Ryanair customer’s anger after being caught out by ‘illegal’ car park at airport


John Paton, who was traveling with Ryanair from Newcastle Airport, wants to warn other tourists about his experience with firm Looking4Parking

John Paton is furious with the car parking company

A holidaymaker was furious after turning up at a car parking firm by an airport to find no one was there.

John Paton and wife Sheila, both 69, arrived at Looking4Parking’s plot near Newcastle Airport in anticipation for their holiday to Malaga in Spain.

Although John had paid for the service in advance, no one was there to collect his car and no one answered the telephone number on the Ryanair voucher had left him.

The retired teacher claims a recorded message told him the service was “not in operation at the moment”.

Speaking today to Chronicle Live, John said: “Luckily we arrived in good time before our flight, as otherwise we would have missed it.







The retired teacher arrived at the plot but no one knew anything about his booking
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Image:

Newcastle Chronicle)

“The message put us in a panic, as our flight time was getting closer, 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 pay for more parking through the airport’s official site and had to pay another £66.99 to park. It was awful – we were aware that we were running out of time to get through security to catch our flight. The whole thing was very stressful.”

John and Sheila, from Monkseaton, Tyne and Wear, enjoyed their break but have since attempted to get a refund.

But both Ryanair and Looking4Parking are yet to accept blame for the error.







John has complained to Ryanair and the parking firm
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Image:

Newcastle Chronicle)

John continued: “We contacted Ryanair as the booking was made, thought their website and the payment went to them, and were told to contact Looking4Parking, as the service was provided by them.

“Neither company has been very helpful at all.

“The service was supposed to ensure a relaxing start to our holiday, but instead we ended up with just enough time to get through security before our flight was called. I’ve got my money back – eventually – but I want to warn others who might have already booked to be aware there may be a problem.”

Newcastle Airport said there had been concerns about that it described as “an illegitimate parking provider” claiming to offer a service at the airport.

A spokesman said: “Several passengers have had a negative experience with the operator and we have been assisting them with replacement, on the day, car parking products where possible.”







The couple flew from Newcastle Airport to Malaga
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Image:

Newcastle Chronicle)

Ryanair, which operates 19 routes from the hub, said: “The car park operation is legitimate. ‘Looking4’ work with the operator at multiple UK airports. Looking4 stringently checks all operators and as soon as they became aware that the car park at Newcastle was experiencing operational challenges, they were immediately removed from sale and refunded any customers who were inconvenienced.

“Furthermore, as soon as Ryanair becomes aware of any customer issues, we then immediately raise these with Looking4, who take the necessary action. Mr Paton was refunded £49.67 on 15 th of March for the amount paid, and a second payment of £66.99 was made on the 31 st of March which covered the additional payment the customer needed to pay at the airport.”

John claims it took nearly a month – and around 20 emails – before his initial £49.67 was refunded, and a further two weeks – and only when Chronicle Live became involved – to get the additional £66.67 back.

A Newcastle Airport spokeswoman said: “We recently became aware of an illegitimate parking provider claiming to offer a parking service at Newcastle International Airport. Since then, we have worked closely with the car park consolidators to remove this unofficial product from the market to protect our passengers.

“If passengers are looking to book car parking at the airport, we recommend they book direct through the airport’s website or via the Airport call center to ensure they receive an official on-site product.”

ChronicleLive contacted Looking4Parking for a comment, but the company has not responded.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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