New York Kennedy Airport’s AirTrain. Photo:
Gone were those days when people looking for parking coupons have to scour countless glossies and broadsheets to get the prized (but often pitifully small) discount coupon. These days, passengers trying to find the best bargains and reduced rates for parking at JFK Airport just have to go online for a few minutes, choose from the impressive line-up of parking alternatives, pay for and guarantee their parking long before their scheduled flight.With the internet, people now have the ability to pinpoint the ideal parking at JFK Airport and to reserve that choice easily, with nothing more than a few mouseclicks – no calls or trips needed. Nothing can be better than this, right? Wrong. The Smart JFK Parking app just upped (no pun intended) the ante and made placing parking reservations easier and more convenient than ever before. Launched by SmartPark JFK, a top-notch parking provider at JFK airport, the ‘Smart’ app enables users to simply go to the SmartPark mobile site and reserve JFK Airport parking even without access to a PC or laptop through their cell phones only. Announced last fall, the Smart mobile app promises to be a next-level customer service application targeted at the typically rushed New Yorkers. “Today, more than ever, choices are plentiful but great service is not,” quips Adam Smith, Operations Director at SmartPark JFK. The Smart Park JFK mobile app “exemplifies SmartPark JFK’s broader commitment to the consumer, always thinking of ways to improve the customer’s experience.” The main advantage of this app, naturally, is the PC-less easy reservation function. It also features online hosting which means that, unlike other travel apps, there’s no need to buy the app or to download any client to your mobile phone. Since it is hosted on SmartPark JFK’s servers, it won’t be eating up a lot of your phone’s battery time. The Smart app is quite well-received among the most tech-savvy 25-42 age bracket and also gaining some users among the over 50 age brackets. SmartPark JFK estimates that approximately 10% of all JFK long-term parking reservations are done via the Smart app. The obvious disadvantage to this app that immediately comes to mind is that it restricts the choices of the traveler. All mobile reservations are limited to SmartPark JFK’s in-house parking services exclusively. This isn’t exactly an onerous arrangement – users with very limited time can conveniently reserve their parking space in just a few minutes from anywhere basically as long as they have their mobile phones with them. In comparison, it would require about 10 minutes minimum to compare the various alternatives, if they’re able to see the rates of the other facilities providing parking at JFK Airport. The SmartPark JFK facility in Queens has just recently opened for business and offers some of the most budget-friendly rates in the industry. However, if you have the inclination, try to see the services and rates that the competing parking sites and hotels near the airport are offering. Whether you’re using the Smart app or your old laptop for searching, the goal is to find the cheapest airport parking or the best bargains out there – there’s plenty of these, as you probably know – and place your reservation in advance. See what other customers are saying about the facility you’re planning to use. Apps and laptops are excellent tools when you’re on the lookout for the ideal parking at JFK Airport but in the end, it’s the experiences (in regard to these facilities) of travelers like you that may be the best gauge.