Picking up son from Edinburgh Airport cost nearly £1 a minute


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.”


  1. I made a mistake also last Saturday 12th February 2011 by parking mistakingly in the fast track parking and was charged £26 pounds for 46 mins. Do you think it is possible to get my money back at the short stay rate?
    Thank you very much and look forward to hearing from you.

  2. I refer to the “Picking up Son” story and experienced the same situation when I travelled from Perth on a wet and dark night on Wednesday the 7th Nov 2011 arriving at a strange airport at 1810hrs unsure to where I was going due to poor signage and eventually parked.
    My passenger arrived at 1910hrs and we made our way to the car stopping at the payment point and discovered I had to pay £28 for 1hr and 10mins. parking.
    I mistakenly went into the wrong car park as it turned and as time was of the essence would try and make contact the next day to complain.
    On the internet I found an E-MAIL address and put my complaint in writing and called for a rebate.
    I am still waiting for a reply and therefore continued the exercise on the Friday the 9th.
    I called the 0870 number linked to car parking and was given another address to mail which did not reply and was when calling the 0870 8444 000 number again was given 0131 344 3134 which turned out to be the police.
    I tried the car parking number was given another number which also turned out to be the police.
    I gave up in frustration and after reading the Deadline stories have related my experience.
    I can not believe that customer services at Edinburgh airport received a award for their good service.
    I will be returning to the airport to drop off my passenger on Sunday the 11th.November 2011 and would like to contact someone who will deal with my complaint.

  3. i cannot see how the management can get away with the very poor signage i would say its designed to catch people out , i have had very bad experiances at edinburgh parking , in genral a rip off, i wonder if every one actually contacted the police to complain it might change, it would be so good if it was just a easy and simple time to park for a short while with out feeling you are being fleeced, what awonderfull thing that would be , i wonder what impression this all gives visitors to edinburgh ,


  4. Talking about the horrible terrorists these days. The above incident of seriously overcharging innocent customer is quite like terrorist’s…I am quite speechless is in fact understatement !!

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