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Glasgow Airport parking row


UK airport operator BAA has been accused of abusing its legal powers by overcharging for access to its terminal forecourts and threatening to seize rival airport parking operators’ land under compulsory purchase powers, the Times reports.

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BAA has recently expanded into off-airport parking, previously the preserve of independent operators. It offers park and ride services that include Pink Elephant, Courtlands and Parking Express.

However, John McGlynn of Airlink Group, which is based at Glasgow Airport, has accused BAA of sharp practice. He says that the airport company wanted to raise his charge for accessing the airport from £5,000 a year to £150,000 a year.

BAA said: ‘We are not bullying off airport parking companies. We rightly insist that if people want to offer a service they do so in a way which does not disadvantage others, including ourselves.’

We take this to mean that BAA is trying to stop off airport parking firms undercutting them. If so, we think that this is wrong and it will be the customer who pays. BAA already makes more money from airport parking than it does from duty free shopping. At Stansted - one of the most expensive airports for car parking in the UK - there are more spaces than at the worlds biggest airport by passengers (Chicago), even though the airport has less than half the number of passengers.

We have noticed that BAA’s airport car parks cost the same at every airport parking company. BAA insist that airport parking companies they deal with do not undercut them. There is no room for competition when dealing with the ‘BAA monopoly’ as budget airline Ryanair refers to them.

We think that this is wrong at that it is about time the Government did something about this. Let us know what you think.

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