Parking ticket appeals on the increase

  • 17 Jul, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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Parking warden issues a fine but parking ticket appeals are on the rise

More motorists are likely to complain after receiving a parking ticket, figures show. In the period of two years (March 2013 – March 2014) 12 times as many car owners appealed their parking tickets, an official watchdog revealed.

The level of appeals has now reached more than 600 a week, according to the Parking on Private Land Appeals service (POPLA), which deals with contested tickets from car parks at locations including supermarkets, service stations and sport / leisure centres.

POPLA assessed a total of 23,500 appeals in the year ending March 2014, and made the decision to quash more than 10,000 tickets.

Complaints usually involved motorists receiving an invalid ticket, or purchasing the correct ticket but being accused of not displaying it properly.

Established in October 2012, POPLA handles appeals against parking charge notices involving parking on private land in England and Wales.

The report found that one of the main reasons people felt they’ve been issued a parking ticket unfairly was unclear, missing or confusing car park signage.

Please note that parking tickets are not likely to be issued if motorists are using long-term airport car parks, and most airport parking fines are incurred when dropping off or picking up passengers without using the short-term car park. Read this blog post where we’ve explained how to appeal if you were issued a parking ticket at one of the UK’s airports.

14% of Brits forget where they parked their car

  • 16 Jul, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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Car parking space from birdseye

We’ve all been there: you park it, lock it, leave it, forget it. A recent poll by Direct Line DrivePlus shows that as many as 14% of British drivers in the last two years forgot the exact spot where they parked their trusted travel companion.

Even though it is not applicable to those who park at airports, as with some airport parking services such as Meet and Greet you don’t even get to know the location of the secure compounds your car gets driven to, the findings reveal some interesting facts about our parking habits.

Women were found to be slightly more absent-minded than men, as only 16% forgot the exact place of their parked vehicle, compared with 12% of male drivers.

Interestingly, the survey of over 2,000 adults showed that men took much longer to track down their car (an average of 50 minutes), whilst women took much less, an average of 27 minutes, to get back behind the wheel of their car.

Pre-booking vs. turning up at the gate: 60% savings

  • 15 Jul, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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Parking written on the road

Passengers flying from airports in Northern Ireland could save up to 60% by pre-booking parking at long stay airport car parks instead of turning up on the day and paying at the gate, the Consumer Council has found.

The Consumer Council, an independent consumer organisation focused on Northern Ireland consumers, recently conducted a research where they compared the on-site long stay parking tariffs of the three NI airports (City of Derry Airport, Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport) and found that “pre-booking car parking came out on top as the best value for money”.

Commenting on the results of the research, Jenny Robinson from the Consumer Council said: “The savings for booking car parking in advance can be significant. What is obvious is that consumers aren’t getting the best price possible when they pay at the gate”.

The research shows that for a 10-day stay a whopping £33 can be saved at George Best Belfast City Airport, £36 at Belfast International Airport and £39 at City of Derry Airport by booking car parking in advance.

Currently, Airport Parking Shop allows holidaymakers to compare prices at one NI airport, Belfast International. According to our recent research, the lowest available parking option at this airport hasn’t changed compared to Summer 2013, and was £45 for a 2-week stay in August 2014.

Technical defects no longer considered “extraordinary circumstances”

  • 14 Jul, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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opened aircraft engine in the hangar

You could be forgiven for assuming that if your flight is delayed because of a technical hitch you will be entitled to free food and drink, accommodation and even financial compensation. However, as readers of our blog post on compensation will know, airlines have, up until now, been able to wriggle out of paying up if there have been “extraordinary circumstances”.

These had until very recently been deemed to include technical problems unless they had arisen due to lack of maintenance. In other words, if the cause of the delay could be proved to be out of the airline’s control, no compensation was due to the flying public, no matter how long the delay and despite the fact that the situation in other European countries was far more favourable for the passenger.

Now, however, Ronald Huzar, a passenger whose Jet2 flight from Malaga to Manchester in Oct 2011 was delayed by 27 hours, has sniffed victory, having seen the airline fail to sway the judge in the Court of Appeal.

Mr Huzar had initially had his claim for compensation turned down in Stockport County Court but was subsequently successful in his appeal at Manchester County Court. It was against this decision that Jet2 fought in the Appeal Court. This hearing concluded Mr Huzar’s lengthy battle for compensation and opened the floodgates for other passengers who have had their claims for compensation refused on the grounds of “extraordinary circumstances”.

Mr. Huzar’s flight had been delayed by a wiring defect in the fuel valve circuit which, according to Jet2, “could not have been prevented by prior maintenance or prior visual inspection. It was unexpected, unforeseen and unforeseeable and as such amounted to an ‘extraordinary circumstance’.” Read More

Must-be-charged gadget advice is issued by UK airports

  • 08 Jul, 2014
  • Jurga Sefton
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man hands touching smartphone bright background, closeup

Update (10 July 2014): The extra security checks are now extended to all passengers flying into or out of the UK, not just the passengers boarding the US flights. It is advised that all electronic and electrical devices in hand luggage must be sufficiently charged to be switched on.

8 July 2014: Two major UK airports – Heathrow and Manchester – are advising the passengers to make sure all electronic devices they carry as hand baggage are charged before travel if they are taking a flight to the United States, as a result of a request from the US to implement enhanced security measures.

The new rules for those flying to the US state that “if your device doesn’t switch on, you won’t be allowed to bring it onto the aircraft.”

This check – just before boarding the plane – will be carried out by airline staff at boarding gates.

If you are flying with BA, you may be made to rebook if you happen to carry an uncharged device. Click here to read the full update from British Airways.

According to the BBC, passengers flying to the US may be advised to remove relevant chargers from their hold luggage at check-in so that they can top up carried-on gadgets if necessary.

Having an uncharged electronic device (such as a smartphone, tablet, laptop, e-book reader, etc.) could leave thousands of travellers with the dilemma of leaving their device behind or not being allowed on board their flight.

Airports are in the process of getting plans in place to deal with this new policy; therefore, delays and longer waiting times at security checks are expected.

We strongly recommend that all passengers travelling to America ensure their phones are fully charged and keep their chargers with them at all times.