Holidaymakers should not be penalised with excessive parking charges at Airport

by Gazette Reporter
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Dublin Airport must reduce car parking charges while capacity issues are addressed so that passengers are not penalised on top of their travel costs this summer, according to a Fine Gael Senator

Senator Emer Currie, who represents Dublin West, said: “Concerns have been expressed about a jump in parking prices at the country’s biggest airport, which more than doubled for passengers in some cases last year, according to media reports.

“At the time, Dublin Airport Authority said an increase in demand for parking, a decrease in the supply of parking spaces and the time of year was responsible for the increase.

“It appears the situation could prove even worse for passengers this summer who face substantial parking charges, on top of their flight, accommodation, and other travel related costs.

“I was contacted recently by a constituent saying they faced a parking charge of €82 in the airport’s short- term parking facility for a weekend earlier this month, arriving for their flight on Friday morning and returning to collect their car at on Sunday night.

“There is currently a cap of €15 per day on long-term parking at the airport, but these options can sometimes sell out at times when demand is high, which has happened this weekend.

“A search earlier this week of Dublin Airport’s website reveals that for passengers travelling for a week in early June from Sunday to Sunday, parking costs as much as €163 in the short-term car parks in Terminals 1 and 2, and is the same amount in Terminal 2’s long term surface car park. Consumers booking through the website are brought to the most expensive options first, which are in short-term parking.

“That price drops to €112 and €102 for the airport’s express red long term and blue long term car park, which are located outside of the main airport campus and have shuttle bus transport.

“A search on the website’s parking booking facility reveals similar costs for a typical week in early July and also in August from Sunday to Sunday.

“Prices are roughly cheaper in Shannon Airport, where for the same week in June, weekly parking can be obtained for €54 in the Shannon park4less airport and for €66 in the Shannon long stay airport, according to a search of the airport’s website earlier this week.

“In Cork Airport for the same week, parking can be obtained for €55 in the red express long term car park, and €48 in the holiday blue long term parking, although the cost rises to €120 for those opting for short term parking.

“The parking shortage at Dublin Airport was exacerbated by the closure of Quick Park long-stay car park which has a reported 6,000 spaces, and it is understood that Dublin Airport Authority has moved to purchase this site.

“DAA chiefs confirmed to an Oireachtas Joint Transport Committee in January that they engaged with the Department of Transport to see if they could fast-track emergency provision to expand car parking into other temporary areas, but this could not be provided. It also enquired as to whether it could lease the car park short-term, but this option was not available [2].

“It is incumbent now on both the Department of Transport and DAA to work together to ensure capacity issues are addressed in time for the busy summer season, because Dublin Airport operate a model where cost is based on demand.

“Minister Eamon Ryan must assist here in ensuring costs are brought down to put more money back in people’s pockets. We have had enough issues at the airport between drone technology and long queues last year.

“Let’s not add further stress to passengers – many who do not have the option of using public transport to get there when they have to travel with families and luggage. Presently 1 in 4 people travel by car to the airport.

“March was the third consecutive month of record passenger numbers at Dublin Airport, and almost 400,000 passengers are set to travel through it over this May Bank Holiday weekend.

“Families and individuals already pay enough for leisure travel, and they should not be penalised with excessive charges before they even take off,” Senator Currie said.

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