WHEN pensioner Robert Fry went to Birmingham International Airport to cellect his wife and her disabled sister he got more than he bargained for in the shape of a £27 parking bill.
Mr Fry, of Widney Manor Road, Solihull, used the short stay Drop and Go car park as he was anticipating the flight from Dublin would have already landed and his visit would take just a few minutes.
He purposely parked as close as he could to the airport as his wife’s sister is disabled and struggles to walk more than 30 or 40 paces.
But when he got into the terminal he discovered the flight was delayed meaning he would have to wait longer than he expected.
The 76-year-old, who had not visited the airport form some time, knew he could not wait outside due to new securitty regulations, but thought that he was still okay to park in the Drop and Go car park as it was located where he ha d always parked.
But he was unaware that the car park penalises those who waiti longer than half an hopur.
The first 15 minutes cost £1 and it is £2 for 30 minutes but for every 15 minutes after that a charge of £5 is levies.
“I think it is scandalous,” said Mr Fry, a retired businessman.
“It is the first time I have gone since they altered the parking arrangements there and I shan’t ever drive there again.
“It would be cheaper to get a taxi.”
Mr Fry says he thought about trying to remonstrate with someone at the time but feared his bill would be even bigger if he waited around any longer.
Richard Gill, the airport’s head of market development - commercial, said: “The airport was forced to shut the set down roads at the front of its two terminals within minutes of the Glasgow Airport attack in June 2007, causing confusion for passengers and challenges for the Airport Company. These set down roads had previously been used by 1.9 million cars every year, and so an alternative facility was required to effectively cater for this demand.
“The investment we have made to the ‘Drop and Go’ facility and supporting infrastructure, totalling £2m, has helped access, safety and speed of dropping people at the airport and we urge drivers to only use the ‘Drop and Go’’ facility for dropping-off passengers only, and to use the short and medium stay car parks for picking people up, or for longer stays.
“Passengers can still take advantage of 15 minutes free parking available in the airport’s long stay car park 1, where an hour costs just £1, while vehicles can park in the short and medium stay facilities for 30 minutes, also at a charge of £1. All charges are published on the airport’s website and are prominently displayed on-site.”