My van disappeared after I gave it to a ‘cowboy’ airport company – I was stunned when I found it two weeks later

A MAN was devastated after flying back from a holiday to find his £2,850 van gone – before reappearing 5 miles away a week later.

Freddie Hall, 60, had paid £105 to a meet-and-greet parking company at Heathrow Airport while on holiday in San Francisco.

Freddie Hall is devastated after flying back from vacation to find his van gone

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Freddie Hall is devastated after flying back from vacation to find his van gonePhoto credit: THE SUN ONLINE
He found his van parked in Hayes, London

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He found his van parked in Hayes, London

The Bar Hill man flew to San Francisco on December 17, 2022 and trusted the parking company to take care of his 2003 Honda Stepwagon.

But he was frustrated when he returned to the UK – despite multiple calls and messages, he struggled to contact the company to get his car back.

Eventually Freddie gave up and took a train to Cambridge and then a taxi to Bar Hill, which cost him £45.86.

Speaking to Sun Online, he said: “I called and got a recording that said, ‘The person you are trying to reach is not available. Please leave a message or send an SMS’.

“After feeling frustrated and tired from a long international flight, I took a train from Heathrow to Cambridge and then a taxi from Cambridge station to my home in Bar Hill.”

After two days of trying to contact the parking company, they finally responded and told him, “We are a booking agent for the feature car park and we don’t pick cars ourselves.

“It is the customer’s responsibility to raise complaints directly with the operator.

“The matter has been escalated from our side to the parking authority for further investigation into the location of your car.

“You will be contacted by the manager as soon as possible
You have an update on this matter to resolve to your satisfaction.”

Shockingly, a stranger contacted Freddie on January 6 and told him his van was parked in Hayes, London.

“I assume it was someone from Universal Terminal Parking.

Freddie said: “He didn’t tell me his name. He just gave me the place.”

After the quick phone call, Freddie rushed to London to get his van.

Freddie said: “It definitely wasn’t a secure parking lot. No one was around and luckily I had an extra key with me.

“No one was around and luckily I had an extra key with me. When I called the number again I only got a record.”

Hundreds of travelers have fallen victim to these parking companies across the UK.

They usually promise drivers their car will be parked in a safe area, but it ends up in a public lot.

But they also wreak havoc on holidaymakers returning from their trips to find their vehicles have been driven thousands of miles, damaged or even stolen.

Clint Dennis’ car disappeared after leaving it at a meet-and-greet company at Heathrow Airport.

Fortunately, after two weeks, the police found her car.

Cowboy parking companies around Manchester Airport were cracked down last summer.

Insp. Andrew Baker of the Cheshire Police said dem Manchester Evening News newspaper: “When booking airport parking, people often choose the cheapest option – but sometimes it is not the best choice.

“These companies pretend to be secure parking lots affiliated with the airport. In reality, the vehicles are often parked on unsafe mudfields.

“As a result, we have received reports of damaged vehicles or even stolen parts.

“In other cases, we’ve been contacted by people who have returned home to find their vehicles have been driven thousands of miles while on vacation.”

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https://www.thesun.ie/motors/10121370/van-vanishes-airport-firm/ My van disappeared after I gave it to a ‘cowboy’ airport company – I was stunned when I found it two weeks later

Fry Electronics Team

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