Belfast Airport parking is set to become a topic of debate as the increase in parking prices and the decision to scrap free parking for those picking up passengers has caused outrage. In an attempt to decrease congestion around terminals it appears that in fact, the opposite has happened.
It was obvious to many that rather than pay to drop someone off people are driving around the airport and local area instead. Previously, people had been allowed to park in the short stay car park for free for up to 10 minutes due to security measures banning people from driving up to terminal buildings. Instead, now, people picking up or dropping off passengers will have to pay £1 for 30 minutes of parking. This means that cheap parking at Belfast airport is a thing of the past. One of the many concerns about this new system is that the airport is forcing people to park illegally which is causing environmental, safety and congestion problems.
Prior to the announcement that abolished free parking at Belfast Airport, people had been entering and leaving the short stay car park on several occasions or parking illegally on the main road in order to avoid paying car park charges. Whilst it was agreed by everyone that this was a problem that needed solving, many feel that the free parking time should have been increased to 30 minutes rather than being scrapped altogether.
The introduction of an increase in parking prices on the 1st January 2007 is likely to blame for this behaviour. Short stay car parking was increased by 25 percent, whilst prices for the long term parking at Belfast Airport were increased by an astonishing 100 per cent.
This had been the second increase in parking prices at the airport in three months. Further irritating the many passengers who regularly travel through Belfast Airport, is that many savings that were promised disappeared before being put into practice. Much of this anger stems from the fact that passengers are being asked to pay more for aviation taxes, fuel and baggage surcharges and then on top of that are facing rising parking prices at Northern Ireland’s busiest airport.
One way to get past expensive parking charges is to use one of the Meet and Greet services available at airport. The provide a much easier way of getting yourself and your luggage to the check in desk. It means you can drive your car to the airport and be rest assured that your car is being taken to a safe and secure parking space. With a 100 percent customer satisfaction, repeat business and customer satisfaction record, it seems a much easier and logical way of getting to the airport.
Image belongs to: Esteban De Sousa Seibane. Taken from: http://www.flickr.com