Young woman has arrived in Italy and is walking with a luggage cart to the parking lot.

Valet Parking Etiquette: Dropping Off Your Car at the Airport

Before booking Valet Connections DTW parking, there are a few things you should know about how to properly drop off and pick up your car. This goes for all valet services no matter where you visit, whether the airport, a fancy restaurant or high-end hotel. First off, let’s define valet parking. This is a premium service whereby professionals known as valets park your vehicle when you arrive and bring it around when you leave.

It costs a bit more than parking your own car, but the benefits and conveniences far outweigh the extra cost. Not only do you avoid the hassle of hunting down a parking space on your own, it can save you time – a valuable commodity when traveling with a group of people.

Etiquette for Drop Offs

When dropping off your car for parking, you will drive up to the valet parking counter and hand over your keys to one of the valets. State your name and provide a reservation number if needed. The valet will confirm your reservation and you are free to go onto your destination. The valet will get in the car and drive it the designated spot in the garage or lot.

Don’t lose that claim ticket because you’ll need it when picking up your vehicle when you arrive back at the airport. Parking valets work very quickly and efficiently, and their counter areas are usually very busy with people coming and going. Do not slow things down by searching for your reservation number, your keys, ID or anything else that you should have at the ready.

When arriving at the drop-off zone, pay attention to other cars and the valets working in the area. At busy times of the day, you will see valets directing traffic, so be prepared to respond quickly to their signals. Drive slowly in the valet area and yield to other vehicles.

Before exiting your vehicle, take any and all valuable possessions (phone, wallet, purse, documents, plane tickets) with you. Stick around long enough to ensure your valet has been able to access your car, start it up and proceed to drive. Take this time to alert the valet of any key pieces of information, such as if your key fob is sensitive and needs to be pressed hard in order to work.

Follow this handy checklist when dropping off your vehicle at the airport:

  • Follow instructions: As you approach the vehicle drop-off zone, slow down your vehicle and follow the valet’s directions. Be ready to exit the vehicle with all your belongings so the people behind you don’t have to wait.
  • Leave the car running: Keep the key in the ignition or leave it in the center console within easy reach if you have a fob. Restarting your car only slows down the whole process.
  • Let the valet open the door: At airports and high-end hotels, valets will want to open your door for you. Let them. If you have a female passenger with you, wait to get out of the car until the valet opens her door first.
  • Tell the valet about your car: If your car has a unique quirk, inform the valet at this point.  
  • Hold onto the claim ticket: Safely store the ticket in your purse or wallet while on vacation. If you lose it, this will slow the pickup process down.
  • Tip the valet: This is not mandatory but is seen as courteous gesture. Tip at drop off and at pick up. A typical tip is between $2 and $5.

Contact Valet Connections DTW Parking

Now that you know all about etiquette and the drop-off process, call Valet Connections DTW Parking to book your parking spot at (734) 992-4946 or download our convenient app.