The winners of the inaugural Independent Airport Parking Awards have been announced – and I’m proud to say that I was on the judging panel…
Maple Parking scooped the Best Meet & Greet award for its service at Heathrow Terminal 5, and APH was named Best Park & Ride operator for its Gatwick operation.
Apart from me, the other judges included Lisa Minot, travel editor of The Sun, and Steve Clarke, head of business operations at the British Parking Association.
I fly regularly from various airports so finding trustworthy, good value parking is really important for me.
Judging the Independent Airport Parking Awards has been fascinating because the winners prove that providing an efficient service at a competitive cost, and being prepared to go that extra mile when necessary, pay dividends.
I hope these awards will encourage more airport parking operators to step up to the challenge. It’s not just about pricing – trust, excellent customer service and a professional digital presence are all part of the package.
Meet & Greet winner Maple Parking is a family-run company that operates services at six airports across the UK. The company was praised for 12-months of innovation which included the introduction of live flight-tracking and tailored data from every airport terminal to ensure customers’ cars are returned on time, and for backing a no-wait guarantee with 50% discounts.
APH, winner of the Park & Ride award, operates more than 10,000 spaces for over 300,000 customers’ cars at all of the UK’s major airports. A new base for its Gatwick service was launched at the beginning of 2019 to provide easier access, shorter transfer times and better environmental performance through new renewable energy sources and lower fuel consumption.
The Independent Airport Parking Awards 2019 were open to all offsite airport parking operators across the UK, with companies scored on mystery shopper assessments, customer reviews and service developments over the past 12 months.
“We’d like to thank every company that took part and give our congratulations to the winners,”said Daniel Johnson, IAPA spokesperson. “The awards celebrate the vast majority of companies who consistently provide outstanding airport parking services to millions of customers.
“We’ll be announcing details of the 2020 awards soon and encourage all airport parking companies to take part and demonstrate their excellence.”
How to spot a good airport parking company
Millions of holidaymakers hand over their car keys to a parking company while they fly abroad, but how do you know that your car will be cared for? These are the Independent Airport Parking Association’s peace of mind tips:
- Beware prices that look too good to be true. Rogue operators can cut costs because they don’t have the facilities and teams in place to look after your car securely.
- Always look for the Park Mark logo when making your booking. This shows the parking facility has been police assessed and has security measures such as fencing, CCTV and barriers.
- Most meet & greet firms will collect your car at the airport, so check they’ll move it to a Park Mark-awarded facility while you are away.
- Never park on local streets. Cars that are left for days can inconvenience residents and become a target of thieves.
- Read independent reviews before making your booking. Operators who highlight feedback on their website are likely to have the best focus on customer service.
- Always book with a member of the Independent Airport Parking Association as they are assessed to prove they provide the highest levels of professionalism and service.