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Free Parking is One Way This Tiny Airport is Trying to Grow Up

February 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

We've talked about a few small airports in the past couple weeks and the ridiculously cheap ticket prices they offer, such as our cheap flight out of Trenton as a New York alternative. But budget airlines and their low prices aren't the only way these small airports are tempting travelers away from the big hubs. When we flew Frontier from Denver to ILG in Wilmington, Delaware (Philly alternative), we noticed that the airport claimed to have free parking. This couldn't be, right?

Well, not only is it true, but it's even better than we thought. At ILG, parking in all three lots, short-term or long-term, is free and general. Those of you who have racked up large parking bills on week-long trips, or taken significantly longer public transit routes to avoid them, will no doubt understand how incredible of a perk it is to park for free.

In the case of ILG, the airport said it will continue to offer free parking until it is forced by growth and demand to build a new parking garage. We think this is a great way to build up an airport, a huge step in drawing in more customers that will ultimately result in more flight paths.

Obviously, the limited flight options offered from small airports is still a hurdle, but for the record, ILG doesn't fly meaningless routes. Via Frontier, it offers nonstop service to Atlanta, Chicago-Midway, Denver, Detroit, Fort Myers, Orlando, and Tampa. And as we touched on when chatting about Saba's runway yesterday, flying out of small airports is like returning to the glory days of travel, when security lines, wait times, and arriving two hours before a flight were non-issues.

As the big, international hubs slowly turn into shopping malls and the patience of travelers wears thin, the time for small airports to strike is now. Savvy travelers who catch them while they're on their way up will reap the rewards.

[Photo: ILG]

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