For many years the only parking option available was to turn up at the airport and park your car and pay upon your return. Because of this near monopoly position prices charged by the airports were astronomical.
Because of the margin available this encouraged off airport car operators to set up in competition despite the additional costs of having to transport their customers much further with a 24 hour staffing requirement 365 days a year. Apart from off airport parking, we now also have the option of Meet and Greet and Airport hotel and Parking.
Meet and Greet is by far the most expensive way to park at the airport because of the high use of man power by the operator.This dispenses with any need to use a transfer bus and you simply drive directly to your departure terminal where you will be met by a driver who will then take your car to a secure car park. Normally you will be asked to telephone when you are around 15 minutes from the airport so that someone will be there in plenty of time to meet you.
When you book, all your car and flight details are given for approximate timings and car security. Upon your return you will be asked to telephone prior to picking up your luggage and then make your way to a location a short distance from the arrivals. They will often ask you to go to the nearby multi storey where you get in your car and drive away.
Meet and Greet for the reasons stated is very costly, however, a hybrid form over the last few years has been developed which is becoming very popular and called the return greet and is being used by off airport car parks and airport hotels as an option.
When you travel to the off airport car park or hotel they will transfer you to the airport and then pick you up and the take you back to your car for you to begin your journey home. The only thing holidaymakers and business people want to do when they return to the airport is to get in their car and to home as quickly as possible and the Return Greet allows them to do this.
This eliminates the time taken waiting for the bus, travelling back to the car park and lugging your cases on and off the bus and then again into your car. The extra charge for this service is around £25 and for many people well worth the money.
By David Cook