Protecting customers against rogue airport parking firms and bad practices in airport parking.



ABC Gatwick wins parking award

10.01.13 Posted in Airport Parking, Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick News by

Congratulations go out to ABC Gatwick, a member of AVPCA, for their latest award.

ABC Gatwick meet and greet scooped the’s award for best car park of the month in September – the first time the award has been up for grabs.

The airport parking comparison site reviewed more than 160 car parks from 28 UK airports when deciding on which parking company would take the car park of the month crown, which is based on reviews and customer feedback.

Receiving the award, Sean McCarthy, Director of Gatwick ABC parking said, “I am absolutely delighted to accept the car park of the month award for September. This is a testament to the hard work and dedication our fantastic team of drivers and controllers who make sure that our service delivery is second to none. Congratulations go to them”


AVPCA member shortlisted for TravelMole Web Awards

09.10.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick News by

The prestigious TravelMole Web Awards nominations have been revealed and included within the nominees is Gatwick meet and greet parking company Help Me Park.

Help Me Park, a member of AVPCA, has confirmed it has been short listed for the award’s Best Holiday Miscellaneous Site category alongside Trip Advisor, Holiday Extra and Aito.

The nominees have been short listed by an anonymous panel of independent judges, whose identities will be revealed during the awards ceremony.

Help-Me-Park recently updated its website with a new mobile-friendly site which offers ease of use, quick links, frequently asked questions, as well as honest, no-hidden-extras quotations and secure booking facilities.

The winners of the TravelMole Web Awards will be announced at the awards presentation, now in its 10th year, at the Doubletree by Hilton, in London’s Hyde Park, on 12th September.

More about Help Me Park:


Gatwick Approved Operator Scheme to launch 1 July

06.12.13 Posted in Airport Parking, Buy With Confidence, Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick News by

Gatwick Airport is set to launch its Approved Operator Scheme for meet and greet parking companies at the end of the month.

The official Approved Operator Scheme will go live on 1st July, when meet and greet parking companies will have been given Approved or Non-Approved status.

The scheme, which is the brainchild of Gatwick Airport in consultation with West Sussex County Council and Surrey County Council Trading Standards, went to consultation in February. The responses – more than 350 responses were received – have now been analysed and form the basis of the new scheme.

To become an Approved Operator, a meet and greet parking company must:

  • Only operate from parking sites which hold the ParkMark award from The Association of Chief Police Officers
  • Ensure all staff are CRB checked
  • Hold full insurance
  • Require all staff to wear uniforms
  • Require all staff to carry photo ID
  • Have branded company vehicles
  • Must achieve and maintain the Buy with Confidence Accreditation.

Only Approved Operators can operate from areas at the airport designated for meet and greet operations – specific areas of the forecourt and/or designated meet and greet areas in the multi-storey car park.

The Approved Operator Scheme is designed to reduce terminal forecourt congestion and also ensure that customers of meet and greet parking at Gatwick will all receive a good standard of service, and rogue operators and those parking companies that are unable to meet the require membership criteria will not be able to use the dedicated areas.

Unfortunately, to finance the policing of the scheme a string charges will be imposed on Approved companies depending on where the meet and greet transactions take place:

  • On the forecourt
    £3 per movement, i.e. £6 for a meet and greet
  • Multi-storey car park
    £1.30 per movement (up to 10 mins)
    £2.00 per movement (10 – 20 mins)
    Longer than 20 minutes and regular tariff will apply

Some meet and greet parking companies will choose to continue all operations on the forecourt, while others will pick up cars on the terminal and return them in the car park. Others may choose to collect and return vehicles in the dedicated meet and greet parking zone of the multi-storey car park.

All dedicated meet and greet areas will be identified with appropriate signage.

Gatwick surface access scheme

Gatwick Airport will also introduce its surface access scheme on 1 July which will see the introduction of ‘no pick up’ restrictions on the terminal forecourts. Anyone wishing to collect passengers from the airport will be required to use the multi-storey car parks.


Wildlife Thriving Near Gatwick Runway

05.03.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick News by

A feature in the This is Sussex website recently tells of how wildlife is thriving around the Gatwick runway.

Gatwick ecologist, Rachel Bicker’s job is to encourage non-invasive species of wildlife to thrive in the Gatwick area. Quite a feat when Gatwick is the world’s busiest single runway airport and has 242,498 flights a year taking off and landing. You’d think all the hustle and bustle would drive wildlife away, but it’s not the case.

Interestingly, whilst some residents complain about aircraft noise it seems that the birds in the area are not concerned, and as a result egrets, kestrels and kingfishers are all flourishing; as too is the rare breed of bird, the black redstart. Whilst in nearby rivers and streams river moles are abundant, along with an ancient species in the South East, the great crested newts which have been recorded as well as mink present in the area.

The work has been initiated by Gatwick Airport in line with its environmental projects, as it aims to achieve biodiversity benchmark status, awarded by the Wildlife Trust.


Spanish & Algarve Shopping Cheaper This Summer

04.24.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Travel news by

If you’re yet to book your summer holiday then you might want to consider the Algarve and mainland Spain because prices for self-catering shopping provisions are considerably less than they have been!

In fact, a whopping 21.2% less compared with the exact same shopping list last year.

According to the Post Office Travel Money study just a few pence separates the Algarve and the Spanish Costas.

Each year the Post Office Travel Money survey takes a look at how much a 10-item shopping list costs, including a cup of coffee, a glass of local beer and wine, a meal for two with house wine, sun cream and mineral water.

The top three cheapest places to buy the said shopping list was:

  • Albufeira, in the Algarve, coming in at £46.34
  • Torremolinos, in Costa del Sol, coming in at £46.50
  • Javea, in Costa Blanca, coming in at £47.14

In 2012 the same shopping list came out cheapest, priced at £58.16.

So it seems that whilst the pound isn’t at its strongest, the fight for competition in resort is high.

As the trend towards all-inclusive holidays continues, perhaps this will make the British holiday maker re-consider a self-catering break?

A self-catering option can be a cheaper one. Budget, no frills airlines – with a huge choice out of Gatwick Airport – offer cheaper seat prices when booked in advance. Accommodation costs for apartments and villas can be cheaper when larger groups are staying together (several families can split the costs in large multi-roomed villas) and spending money can be kept to a minimum if meals out are a treat rather than an everyday occurrence.

Considering a break this summer? If you’re flying out of Gatwick and need to park your car then opt for the easiest, most convenient airport parking around – meet and greet parking at Gatwick Airport.


Bad Weather Boosts Gatwick Passenger Numbers

04.18.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick flights, Gatwick News by

Whilst everyone is sick of the wind, rain, snow and temperatures barely getting above freezing, Gatwick is loving it.

Why? Well, thanks to all the bad weather this year, and the cold Easter, more people than ever have used Gatwick to jet away to warmer weather.

Figures just released show that March passenger numbers increased by 2.5%, with the total number of passenger passing through the airport’s two terminals rising to 2.5 million in the month – the highest passenger numbers recorded in March for five years.

There were big increases on long haul flights too, with an increase of 5.1% travelling to the likes of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, which equates to 27,800 extra passengers.

For the rolling year, from March 2012 to March 2013, the airport has handled 34.2 million passengers.

As well as the bad weather, Gatwick is also benefitting from the number of new airlines it has secured, offering even more choice to its passengers – recently the likes of Air Arabia Maroc, Air China, Caribbean Airlines, Gambia Bird, Icelandair, Iraqi Airways, WOW Air and Vueling have all started flying out of Gatwick.

The airport has invested much time and money in securing new airlines and greatly improving facilities, which enhance the passengers’ time at the airport, whether that’s easy check-in, the speed in which they pass through security, the immense shopping facilities, vast number of restaurants and bars and improved facilities for families and the disabled.

As such, Gatwick Airport is fast becoming the UK’s airport of choice, as well as the UK’s preferred international gateway. Facilities and services, such as it’s safe and secure meet and greet parking providers, are outstanding. What’s more, during all the severe weather and snow the airport was unaffected due to its multi-million pound investment in its snow clearing equipment. Yet again, proving if you’re flying out of the UK then Gatwick Airport is the airport you should be doing from from!


Gatwick Airport officially A380 ready

03.27.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Gatwick flights by

Yesterday, 26 March 2013, saw the opening of Gatwick Airport’s new £6.4m pier built to accommodate A380 aircraft.

At more than 24 metres high with a wing span of nearly 80 metres, the A380 is the world’s largest commercial aircraft.

To mark the opening of pier 6 an Emirates A380 aircraft flew into Gatwick from Dubai.

Guy Stephenson, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Gatwick is delighted to officially open its A380 stand today, marking an important milestone in the development and growth of the airport as a world-class aviation facility.

“The new stand is a symbol of the major changes that have happened at Gatwick under new ownership. The fact we can now offer current and future airlines a pier-served facility for A380 aircraft demonstrates the scale of ambition we have for the future of Gatwick as we continue on our journey to compete and grow.”

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President UK, said: “As the largest A380 operator in the world, it is a historic moment to see one of our A380s use the new Gatwick stand for the first time at the official opening. It shows once again that Emirates is the go-to airline when it comes to the A380 aircraft.

“We’ve always said that the A380 is the future of air travel, and this investment by Gatwick endorses our vision for the aircraft and its capabilities. The new stand here at Gatwick follows the launch of Concourse A in Dubai, the world’s first purpose-built A380 concourse.

“We consider Gatwick as a key hub within the Emirates network and are confident that the investment they have put in place today will provide passengers with an ever improving level of service for years to come.”


Gatwick launches Approved Operator consultation for meet and greet parking

03.20.13 Posted in Buy With Confidence, Gatwick AVPCA Public by

Gatwick Airport is planning a shake up of the Gatwick meet and greet industry.

In partnership with West Sussex County Council, Surrey Trading Standards and a number of meet and greet companies operating at the airport, the airport plans to introduce an approved ‘operator scheme’ and has launched a consultation period for meet and greet operators.

The draft consultation paper suggests that the approved operator scheme will:

  • Reduce forecourt congestion by limiting meet and greet operations to specific, controlled areas
  • Expands the ‘user pays’ principle to cover meet and greet parking
  • Address the issue of sub-standard meet and greet operators at Gatwick by only allowing meet and greet companies that are part of the ‘approved operator’ scheme to operate at Gatwick
  • Recognise meet and greet operators that meet minimum customer service standards and ensure passengers can identify these operators.

A number of informal pre-consultation meetings have taken place with representatives of several meet and greet operators, including AVPCA and its members – ABC Gatwick, Ace Parking, Airport Meet and Greet, Gatwick Green Eco Parking, Help Me Park, Maple Manor Parking and Tudor Rose – plus West Sussex and Surrey Trading Standards and Sussex Police.

In order to be accepted as a member of the proposed ‘approved operator’ scheme meet and greet operators must:

  • Hold the British Parking Association ParkMark award for all operational sites serving Gatwick
  • Attain the Buy with Confidence accreditation from Trading Standards
  • Sign and operate within the terms of a licence agreement with the airport.

Anyone wishing to comment on Gatwick’s ‘approved operator’ scheme has until Friday 12 April 2013 to do so.

Final proposals reflecting feedback are expected in early May, while the scheme will be open to signatories from mid May.


8 Great Ideas for Easter Holidays

02.27.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public, Travel tips by

If you fancy taking advantage of the long Easter weekend, when a 10-day break only requires 4 days annual leave, then check out our top destinations for interesting, unusual and fun Easter Holiday getaways.

  1. Madrid
    An Easter city break in Madrid offers the best of both worlds. Warm temperatures, culture, night life and a drummed procession of white-robed locals parading through Plaza Mayor Square on Easter Sunday, celebrating a very traditional Easter and its meaning, then and now.
  2. Amsterdam
    World renowned for its tulips, an Easter break in Amsterdam is a visual spectacle. Revel in the bright colours of the most beautiful spring flowers such as daffodils and tulips – colours you never knew existed – in wonderful displays around the city. Be sure to check out Keukenhof Flower Gardens where more than 7 million bulbs are planted each year.
  3. Dubai
    Now Dubai may not seem like an obvious place to enjoy Easter but you’d be surprised. Bask in the luxury and sunshine of Dubai, while children search for Easter eggs in artificial snow in the Ski Dubai Complex and take a camel ride out in to the desert to enjoy Easter celebrations on working farms.
  4. Moscow
    Visit Moscow’s Orthodox Churches during the Orthodox Easter holidays, this year 8th April. Witness rituals and services that run from the Saturday evening throughout the weekend, and see churches that are lit up in in beautiful colours against the night sky. There are vibrant processions that parade through the streets as the sound of priest’s chanting and song fills the streets.
  5. Rio de Janeiro
    Possibly the most famous carnival in the World, the Rio Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, is held 40 days before Easter to kickstart the Easter celebrations. Too late this year, but consider booking your trip for next year. Take part in the spectacular celebrations as literally the whole city joins in the revelry, enjoying delicious Easter snacks of chocolate eggs and Pacoca – a traditional Easter delicacy made from cooked peanuts and sugar.
  6. Vienna
    We are familiar with Christmas markets, but why not visit Vienna’s Easter markets? Hundreds of hand-decorated Easter eggs and chocolate bunny rabbits are available to buy, along with beautiful handmade wooden decorations and traditional fare. While you’re there be sure to take a look inside the stunning and historic 18th century Schönbrunn Palace.
  7. Austria
    Now you might think that by Easter the ski season is pretty much over, but not in Ischgl, Austria, here it’s in full swing! There’s great snow, superb slopes and a lively Easter music, rock and pop festival to liven up the après ski.
  8. New York
    Who can forget New York’s passion for celebrating anything and everything and Easter is no exception. Check out Macy’s Easter bonnet parade for pets, yes, pets – cats and dogs ‘work’ the catwalk along with their wacky owners. And if you want to join in, grab yourself an Easter bonnet on Easter Sunday and head for Fifth Avenue where literally thousands of people hit the streets in their Easter finery for a fun and fancy parade where everyone is welcome to join


London Councillor calls for Gatwick to be renamed

02.20.13 Posted in Gatwick AVPCA Public by

A bizarre idea to rename Gatwick Airport has been touted by a London Councillor, the Redhill and Reigate Life reports.

Steve O’Connell, Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton, who backs a second runway at Gatwick, suggested that the airport should be renamed Croydon International, saying “Gatwick is 15 minutes from East Croydon, it is seen as a London airport and Croydon with the investment coming in is fast becoming the economic powerhouse of the south.

“So it would make sense to me to make even more of a closer alignment between greater Croydon and Gatwick, build a new runway – probably after 2020 – and then align it with Croydon.”

I’m not sure Gatwick Airport would agree, just think of the confusion that it would cause, and the cost of rebranding.

Henry Smith, MP for Crawley, poured scorn on the suggestion saying, “The notion that the Airport should be renamed as Croydon International is utter nonsense and demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of the Gatwick brand. As the Prime Minister recently acknowledged, Gatwick is taking over as the nation’s business gateway because of its location in the heart of the thriving Gatwick Diamond regional economy and ideal transport links with London and the rest of the country.

“Renaming the Airport would undermine its strong, globally renowned brand and create confusion given that Croydon is miles down the road. Crawley town and Gatwick Airport’s symbiotic relationship is well established and more importantly is a great British business success which not only drives the regional economy but also helps fuel the national financial recovery.

“The focus should be on finding a lasting, sustainable solution to our nation’s aviation needs.”

Do you think Gatwick deserves and name change and, if so, what do you think it should be called?

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