Airport parking rip-off?

2010-08-12 00:00

PARKING at Oribi Airport used to be free, but now you have to pay if you want to drop a traveller at the terminal entrance.

The upgraded parking is secure and there are more bays than before, but the drop-off zone is the furthest from the door, so if you are dropping someone who can not walk the 100 metres or so from the drop-off zone, you have to pay for short-term parking — a minimum of R3.

Local businessman and regular airport user Dave Deighton says he prefers the old parking system.

“Oribi used to be the one airport where you could get right up close to the entrance; it was very convenient,” he said.

“But they seem to have found a loophole in the system and a way to rip us off.

“If they were logical, they would do what some shopping malls do and allow for the first half-hour to be free and start charging after that.”

Another Pietermaritzburg resident, Brigitte Jacobs, echoed Deighton’s sentiments and told of a recent experience.

“I wasn’t even able to drop my husband off without paying,” said Jacobs.

“I don’t mind paying if I park and go inside the airport, but to pay for just driving through and dropping somebody off seems bizarre.”

The managing director of parking facility operator EasiPark, Mike Clark, told The Witness that he considers the car park to be fully functional.

“Substantial provisions have been made and there is a clearly signposted drop-off area,” he explained.

“Like anything in life, ultimate convenience comes at a price. A fee of R3 to drop somebody at the front door of the airport is one that we consider to be more than reasonable.”

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