Plastic Surcharge on Belfast Airport Parking

Customers paying by credit and debit card for Belfast International Airport parking will now have to pay a 3% surcharge on all transactions. The new charges have been operational since May 2010 due to a handling fee passed on by credit card companies.

However, there have been significant shortfalls in the airport’s measures to publicise the new charges. Up until a few days ago there was no information on the official website warning customers of the new charges. There is also no information on the outdoor tariff boards as you enter the car park. In fact, these boards encourage the use of plastic payment for customer convenience.

The airport stress “signs are placed on all entrance and exit barriers as well as ticket machines…the most logical place to alert drivers to the change”. However, some customers have reported problems with the signage which often goes unnoticed as it is placed above eye level on the ticket machines.

The surcharge has also been introduced at Belfast’s other airport, George Best City Airport, and they have advertised the charges for some time on their website and around the car parking area. The City of Derry Airport, however, has no surcharges on plastic transactions.

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Survey Lauds Cheap Airport Parking At BFS

According to a Which? Car Survey published on May 14th 2010, Belfast International Airport (BFS) provides some of the cheapest airport parking in the UK.

The survey priced various different car parking options at 15 of the busiest UK airports. Belfast International Airport offered the cheapest onsite, 7 day parking at a meagre £23. It’s closest competitors were Liverpool and Bristol Airports, which charged £27 and £29 respectively.

Belfast International also ranked very high at providing cheap offsite parking. Manchester Airport narrowly pipped Belfast International over the same time period, providing the service at £19.84 to Belfast’s £21. Again it was Liverpool and Bristol Airport which also provided cheap parking options.

The news will be welcomed by Belfast International’s Airport Operators who have come under fire for introducing controversial drop off charges. However, measures taken to reduce the costs of short term parking have done little to placate public unrest.