A RYANAIR customer who paid for their car to be parked with the company before going on holiday has warned others against booking on the “illegitimate” site.
John Paton from Tyneside bought his place at Newcastle Airport in the days before he was due to fly to Malaga with his wife Sheila.
But when the couple arrived bright and early, Looking4Parking staff didn’t respond with their advertised “meet and greet service” – instead having no record of the booking.
Mr Paton was then forced to pay a further £66.99 for parking, despite having already paid. Chronicle Live reported.
Now a dispute has broken out between airport officials and Ryanair, with the companies blaming each other for the mix-up.
Mr Paton, from Whitley Bay, said the problems started when he called the number for the parking ticket sent by the airline.
He quickly found that no one could take his call, let alone pick up his car. Instead, an automated voice informed him that the service was down.
The 69-year-old said: “Luckily we arrived in time for our flight. Otherwise we would have missed him.
“The news made us panic as our flight time was approaching, so we went to the on-site airport parking office to be told that our voucher was not valid at the airport.
“We had no choice but to pay for more parking via the airport’s official website and had to pay an additional £66.99 for parking.
“It was awful – we were aware that we were running out of time to get through security and catch our flight.
“It was all very stressful.”
When the couple returned home, they contacted Ryanair as the booking was made through their website. But staff said they had to contact Looking4Parking instead.
And Newcastle Airport said the Patons are not the first to have a parking problem.
There were concerns it was an “illegitimate parking provider” claiming to offer a service, officials said.
“Several passengers have had negative experiences with the operator, and we have helped them substitute parking products on the day where possible,” a spokesman for the publication said.
But Ryanair, which operates 19 routes from Newcastle Airport, has defended Looking4Parking.
“The parking lot operation is legitimate. ‘Looking4’ is working with the operator at several UK airports,” said a spokesman.
“Looking4 rigorously screens all operators and as soon as they realized the Newcastle car park was experiencing operational issues they were immediately withdrawn from sale and any customers who experienced any inconvenience were reimbursed.”
The couple were refunded the initial £49.67 plus an additional £66.99, although Mr Paton said it took almost six weeks – and 20 emails – to receive the full refund.
A Newcastle Airport spokeswoman said: “We have recently become aware of an illegitimate parking provider claiming to offer valet parking at Newcastle International Airport.
“We have since worked closely with car park consolidators to phase out this unofficial product to protect our passengers.”
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/8635682/ryanair-parking-warning-airport-newcastle/ Warning from a Ryanair customer after paying for an ‘illegitimate’ airport parking spot