Heathrow T5 Pods: Driverless, Fast, Eco-Friendly

  • 12 May, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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pods
Photo: Matt Taylor

Two and a half years ago, in autumn 2011, an automatic pod transport system was revealed at Heathrow Terminal 5, designed by Ultra Global and allowing 800 passengers a day to travel stress-free between the T5 Business Car Park and the terminal. We say stress-free, how about adrenaline-filled and state-of-the-art-amazing?!

The award-winning £30m system took 6 years to develop and a year to trial prior to its launch and boasts driverless vehicles with self-recharging batteries, and enough space (and power!) to transport up to 4 passengers in each pod.

podst5

Photo: Uli

The pods find their way around using laser sensors, and initially it was estimated it would have cut the amount of bus journeys around Heathrow terminal by 50,000 a year. Read More

A Guide to Sleeping at the Airport

  • 07 May, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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Man sleeping at the airport

It is not only budget-conscious backpackers who find themselves having to sleep at the airport. Recent storms, the volcanic ash crisis of 2010 and the UK air traffic computer malfunction late last year have all left travellers in the lurch, wondering how on earth they were going to manage to sleep.

It is against the law in some countries, frowned upon by many airports and could be downright dangerous in some places so the following advice comes with a strong caveat: sleep at the airport at your own risk, particularly if you are a lone female!

Some airports have a supply of camp beds for stranded travellers, but they are limited in number so be prepared for the worst case scenario if you know the weather is bad or there are other extenuating circumstances that mean you may have to rough it for the night. Read More

Spring Clean at Airport Parking Shop: The Interim design

  • 02 Apr, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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The interim design

We are very excited to announce that we have just launched the new responsive Airport Parking Shop website. The times are changing, and so are the ways our customers research their holiday plans, compare cost and make bookings. Our parking comparison website has seen visits from smartphones and tablets triple in the last three years, so we decided it was time to make our service respond better to your needs.

From now on, whether you are at your desk, on your laptop, or on the go checking parking prices on your phone or tablet, you will have an improved experience when booking your airport parking with us.

The process has taken us just over 4 months from initial ideas through to launch, and it hasn’t just been about making the new Airport Parking Shop work well on smaller-screen devices. We’ve looked at many elements of the navigation, user experience, design and functionality, and here’s a list of some of the highlights:

– Implemented a fully responsive design;
– Freshened up the logo;
– Enhanced mobile support;
– Applied some menu / navigation changes;
– Centered the page and increased its size;
– Overhauled the quote form;
– Improved the results page;
– Introduced some customisation of search results;
– Updated semantic HTML tags throughout the site;
– Improved readability of the content;
– Introduced social media buttons;
– Updated a range of content pages, although we’ve been continuously updating car park and airport details since the site launched in 2003.

The website hasn’t had that many faces over the past 10 years and hasn’t really changed much, as these screenshots show, but it did maintain the same core values and still does now: helping our customers compare airport car park options to get best-value parking for their needs and providing the ease of booking. Read More

When was the last time you took a holiday with your Mum?

  • 20 Mar, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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mothersdaybeach

If you haven’t been on holiday with your mum since you were at school, this could be the year to buck the trend. And what better time could there be to do it than Mother’s Day?

With the big day falling this year on March 30th you even stand a chance of some decent weather depending on how far you are willing to travel. We have a few ideas for you, whether you want sightseeing, beach, action or pampering.

Málaga

Málaga makes a good destination for a long weekend. Many holidaymakers never see beyond the airport, but the city has much to recommend it and if the sun shines (as it should in late March) there is the added advantage of the beach being only a 10-minute walk from the centre.

For culture vultures there is the Carmen Thyssen Museum offering works from the 19th century with a focus on Andalucian art. The Picasso Museum and Casa Natal (birth house) of the artist are both a must for lovers of 20th century art.

Málaga has flights from London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted, Birmingham and Manchester. Read More

Airport Parking Fines Explained

  • 10 Mar, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
  • 73 Comments

Parking-fine

It is unlikely that you will incur a parking fine when using a long-term airport car park, provided you have given the correct information when booking. These car parks charge per 24-hour period, so it is unlikely, even if your flight is delayed, that you will have overstayed your welcome.

In extenuating circumstances, such as the case of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud a couple of years ago, which meant many passengers returned days late from their holiday, a common-sense approach was adopted by the vast majority of car park operators.

As far as short-term parking goes, most car parks operate a pay on exit system meaning that even if the person you are picking up is delayed for hours you will not incur a parking fine.

Most airport parking fines are incurred when dropping off or picking up passengers without using the short-term car park, and stories abound of drivers being hit with punitive fines for stopping on approach roads. Automatic number plate recognition technology makes it easy for the operator to monitor your comings and goings.

Many airports provide a drop-off zone and charge a fee of a few pounds for a short stop. If you decide to leave your car to help your passenger in to the terminal or overstay the allotted time, then fines of £80 are commonplace. At other airports it is forbidden to stop at all, and if you should grind to a halt briefly to read a notice, for instance, you can expect to be faced with a fine. Read More