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Airport Charging Etiquette

Ok to plug in and fly off?

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Aug 25, 2016
What is the consensus on charging while at the airport? I use the reserved parking at our local airport. I see cars parked in the dedicated charging spots, charging, when I depart and when I come back days or weeks later some of the same cars are there. I’ve avoided plugging in even when I have desperately needed it because I would be occupying a space well beyond the time needed for charging. Everyone who parks at the airport will obviously be gone for some fair bit of time and leave the vehicle unattended. What is the consensus on approach?


Sep 29, 2017
Rochester, NY
The airport charger I plug into is located in LONG term parking. Long term is identified as anything longer than 24hrs.
In addition, there is now one charger for 4 parking spots. The thought is that the charger will be shared and that new arriving EVs will unplug cars that have finished charging and help themselves to an idle charger.


Oct 7, 2017
Airports should really operate a ‘charging service’ is where they have your keys and top you up periodically then fill you up for the drive home.

I know there are some already....


Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
Seattle area, WA
SeaTac has a row of charging spots with 120V wall plugs, where EV's plug in for days at a time. I've never used it, as I can easily make the round trip (under 100miles, plug few miles per day loss) but drive by to see it a couple of times and they are usually full (I saw a spot open once or twice) so can't really count on it anyways.
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Well-Known Member
Sep 30, 2015
Seattle area, WA
Airports should really operate a ‘charging service’ is where they have your keys and top you up periodically then fill you up for the drive home.

I know there are some already....
I strongly suspect it would be cheaper to simply provide a large chunk of spaces with 120V outlet meant for long term charging. One time cost to wire them up and done. 100 spots with 1.5KW charging is 150KW total, not huge for an airport and I bet they would rarely peak too, with cars parked there for days probably not even half would be charging at any time. They could even charge extra for parking to cover the costs.

SeaTac row of such wired spots is always full because:
a) there aren't that many spots
b) they are too close to the terminal (easier to wire power?), essentially premium parking and I suspect some people use it as such. Found this photo on plug-share. I wonder how many of these really couldn't make a round trip to the airport.

A large swath of such parking spots in the farther corner of the covered parking which usually has open spots anyways would probably be the best solution.
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Well-Known Member
Mar 14, 2013
Airport is the one place where I think we need tons of cheap L1 charging. My small regional airport has 8 120v/16A J1772 spaces in long term parking and I think it’s a perfect setup. Only thing better would be another dozen or so.

Lots of 'em, and at the far end of the parking area.
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Aug 25, 2016
Yes yes yes, I agree on the infrastructure. And the charging is located in long term parking and there are 4 spots and 4 chargers. So I assume the point is thy]at it is acceptable under the current circumstances to plug in and fly off?


Aug 24, 2012
Boston North Shore
Unfortunately, I'm afraid that many airports consider EV charging more of an image positioning effort than an actual service to their users. Given that, a few chargers in highly visible spots is much more optimal.


Mar 15, 2017
Airport chargers in long term parking are intended for leaving your car there for an extended period of time. Do not feel bad about using an availible one if you need it!

Here’s my longest so far...
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May 2, 2018
Sumter SC USA
Cruise ship ports should also have the same.... rows of 110v outlets. There’s no super charger in Charleston SC yet, so arriving there you’ll be quite low on charge and then the car will sit for a week while you are enjoying the Big Ship.


Well-Known Member
Apr 13, 2018
Buford, GA
What is the consensus on approach?

I think that it depends on the airport and type of charging. In ATL I park at Peachy Parking and they have specific EV Charging slots and specifically advertise the service. There are a few other off-airport facilities that have charging, but some of them will cycle cars off the chargers as needed.
I would never expect to stay plugged in for a week at airport short term parking. At long term airport charging, I would tend to stay in, because why else is it there?

The one thing that I tend to hate is the hybrids that plug in at long term parking. Up until recently I drive a 2015 Leaf, I HAD to charge at the airport, at 55 miles one-way, I couldn't get back home otherwise. With my 2018 Leaf, I can do it, but I don't have much spare charge left. With the Model 3, my biggest need is for long term to keep the phantom discharges from killing me. (The Leaf doesn't have this).


Active Member
Mar 21, 2017
Rhode Island
at MSY I've never seen the charging spots full, so I assume they're not used that much. never take longer than 4-5 day trips though so I usually plug in and charge to 70%, then on my flight home I set to 100% for range charge.

I remember ATL airport had dozens and dozens of chargers in empty rows at the long term parking, and their chargers are purposely slow (I think I was getting like 8mi/hr (3kw) charge rate) probably due to long-term parking usage.
IMG_1476.JPG IMG_1477.JPG
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