Airport to introduce online parking bookings

Pilot project aims to avoid shortchanging travelers

By Robert Frank

Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) will launch a pilot project later this month to let travelers pay for their long-term parking online when they make their reservations. If successful, the new system could replace printed discount coupons like the ones offered by Air Transat.

Currently, customers who use their credit card to enter the parking lot are out of luck when they depart, since ADM’s automated kiosks won’t recognize their discount coupons. Motorists often don’t find that out until they exit the premises though, since ADM’s web site instructs travelers to pick up the coupon at the Air Transat departure counter.

“It’s a known deficiency in the automated payment computer system,” an ADM parking official acknowledged to The Suburban.

The ADM web site touts a several long-term parking affinity rebates—one the best deals being the Air Transat coupon, which saves jet-setters $12 off the regular $69 weekly price. The discounted parking rate costs less—often much less—than most passengers would otherwise have to pay to take a taxi to and from the airport.

According to ADM spokeswoman Stéphanie Lepage, the airport has posted instructions for prospective discount coupon users on its parking lot entry barriers. Since the directives are easy for harried travelers to miss, ADM will refund the money if they make a claim to the airport.

ADM’s on-site parking staff cannot make the refunds on-the-spot, though. Instead, customers have to call the ADM parking authority’s off-site headquarters during business hours.

There, a robotic phone system instructs callers to write a letter requesting a refund, and asks them to send it to ADM by fax or e-mail.

“The goal of introducing the online pilot project is to make getting the parking discount easier for our customers,” Air Transat spokeswoman Debbie Cabana told The Suburban. “We’re working closely with our partners at the airport to make it possible to purchase a parking ticket directly on the Air Transat web site when travelers book their reservations.”

“We will see how our new pilot project works,” concluded ADM’s Lepage. “Coupons are complicated, so we’re trying to fix the program so that you don’t need to use them any more.”

Wordpress Social Share Plugin powered by Ultimatelysocial