Locked out of the parking lot at Newark – can I get a refund?

Cynthia Farmer/Shutterstock
Cynthia Farmer/Shutterstock
No one ever complains about airport parking lots because these businesses typically say what they do and do what they say. In other words, it’s a place to park.

So when someone does call me about a parking problem, I pay attention. Which is exactly what I did when I heard from Peter Gildenhuys, who recently parked his vehicle at an off-airport parking lot in Newark.

Getting it to the parking lot wasn’t a problem. Getting it off the lot? Problem.
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Sharing companies take over a share of the travel industry

Radkov/Shutterstock
Radkov/Shutterstock
Instead of paying $18 a day to park at San Francisco International Airport last month, Daniel Denegre tried something new. He handed the keys to his Hyundai Accent to a start-up company called FlightCar, which offered “free” parking at an off-airport lot in Burlingame, Calif., and an opportunity to earn up to $20 a day by renting his vehicle to someone else.

“If I can find a way to reduce the burden of leaving my car at the airport and make it profitable, I’m game,” says Denegre, an independent film producer from San Francisco. Even though no one rented his car, he didn’t pay a dime to park. “To me, the convenience is amazing.”

But city officials have another word for it: illegal. In a lawsuit filed earlier this year, the San Francisco city attorney’s office said that FlightCar is running an “unlawful and unfair operation.” It says that the company, which is part rental-car company, part parking-lot catering operation, lacks the necessary permits to do business at the airport.
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Here’s why you should always take a picture of your car after you get a parking ticket

Jkirsh/Shutterstock
Jkirsh/Shutterstock
I don’t know what to do about Clare Goyette’s case with the Philadelphia Parking Authority. I’m about to move her case into the “unsolved” file, but thought I would ask you before I did. Maybe I’ve overlooked something.

Goyette rented a car from Dollar on a recent visit to Philadelphia and parked the car along the 1900 block of Sansom Street.

“A city parking official assisted me with the parking kiosk and walked to my car with me and remarked that the receipt is to be displayed on the curb side of the car,” she says.
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Case dismissed: They towed my car and now they’re threatening me

Clare Koebert was looking forward to seeing the sights in Chicago last summer. She’d rented a car with her husband and made the 12-hour drive from the Philadelphia suburbs.

Instead, she got an unwanted lesson in Chicago’s infamous bureaucracy — and, she says, in its unfair judicial system.

While she was in town, her car was towed. The city says she parked in a handicapped spot. She and her husband insist they didn’t.
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Ridiculous or not? Airport parking fees start to multiply

Like many travelers, Hal Frost is accustomed to being hit with fees everywhere he goes, from the airport check-in counter to the hotel front desk. But long-term parking used to always be pretty straightforward: the rate he was quoted was the rate he paid.

Not anymore.

When he parked his car in New York recently through a site called NetParkFly he found several fees added to his bill, including a fuel surcharge fee, a customer service fee and an access fee. There’s no explanation of these extras on the company’s website.

“What are those for?” he wondered.
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