By Christine Lavelle
EDINBURGH Airport has been accused of “ripping off” its passengers, after one man was charged £26 to park his car for 27 minutes.
John Hamilton, from Kelty in Fife, said the airport is confusing customers with a confusing new parking system.
The airport brought in a new elite service in July this year, which uses the ground floor of the multi-storey car park being used for short-term stays.
This ‘Fast Track’ area costs £26 a day for customers to have the priviledge of parking a one minute walk away from the main terminal building.
But, Mr Hamilton says the new system is misleading and with the signs being so unclear at the airport, it is had led to more people paying huge sums to park their cars.
On September 8 he arrived at the airport to pick up his son who was returning from Equatorial Guinea, and tried to park in the muli-storey car park, but said the usual road was blocked off so he took the Fast Track lane in.
He said: “Thinking it was short-term parking, I assumed that this was the daily rate and that I’d be charged a part of the £26 based on my stay.
“But when I collected my son and put the ticket in the machine to pay just 27 minutes later it asked for the full £26.
“I think the sign’s misleading for people who are used to this area being for short-term car parking.”
Mr Hamilton went on to complain to a member of start at the car park which is run by Empark – which has a contract to operate the 7,000 spaces at the airport – but was told he had to pay the fee.
He also complained through the Edinburgh Airport website but received no response.
He said: “I wasn’t the only one caught out – the people behind me at the pay machine couldn’t believe the charge either.
“I thought there had to be something wrong.
“We went en masse to complain, but were told the charge was correct and we had to pay.
“Hundreds of people have been caught out by this.
“It’s a complete rip off.”
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport admitted the new parking area had confused drivers.
He said: “Fast Track is designed for business travelers but due to construction works around our multi-storey, a small number of passengers have ended up there by mistake.
“It is our policy to reimburse passengers such as Mr Hamilton when they bring the matter to our attention.
“We’re concerned this was not done in this case and we will be contacting him to offer our apologies and a full reimbursement.
“There’s now a two-hour tariff for drivers.
“We have also instructed our colleagues to ensure that those who have made a genuine mistake don’t pay.”