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In every airport in the United States, I have noticed the existence of a parking lot, often among the furthest ones from the terminal, called a cell phone lot.

What is the purpose of such parking lots in relation to the use of a cell phone?

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The idea is that when you go to pick someone up from Arrivals, instead of circling around until they show up, you go and park in the cell-phone lot until the person calls you and summons you.

Ideally, the lot is located so the time to drive from there to the terminal is roughly the same as the time to deplane and walk to the curb.

It differs from a regular parking lot in that usually

  1. It's free of charge or significantly cheaper than other parking options
  2. You must stay with your vehicle
  3. There is no way to get from the lot to the terminal (or really, anywhere else) on foot and there is no bus or shuttle.
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    If you don't get stuck in baggage claim, that is... – Michael Hampton Oct 17 '16 at 21:05
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    Yeah, if I am picking you up, and you're foolish enough to check a bag, don't call me until your bag comes out of the chute. It's probably on its way to Tacoma anyway. – Malvolio Oct 17 '16 at 21:59
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    Wish we had these in the UK, since they banned kerbside waiting at arrivals you can either pay £3.50 (or some other extortionate amount) to park in the "meet and greet" for 20 minutes, or wait somewhere outside the airport then use the drop off area to pick them up. – Crazymoomin Oct 18 '16 at 8:47
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    @Crazymoomin Gatwick has a 2 hour free parking in their long stay car parks, where you can either park in a "pick up and drop off" bay and stay with the car, leaving to drive to the terminal when called or when the passenger comes to you, or you park in a normal bay and catch the shuttle to the terminal. Either way, its free - just stick the parking ticket in the machine and theres no charge for a stay less than two hours. – Moo Oct 18 '16 at 13:25
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    In Berlin Tegel the first 15 minutes are only 3 Euros IIRC. :-/ – simbabque Oct 18 '16 at 13:56

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