BWI airport holiday changes: Free parking, Lyft, Uber restrictions

WASHINGTON — BWI Marshall Airport is making some changes to ease congestion outside the terminal during the busy holiday season that will be convenient for some and inconvenient for others.

From Nov. 15 through Jan. 15, the first hour of parking in the hourly garage, adjacent to the terminal, will be free. BWI Marshall is also adding about 50 additional spaces to its cellphone lot, away from the terminal, where drivers wait until contacted by friends, family or others they’re picking up from the airport.

But during the same period, hotel shuttles, off-airport parking shuttles and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft will be required to use only the upper-level roadway for both dropping off and picking up passengers.

That means arriving passengers with checked bags will need to retrieve them from the lower arrival level and then go to the upper departure level with their bags for a shuttle, Lyft or Uber.

The restriction does not affect taxis, which will still be allowed to drop off on the upper departures level and pick up on the lower arrivals level.

“With our record growth in recent years, we have experienced traffic congestion along the terminal roadway during peak periods,” said BWI Marshall spokesman Jonathan Dean.

“We believe that one-hour free parking in the hourly garage and the upper level pickups will help relieve some of that vehicle congestion.”

Both escalators and elevators are available from the lower level to the upper level. The pickup zone will be in the center area of the upper-level roadway.

There will also be signs and airport personnel to provide information to passengers, Dean said.