Wednesday, September 22, 2010

No Parking

When I flew to Sydney and back recently, I decided to make things easy on myself.
Rather than leave my car overnight at a train station for a couple of nights, and train it in, trailing suitcase and other crap; I decided to drive.
And then I looked at those off-airport parking stations. You know the ones where you park nearby, and then catch a shuttle bus to the airport. Said shuttle bus later meets you at the airport when you arrive back, and drives you back to your car.
I emailed a couple of parking stations, and only one of them got back to me, and that was to say they were full.
Then I looked at the airport parking website, and the price wasn't that much more than the next company on my list.
So, because of my arthritis, I decided it would be worth to pay a little extra for the convenience of getting straight to the airport rather than lugging bags into and out of cars and buses.
The plan was: Arrive, park, walk across to the terminal, and that would be it. And the opposite when I got back. Easy!
I have news for anyone planning to follow in my footsteps: Don't do it!
There's loads of work being done at the Brisbane Airport Domestic Terminal, and because of that, access means a huge detour, trailing bags and other crap along bumpy, dusty, noisy surfaces. At several stages, you actually have to wait while heavy vehicles cross the pathway.
It didn't help that I'd unknowingly parked pretty much as far away from the parking exit to the terminal as I could. Nor did it help that there weren't any trolleys available until I was almost inside the terminal, and by then it would have been a waste of $4.
On the way home, I took a different way back to my car, thinking that would be way easier and closer. Erm, no. It was just as far, and just as difficult. It was poorly signposted. I wasn't the only person lost and tired.
Eventually I made it to my car and I thought: There is obviously going to be some kind of discount after all the inconvenience. I mean they had signs everywhere that apologised for said incovenience.
But no. The automated ticket payment machine quite happily extracted $60 from me for my troubles.
Normally, I would have complained. But there is no option to actually give feedback to a real person at the Brisbane Domestic Airport station. In fact, you can only leave the facility, if you have already paid the grossly-inflated bill at their automated ticket machine.
I looked longingly at the shuttle busses as they conveniently picked up and dropped people off right outside the terminal. I know what I'll be doing next time I have to fly out of Brisbane Domestic Airport.
And I can't believe the powers that are not providing the service they promise, have the audacity to charge full price.
I quote from their own website:
Accessible, secure and hassle free - Brisbane Airport Parking is the convenient choice.
And here is the option I chose:
PARKLONG - best for more than 4 hours. This facility offers you value for money, combined with proximity to the terminal in a secure environment for your car.
Here's the thing: It is currently not close if you have to WALK to the terminal, because you have to go a round-about way. And I packed light. And also? It was not value for money. It was probably secure, I'll give them that.
The website does mumble about car parking changes but doesn't actually say anything like: 'This means you're going to have to walk a crap of a long way, over uneven services, and we're still going to charge you full price for the inconvenience!"
I was lucky I'd allowed enough time, or I may actually have missed my flight, not having factored in the delay. Anyway.
It's Un-Australian I tell you.
And that is my Rant For The Day.
What has pissed you off recently?



Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Sorry to hear about that Bronnie :( And I would imagine the fact that you couldn't tell anyone about it to let them know is annoying too, even to let off steam. Sometimes I wonder if people actually ever think about the customer's needs!

bubbachenille said...

Oh No, What a hassle. I am glad you have told us though as we are planning on parking for three days in Dec, Can you tell me how long it takes to walk from carpark to terminal so we can factor that in to our arrival time ?

Motorbikes_Lady said...

Sorry to hear you had that much trouble, if I had used my head I could have suggested you park at our place then if hubby wasn't working we could have driven you in or you could have caught a train/bus.

Daughter use to catch the train from our place all the time when flying to Sydney as we are only like a 30 min train trip from the airport but a 10 min drive.

We are lucky cause one end of our street we have the bus stops the other end the train station so you could use either to get to the airport.

The offer is there for when you go to Sydney next year for the blogging conference.

(((( Hugs ))))

Maxabella said...

I think the instant that a company needs to put up a "sorry for the inconvenience" sign should be the same instant they reduce their prices. It really irks me that they just carry on profit taking regardless of the product they're offering. I'd be snapping off a letter to that Airport pronto!!!


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