How to Deal With Travel Delays and Extended Airport Parking


Travel delays are the last thing anyone wants to deal with. Whether it's a cancelled flight or a missed connection, these disruptions can throw our travel plans off course. Plus, when your departure gets pushed back, it’s not just your schedule that gets thrown off—your airport parking needs a rethink too.

However, delays and disruptions are just as much a part of travelling as airport security checks. So, rather than letting them catch us off-guard, it’s wiser to expect them as part of the journey.

In this blog, we’ll show you how to avoid the headache that comes with unexpected delays, especially when they affect your parking situation. We’ll look into your airport parking options and how to avoid extended parking charges. Plus, we'll touch on why booking your parking online can be a game-changer when dealing with these frustrating delays.

Ready to find out how to make the best out of a bad situation? Let’s get right into it.

Preparing for Travel Delays

Nobody likes surprises, especially the kind that throws your travel plans into chaos. That’s why anticipating delays is a smart move, especially with airport parking. Here's how you can stay one step ahead:

  • Check the weather: Keep an eye on the forecast for any extreme conditions that might affect your travel.
  • Stay updated: Use your airline’s and airport’s real-time updates to stay informed.
  • Sign up for alerts: Get flight status notifications directly to your phone through airline services.
  • Book parking online: Our online booking platform at Melbourne Airport allows you to compare parking rates and options and offers better rates than drive-up rates. Plus, we allow up to a 2-hour grace period for bookings of more than 4 hours and 15 minutes for shorter bookings.

Allow extra time: Even if we have grace periods, consider booking a few hours more than you think you'll need (we generally recommend at least 2 hours). This buffer can save you from extended parking charges or the stress of rushing to leave the parking area as soon as possible if the delay extends.

Handling Airport Pickup Delays

The hassles of flight delays do not only apply to travellers. It can also be very frustrating if you’re waiting for them at the airport. So, if you’re planning to pick someone up, here's how you can handle airport pick-up delays without breaking a sweat or the bank:

  • Consider short-term parking: While we at Melbourne Airport allow up to 15 minutes of free parking in our Terminal Car Parks for quick pick-ups and drop-offs, this might not be enough if there are flight delays. If the delay is lengthy, it might be worth parking in a short-term car park. We’ve got plenty of short-term parking options that can be more cost-effective than circling the airport or waiting in no-parking zones.
  • Track the flight: Stay updated on the flight’s status. Use apps or websites that provide real-time information to avoid arriving too early.
  • Communicate: Keep in touch with the person you’re picking up. Have them update you once they land and again when they're collecting their luggage.
  • Stay flexible: Sometimes, just being ready to adapt plans can make pick-ups smoother. Have a backup plan for where to meet inside the airport if the delay extends.

Your Airport Parking Options at Tullamarine

Whether you’re picking someone up or jetting off on a month-long holiday yourself, planning for flight delays involves choosing an airport car parking option that meets your changing needs. Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty of short-term and long-term airport parking options at Tullamarine. Choose from:

  • Value Car Park: This is a budget-friendly, open-air parking option perfect for both short and long stays. A free shuttle bus service runs every 15 minutes, ensuring you're only minutes away from the airport terminal building.
  • Terminal Parking: Need quick access? This parking sits right outside Terminal 1, 2, and 3. It's also a mere 100m walk from Terminal 4. Perfect for speedy drop-offs or pick-ups, with the first 15 minutes free.
  • Valet Parking: Fancy a bit more luxury? Our Valet Parking Service is perfect for unexpected flight delays. All you need to do is drive up, hand over your keys, and our team will park your car and retrieve it upon your return. It takes one less worry off your mind, especially when you just want to go home after a long delay.
  • Premium Parking: Located closest to the terminals, our Premium Car Parks place you just a few minutes’ walk to the check-in counters, whether you’re flying out of the domestic or international terminals. Plus, these parking spaces are all undercover, keeping your car from the elements no matter how delayed your flight is.
  • Business Parking: If you’re flying Qantas and in a time crunch, this option is perfect. It’s directly opposite Terminal 1 and just a short walk away, offering shade-covered parking spaces for added convenience.
  • Qantas Valet Parking: Located within the Qantas domestic terminal on the arrivals level, this service is the epitome of convenience for Qantas passengers. Drive to the Qantas Valet Parking area, hand over your keys, and head straight to your dedicated check-in counter. You can even opt for car cleaning and earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points just for parking.

With QR codes, CCTV cameras, and regular patrols, our parking facilities are designed to be as safe as possible. So, even if your return flight is delayed, you can rest assured that your car is well-monitored.

Extended Parking at Melbourne Airport

Anticipating a long delay? Here’s what you need to know about extended parking at Melbourne Airport:

How to Extend Your Booking

The best part about parking on-site at Melbourne Airport is the flexibility. If you book online, you can amend your booking for up to two hours before your arrival. That means extending your parking is only a few clicks away—and with no cancellation or amendment fees!

Simply go to the Melbourne Airport’s parking page and click on “Manage My Booking” then enter your new entry and exit date and time. Any difference in parking rates will be charged accordingly. You can pay via debit/credit cards or Google Pay.

If you need to amend your booking within two hours of your booked arrival time, just call our customer service team, and they’ll help you make the arrangements.

How Long Can You Park at Tullamarine?

There's no maximum duration for parking at Melbourne Airport. You can park your car for as long as you need. Our parking facilities and rates are designed for short-term and long-term parking. However, you can only book up to 45 days online. If you need to park longer, just give us a heads up.

How to Avoid Extended Parking Charges

Unexpected changes in travel plans can be a hassle, especially when they lead to unexpected costs like extended parking fees. Melbourne Airport has a solution: the Overstay Guarantee. It’s designed to help travellers avoid extra parking charges when their travel plans don’t go as scheduled.

What is the Overstay Guarantee?

When you book your parking online, you have the option to add the Overstay Guarantee. For a minimal upfront fee, you can receive a refund on extended parking charges should your return flight be delayed for reasons beyond your control.

What Circumstances Are Covered?

The guarantee applies to specific unforeseen events, like:

  • Flight Cancellations and Border Closures:
    • If a government mandate closes borders and you can’t return as planned.
    • If your airline cancels your flight and doesn’t offer a suitable alternative that matches your original schedule.
  • Health Issues:
    • If illness or a physical incapacity prevents you from flying as scheduled.

To request a refund, simply go to our refunds page and fill in your details. You may also need to provide your parking receipt and any supporting evidence of your claim. If everything is in order, you can expect your refund after 8 to 9 days.

Plan Smarter, Travel Easier

Dealing with travel delays can be a headache, but they don’t have to throw your entire schedule off track. With smart planning, you can navigate these challenges much more easily.

To add even more flexibility to your travel plans, book your Melbourne Airport parking online. With up to 2 hours of grace period, amendment and cancellation options, and an Overstay Guarantee, you can adjust your travel plans on the go.

So, next time you're prepping for a trip out of Melbourne, remember to book airport parking ahead of time. It's one less thing to worry about when travel hiccups hit.