Taxi driver claims luggage delays and parking fees ‘destroying’ small transport businesses
A taxi driver has claimed luggage delays and ‘astronomical’ parking charges at Edinburgh Airport is ‘destroying’ small transport businesses.
The driver, whose main customers are tour groups, said transport firms face a crippling ‘double whammy’ as they are forced to pay increased parking charges while waiting hours for airline passengers impacted by baggage return delays.
Private hire companies are regularly waiting more than two hours for passengers to get their luggage while forking out parking costs of £12 an hour.
But they are also missing out on booked hires due to the ongoing delays, leaving them out of pocket after more than half the fares from most jobs are paid out upfront on parking charges.
It comes after baggage handler Swissport confirmed they have now moved luggage from the airport terminal to the Royal Highland Centre after complaints from passengers. Some have reported delays of several weeks for their luggage to be returned amid backlogs. Lost luggage and the return of suitcases is the responsibility of the airlines, not the airport.
Edinburgh Airport warned passengers months ago to expect delays and disruption during the peak summer period, as it returned to full schedule for the first time in two years.
But the driver who set up his own business last year has accused airport bosses of ‘passing the buck’.
He said: “Edinburgh Airport's inability to do its job properly is destroying smaller transport businesses.
"For transport companies meeting guests at the airport and regularly waiting one or two hours £12 an hour can be as much as 40 per cent of their fare lost to the airport in parking charges.
“Then take off the fuel and then consider that the driver may have to lose his next job due to being stuck at the airport for more than 2 to 3 hours.
"While folk wait for baggage, drivers waiting to collect people outside have to wait much longer and pay much more for the pleasure. It's scary, we’re in the middle of peak season and it’s getting worse.”
He added that the issue was largely down to poor management during the summer months.
"The airport keeps passing the buck, solely blaming the baggage companies. But the biggest complaint people have is the sheer lack of airport staff presence during this chaos,” he said.
“The fact that we are now halfway through the summer and things are still getting worse is a testament to poor management from airport officials and the baggage companies.
"They have severely let down all users of Edinburgh Airport.”
An Edinburgh Airport spokesman said: "As these anonymous firms are yet to raise any issues directly with us we have been unaware of their concerns until now.
"What we gather from their comments is that they have a fundamental misunderstanding of the different partners involved and the separation of roles and responsibilities.
"We would invite them to engage with us directly, rather than through the media, so we can constructively discuss their concerns."