located on Martin Ave.
Do yourself a favor park anywhere on the left as you drive in. But then if you see a bus coming to A,B,C don’t rush to get on, like I did, instead walk the extra 50 feet to the end of the alphabet for a quicker transit to the airport. On the way back, simply get off at one of the first stops.
Other options include a number of off site long term parking lots. I’ve found most of them to run fairly frequently, but not as often as the main long term parking lot. Recommended lots (that I have no affiliation with) include:
Dela Cruz Parking
$10 per day ($9 with coupon on their website)
EZ Park and Fly
$8.95 per day (outdoor) 15% coupon on their website
Some hotels also offer stay/park packages such as the Clarion Park and Fly package.