Baltimore-Washington Airport parking
With around 20,000 on-site airport parking spaces across a variety of lots, Baltimore-Washington Airport parking is as well-invested as the concessions program inside the terminal.
Dropping off and picking up
A garage intended for dropping off and picking up is immediately next to the terminal and charged on an hourly basis, with a daily fee limit reasonable enough to make it an attractive option for short business trips or weekend breaks. There's also a free cell phone lot that is ideal for picking people up from the arrivals terminal.
Park and Ride
A daily garage a few minutes further away from the drop-off point is well-serviced by complimentary shuttle buses. It also offers an hourly fee with a reasonable daily limit, so it is ideal for trips of a few days or more in length.
Both hourly and daily garages feature electric vehicle charging stations and a useful Smart Park system where displays tell you how many spaces are available and where, so you can get parked quickly.
Beyond the daily garage are the express and economy parking lots, both of which have typically low daily rates and free shuttle bus services.
All these on-site parking options are provided directly by BWI Airport and include complimentary services such as jumper cables, tire changes and accessing locked cars for all customers.
Valet and Meet and Greet
A number of lots in the area provide valet, Meet and Greet and park and ride services to passengers, which are connected to the airport terminal via a shuttle bus. You can compare many of the services with us here at Looking4Parking.com.
These lots offer you the convenience of handing your keys over to an attendant to park for you and having your car washed and cleaned whilst you’re away, so your trip is straightforward from the start.
Guide to Baltimore-Washington Airport
- +1 410-859-7111
- Car, bus, train, taxi, rental
- Free access for 45 minutes with high-speed premium option
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), typically known as simply BWI, BWI Marshall or Baltimore-Washington, is the largest of the area's airports (the others being Ronald Reagan and Washington Dulles), handling almost 25 million passengers a year.
A focus city and hub for Southwest Airlines, BWI also hosts American, British Airways, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit and United, with the most popular destinations being domestic destinations in the south such as Atlanta, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando, whilst international routes are limited to Europe, North America and the Caribbean.
The airport has won a number of awards, ranking as the best airport of its size in the world in the Airports Council International Airport Service Quality Survey, the second-best US airport for food and beverages and the second-healthiest airport in the country.
With rapidly increasing customer demand, Baltimore-Washington is currently undergoing a major improvements program, opening new concourse checkpoints, a new air traffic control tower and modernizing and expanding the terminals by 70,000 square feet (6,500 square meters), aimed at establishing new services to Asia and Europe.
Location of Baltimore-Washington Airport
Situated about 10 miles (15 kilometers) from the center of Baltimore and 30 miles (50 kilometers) from Downtown Washington DC, BWI is well-connected by road via the I-95 to most East Coast cities like Philadelphia, New York and Richmond. An MTA light rail service runs direct to Concourse E from Baltimore and MARC and Amtrak trains run to the nearby BWI Marshall station, which has shuttle bus connections to the airport. Numerous bus services drop off at the airport terminals from across the region provided by RTA, ICC Bus, MTA and WMATA.
History of Baltimore-Washington Airport
The first manned flight in the US occurred over Baltimore in 1784 and the city gained an airport in 1906, but it wasn't until the 1940s that a modern commercial airport was planned; namely, the Friendship National Airport, which eventually opened in 1950. Immediately ready for Jet-Age travel, it quickly built a range of transcontinental routes with major carriers and underwent constant development and expansion into and throughout the 1970s - the airport doubled in size over the course of that decade.
Continually investing in the terminal building, concourses, runways and airport parking, BWI was carrying 20 million people a year by 2000, 70% of which came from the Southwest Airlines hub established there in the early 1990s. It finally gained its full title in 2005, adding Thurgood Marshall's name in honor of the Supreme Court Justice and civil rights activist who hailed from Baltimore.
With almost constant investment into developing Baltimore-Washington International since the 1970s, the concessions program at the airport is a stand-out offering today. It has won a multitude of awards recognizing the quality of passenger experience, the range of facilities and services and the availability of some of the healthiest airport food in the USA.
The airport also has an ambassadors program; you can find information desks and “Pathfinders” to help you find your way around the buildings, as well as free interpreting and translation services if your English isn't strong. If you need to make any inquiries in advance of your journey, you can contact customer services on +1 410-859-7111.
- Short-term parking
- Long-term parking
- Covered parking garages
- Economy parking lot
- Cell phone lot
- Hotel shuttles
- Duty free
- Designer fashion and apparel
- Entertainment and tech
- Books and newsstands
- Gifts and souvenirs
- Coffee shops
- Wine bars
- Juice bars
- Fast food
- Snacks, delis and sandwiches
- Food markets
- American, Italian and European cuisine
- USO and Airline lounges
- Gym, spa and meditation room
- Hiking and biking trail
- Information desks
- Currency exchange and ATMs
- Disabled access and services
- Nursing stations
- Pet relief areas
Baltimore-Washington Airport hotel and parking
A number of hotels within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius of BWI offer further parking options that can often work out well for both convenience and cost. Hotel and parking packages vary greatly, but generally revolve around the idea of up to two weeks of free parking, so long as you spend at least one night at the hotel.
For anyone traveling long distance to get an early morning flight or returning late in need of a break before the drive home, a hotel right next to the airport with a courtesy shuttle bus service is a cost-effective and safe idea.
Accommodations vary from local independent motels and hotels to the mid-range chain hotel brands that you often find close to airports, such as Comfort Inn, Best Western and Ramada, through to some higher-end offerings, such as Sheraton and Westin.
Drop-off and pick-up points for hotel shuttle bus services can be found at several points on the main road running between the main terminal building and the hourly parking garage at the airport itself, so you won't have far to carry your luggage either.
Top things to do in Baltimore-Washington Airport
BWI has won a number of awards for its range of healthy eating options and it also encourages exercise as a great way to relax and unwind before or after a flight. The BWI Airport Cardio Trail is a 0.6-mile (1-kilometer) series of signposted walks around the various airport concourses, whilst the BWI Hiker-Biker Trail runs around the perimeter of the airport and offers a bicycle hire service. You can also find a ROAM Fitness gym complete with changing rooms and showers post-security in Concourse D/E, if you feel like a workout during a long connection or flight delay.
BWI Observation Gallery
On the upper level of the terminal building between Concourses B and C is the BWI Observation Gallery, which offers a range of aviation exhibits, a youth art gallery, children's play area, charging stations and a cocktail lounge and bistro. It also features a tribute exhibition to Supreme Court Justice and civil rights activist, Thurgood Marshall, who was from Baltimore. It’s a quiet and comfortable place to spend your time on the landside area of the airport and, what’s more, it’s a great place to keep the kids entertained. The observation area is also reported by many passengers to be a good place to sleep overnight if you're affected by flight delays.
Enjoy outstanding airport food
A regular winner of awards for the quality and diversity of its concessions, BWI Marshall airport contains some highly-rated restaurants and a lot of healthy food options. Obrycki’s Restaurant and Bar is a local brand with exceptional crab dishes loved by food critics and travelers alike, whilst Gachi Sushi Bar is a favorite amongst airline staff – some have claimed it boasts the best sushi in Baltimore. If you’re looking for some classic comfort food from a diverse, vegan-friendly menu, the Silver Diner is the way forward (particularly if you have kids). If you’re after a mix of unusual flavors and healthy options, The Burger Joint is another favorite amongst visitors to BWI.
Relax at the spa
There are three Be Relax spas based at Baltimore-Washington on Concourses A, C and D, offering a range of treatments that can take anything from 10 minutes to an hour. There are table and chair massages of your back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, face, head and feet, as well as oxygen and aromatherapy and a full range of beauty treatments like manicures, pedicures and facials. Once your body is fully relaxed, you can also head over to the meditation room to clear your mind in the most peaceful space in the whole airport.
Browse the shops
BWI has won awards for its concessions program, including the range of retail shopping available that is continually developed and improved. The best of the shopping is found with the best of the food and drink options on concourses A and B. There's jewelry from Pandora, Swarovski and Fire and Ice, apparel from Johnston and Murphy, Brooks Brothers and Victoria's Secret, as well as holiday essentials like books, sunglasses, duty free and flight entertainment. Some of the more unique stores and products include the hot sauces from Pepper Palace, olive oil from the Maggio Company and Maryland-made sweet treats from Charm City Candy.
Top things to do near Baltimore-Washington Airport
Oriole Park at Camden Yards
A retro-styled yet modern Major League Baseball (MLB) ballpark and home to the Baltimore Orioles, Camden Yards is popular with baseball fans from all over the world for its friendly atmosphere, architecture and superb views (many people insist that there simply are no bad seats anywhere in the stadium). Based close to the city center of Baltimore less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Baltimore-Washington Airport, baseball at Camden Yards is more than watching sport; it's a complete experience for the whole family and Baltimore is one of the best places in the country to experience it. You can reach it within 30 minutes via the various ground transport options available in Baltimore.
Sat nav instructions: 333 W Camden St, Baltimore, 21201
Fort McHenry National Monument
Fort McHenry holds a special place in American history for defending Baltimore Harbor from an attack by the British Navy in 1814. The sight of the garrison flag flying over the fort to signify victory inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that would eventually become Star Spangled Banner, the US national anthem. Set in beautiful parkland overlooking the harbor, the fort includes a highly-praised visitor center that tells the story of the fort and its famous battle and is a great place to soak in some history. Based just beyond the city center traveling from BWI Marshall International, the fort can be reached by car, by bus or by water taxi in as little as 20 minutes.
Sat nav instructions: 2400 E Fort Ave, Baltimore, 21230
The Walters Art Museum
Featuring works from ancient Greece, Italy and Egypt, as well as medieval manuscripts and ivories, The Walters offers free entry to take in the permanent collections and occasional special exhibitions in its museum. You can experience bronzes from the Renaissance alongside paintings by European masters, so it’s one for all tastes. Traveling by car from Thurgood Marshall Airport, the Museum is just beyond the city center and can be reached in 20-30 minutes (the same applies to the public transport options as well).
Sat nav instructions: 600 N Charles St, Baltimore, 21201
An ideal option to check out if you only have a short layover or delay, Fell's Point is a waterfront neighborhood packed with coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores, music shops, pubs and a market - all of which are loved by tourists from around the world. Beautiful architecture, great places to eat, friendly people and a vibrant nightlife can all be found right next door to the historic Inner Harbor. It’s another attraction close to the city center that only takes around 30 minutes to reach from Baltimore-Washington International.
Sat nav instructions: Fell's Point, Baltimore, 21231
National Aquarium Baltimore
A vast aquarium complex in the Inner Harbor neighborhood with over 750 species to see across a range of huge exhibits, the National Aquarium has won a host of awards as one of the country's best aquariums and best places to take the family for a day out. The exhibits replicate habitats such as the open ocean, coral reefs, the Baltimore marine ecosystem, sea cliffs and forest rivers to house everything from sea turtles to reef sharks to puffins. The museum also operates a marine animal rescue program to further research into environmental issues affecting the marine ecosystem and has won several awards for green business practices and sustainability. Located just outside the center of Baltimore, the aquarium is around a 30-minute drive from BWI Airport.
Sat nav instructions: 501 E Pratt St, Baltimore, 21202
Getting the right terminal at Baltimore-Washington Marshall Airport is straightforward as there is only one, but it is divided into several concourses labeled A, B, C, D and E, with the various airlines found on the upper level of the terminal. Southwest is the dominant carrier at the airport and mostly utilizes Concourse A/B, but Concourse C does carry a certain number of its flights. Flights with Boutique Air are seasonal, so the concourse varies for arrivals and departures.
The airport has an ambassadors program and translation services to help you find your way around if you need assistance. You can request special assistance before you arrive if, for example, you need a wheelchair during your time there – visit the official website for contact details here.
|Air Canada Express ||D|
|Air Mobility Command||E|
|Alaska Airlines ||C|
|Allegiant Air ||D|
|American Airlines ||C|
|Boutique Air ||TBC|
|British Airways ||E|
|Delta Air Lines ||D|
|JetBlue Airways ||D|
|Norwegian Air Shuttle ||TBC|
|Southern Airways Express||D|
|Southwest Airlines||A / B / C|
|United Express ||D|
|Xtra Airways ||E|
How to get to Baltimore-Washington Airport
Found in the 21240 Zip Code area, Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International sits close to the I-95 that runs along the East Coast, with the I-195 running directly to the airport just south of Baltimore. This is the most straightforward route from cities along the coast, including New York and Philadelphia.
The best way to reach the airport from the West is via the I-70, which leads towards Pittsburgh and Columbus and connects to the I-95 and I-195 south west of Baltimore itself.
Besides taking your own car and utilizing the extensive airport parking options, there are also taxis, car rentals and a number of shuttle bus services traveling between both Baltimore and Washington DC.
There are numerous hotel shuttle buses as well as shared ride shuttles carrying passengers from Baltimore and DC to the airport. The buses are typically free, while prices vary for private hires, but they are usually more economical than taxis.
Public bus services can take you from Baltimore city and various locations in the immediate region to the airport. Moreover, a service operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) connects the airport with the Greenbelt Metro Station, where the rail network can take you almost anywhere in the DC area if you are traveling away from the airport.
Besides the WMATA service that takes passengers to the airport by bus, there is also a shorter shuttle service from the farther-reaching MARC/Amtrak train station, with rail links from Philadelphia, Washington DC, Wilmington and Alexandria.
MARC routes available from the same station spread throughout the local areas of Baltimore, Prince Georges County, Anne Arundel County, Harford County and Cecil County. You can find a live tracker on the website showing the location of all trains on the network to help you plan your journey.
Rail is usually- a great way to avoid traffic, but with various changes and shuttle bus elements built into some journeys to and from BWI, road can often be a quicker way to get around. Keep in mind your times of travel and potential traffic volume when planning and booking ongoing transportation at BWI.
Pick your travel times
Delays are relatively rare at BWI with things running smoothly most of the time, but early mornings are usually the busiest times, so it’s important to factor this into the time you choose to set off for your flight. If you haven’t booked your flight yet, you might find it easier to choose one that departs in the afternoon or evening to avoid queues.
Check your flight times
It's always worth checking your flight times before setting out in case there has been a delay. The BWI website has a live flight tracker so you can easily look up your flight and check departure times.
Travel light if you can
One of the few complaints from regular travelers through BWI concerns lengthy waits for baggage when coming into arrivals. If possible, travel with hand luggage only to avoid unnecessary waiting after your flight.
Avoid the worst security queues
You can't always work around the security lines, but Concourses A, B and C are all connected post-security airside, so if you're flying out of C and it has huge waiting lines, simply head through the checks at Concourse A or B instead to save yourself some time.
Staying the night at BWI
There are plenty of good hotel options nearby and many of them offer shuttle bus services to and from the terminal with a couple of pick-up points just outside, but many travelers report that BWI isn't a bad place for staying the night. There are plenty of comfortable couches and quiet areas to settle down, but keep in mind that airside closes overnight and there are fairly limited 24-hour eating options. The Observation Gallery is often recommended as a good place to sleep.
Picking up your rental car can take a while
Another complaint from frequent travelers is the shuttle bus service to the car rental area of the airport. Whilst renting a car doesn't take any longer than normal, the shuttle buses can be quite irregular and sometimes slow, so don’t count on a fast collection of your vehicle.
Baltimore-Washington Airport FAQs
Does BWI Airport have free WiFi?
Baltimore International has a basic WiFi service available across the entire terminal area, but you're required to watch a short ad each time you want a 45-minute slot of free access. A premium service is available for a small fee with a much higher bandwidth.
How far is Baltimore Airport from DC?
BWI is closest to Baltimore, but very close to Washington DC, too. Taking the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, which is the most direct route from BWI Airport into downtown DC, it is about a 30-mile (50-kilometer) journey that typically takes about 40-50 minutes. Alternative routes are available, such as the I-95 by car, bus or train, but even the quickest journey by public transport takes around 90 minutes, so driving yourself to and from Baltimore-Washington Airport and parking there is often one of the quickest and most convenient options.
What is BWI Airport?
BWI Airport is the same as Baltimore Washington International Airport; the “BWI” is a simple abbreviation of the name. Three-letter codes are assigned to every airport by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to simplify flight schedules, communications and air traffic control systems. Other coding systems are applied by ICAO and the FAA, but follow a similar naming system; KBWI and BWI respectively.
Does Uber pick up at BWI Airport?
There are no issues with using Uber to get to and from the airport; your driver can pick you up at the arrivals area of the terminal.
What time does BWI Airport open?
Baltimore-Washington is open 24-hours, but security and airside are closed overnight, so only the landside public areas can be accessed during the early hours. Visit the airport website for hours of operation of the ticket counters and Concourses at BWI.
Where is the BWI Marshall rail station?
A BWI railway station served by MARC and Amtrak is just outside the airport property to the west, with regular shuttle buses connecting to the terminals within a few minutes. The WMATA rail network is also connected via shuttle bus, but the nearest station is based just outside of Washington DC, so the shuttle service takes around 40 minutes to reach it.