Thursday, 29 May 2008
One Of Our Cars Is Missing!
Not just one, quite a few actually.
So we finally land at East Midlands Airport at midnight, expecting to just pick up our car from the car park and be reunited with our cats in 45 minutes or so.
What we hadn't anticipated was that East Midlands Airport might have lost our car! Long stay car-park six is being resurfaced so rather than miss a buck, EMA are running a system where you go to car park seven, leave your keys with the attendant, and they park it for you in some far-flung corner of the airport. So when you return, you go to their Customer Services (sic) hut to collect your keys, and your car will be waiting for you.
Except it wasn't.
For a few people, EMA couldn't find their car-keys. They found our keys alright (eventually), but nobody there had a clue where our car had been parked. They sent patrols off around the airport grounds to see if they could see our and other people's cars. Meanwhile the queue got longer and longer, and the disgruntled travellers got more and more irate. At one point a Police patrol car arrived; I tried to report a stolen car (well, what do you call it when your car isn't where you left it and no-one knows where it has gone), but they said they were there not to arrest the incompetent EMA staff but to keep public order if trouble broke out. Well that's just great isn't it? Innocently try and go through airport security with too-large a tube of toothpaste and you get the armed response Police team wanting a word with you, but mislay thousands of pounds of somebody's automobile and they don't want to know.
It must have cost EMA dear that night, not least in customer satisfaction. One guy was put up in a hotel at EMA's expense until they could find his car. After three-quarters of an hour we were at the stage where EMA were going to pay for us a taxi home, and deliver our car to our address, when eventually they found our car.
Our advice is, at least until they have sorted long stay car park six out, either book well in advance online for car parks 1-4 (they were already fully booked when we tried), or use one of the local Castle Donnington car parking services. Don't trust EMA with your car or they may lose it!