EDINBURGH Airport have been branded “bandits” after putting up their pick-up zone charge to £5 – thought to be the highest such fee in the UK.
Last night (tue) the airport hiked their fee from £4 up to £5 for drivers picking up passengers from the dedicated area.
Passengers are already fuming after the airport doubled their drop off fee from £1 to £2 shortly before Christmas last year.
Now hundreds of furious travellers have said “enough is enough” and signed a petition calling for the government and local council to step in.
The petitioners are asking the authorities to “hold these bandits to account”.
A Change.org petition named “Edinburgh Airport – Stop the rip off” attracted over 1,000 signatures overnight.
Robert Finlayson, who created the petition, wrote: “Enough’s enough,
“Edinburgh airport is milking the captive market of those picking up and dropping off at their Airport.
“With the latest round of price increases a 30 second pickup at Edinburgh airport now adds £5 to the cost of a trip.
“Whilst they take great pains to point out that there are free alternatives available they are neither nearby or practical for most passengers. ”
He added: “It’s a flagrant abuse of power and nothing more than treating the general public as a cash cow to line a private company’s bottom line.
“We ask that the pickup/drop off zone Operators NPC and Edinburgh Airport who hold overall control to stop ripping people off with ridiculous charges and we call on Edinburgh city council and the Scottish Government to step in and hold these bandits to account.”
The new £5 charge in the dedicated pickup zone applies for the first 15 minutes after which it increases to £9.
Lisa Manca from Musselburgh, East Lothian said: “It’s basically extortion, the signs for drop off prices are too small to be legible to moving vehicles, by the time you can clearly see it it’s too late to turn back.
“And £5 to pick up is a disgrace especially with no extension to the allowed time.”
Richard Dourley from Broxburn, West Lothian wrote: “Total profiteering at the cost of the public.
Tim Keppie from Edinburgh wrote: “It is a nightmare and stressful especially when the flight is delayed and you are picking up someone.Making money out of flight delays is unfair.”
And Scott Paterson from Armadale, West Lothian said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous, a total rip off just to line the airport’s pockets, as if they don’t get enough out of us.”
Drop off fees cost £2 for up to five minutes and go up to £15 for an hour.
Glasgow Airport charge £2 for both the drop-off and pick up facility as long as drivers are out in under ten minutes.
Gatwick Airport say drivers can pick-up passengers from their free drop-off point or pay £4 for 30 minutes in the short stay car park directly across from arrivals.
The closest pick up zone at Luton Airport costs a minimum of £4.
Last week it was revealed Edinburgh Airport had been handing out £100 fines to drivers who had been picking up friends and relatives in the drop-off zone.
Cameras which were introduced as a way to reduce the amount of private hire drivers and taxi drivers touting fares at the airport have been in place since June.
But several people have been caught out due to widespread confusion over whether there even was a separate pick-up and drop off points.
Sabine Frew, 57, told a local newspaper: “I was unaware of it but [the parking company] said there was signage.
“We have since been online and we have a picture of a sign which shows it but there is so much writing on it there is no way you can be expected to read it all.”
A spokesman for Edinburgh Airport said: “Problems with congestion in and around the airport are well known and we have to proactively combat that and persuade people to leave the car at home and use public transport where possible.
“Planned investment in a new access road will also go towards alleviating that problem further and we hope to have planning permission early next year.
“We appreciate that not everyone will be able to use alternative methods of transport which is why we have trebled the free time available in our Long Stay Car Park and continue to provide a free drop off zone for those who still need to bring their car to the airport.”