My car was smashed up after an airport parking company took it on a 200-mile joyride while I was on holiday in Spain


A HOLIDAYMAKER claims a “scam” airport parking company took her car on a 200-odd-mile joyride then crashed it while she was sunning herself in Spain. 

Emma Jackson says the meet and greet service caused £3,750 worth of damage to her Seat Leon and drained it completely of fuel.

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An airport parking firm left a couple’s car looking like thisCredit: Supplied
Alex Bishop, 36, and Emma Jackson, 46, want to warn other holidaymakers

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Alex Bishop, 36, and Emma Jackson, 46, want to warn other holidaymakersCredit: Supplied

The 46-year-old and her partner, personal trainer Alex Bishop, 36, left the vehicle, which they had only bought four weeks earlier, on September 10 before jetting off to the Costa del Sol for a family wedding. 

They paid skylinkparking.co.uk £64.95 through the comparison app JustParkMe for the service.

But when they returned from their five-day break they were stunned to find the corner of their car “smashed to pieces”.

Their motor, which Alex had filled up on the way to Gatwick, also had an almost-empty tank of petrol. 

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Emma, an NHS health and wellbeing coach, said: “It’s unbelievable. 

“We had only had the car for just over four weeks, so to say we were gutted is an understatement.

“They gave me absolutely no explanation as to what had happened and I still have no idea.

“I was really worried that I was going to find out later that my car had hit someone or the police were after me or something. 

“The whole thing was so stressful.”

Pictures from when the couple collected their hatchback on September 14 show the front-left bumper, bonnet and one of the headlights cracked and dented.

There are also red and black marks and scratches across the front and side.

Emma, from Patrington Haven, East Yorkshire, said the damage cost £3,750 to repair – though thankfully she could claim most of it on insurance.

“There’s no way I could afford that,” she said.

“I got most of it back, but it wasn’t even me, and I had to pay £350 excess.

“Plus, my premium is obviously going to go up as I’ll have to declare it, so it’s a total nightmare.”

Emma isn’t alone. Gatwick has warned scores of holidaymakers regularly fall victim to these alleged rogue traders.

And both the airport and Emma want to warn others about the “scammers”.

‘FOBBING US OFF’

She, who stayed in Nerja, Malaga, said: “It’s honestly crazy how many people this is happening to. 

“We don’t want anyone to return home to the experience we had. 

“We have tried ringing the company daily to get insurance details but they just keep fobbing us off.

“Now they’ve blocked us from calling, with not even a refund.

“These people work from the airport but they are not approved, and the airport can’t do a thing about it.

“The police said they get calls daily from people returning to damaged cars, so it’s just not worth it.

“We thought things seemed dodgy when there were delays when we dropped the car off, but they let it get so close to our flight we had no choice but to leave it with them.

“It was clever, but don’t make the same mistake.”

A spokesman for skylinkparking.co.uk did not dispute the claims and said its investigation into the matter could take 31 days while it examines CCTV and driving logs.

A separate company, skylinkparking.com, which appears the former has based itself on, said it has “nothing to do with the substandard service and illegal trading” of its rival.

A spokesman for Gatwick Airport, said: “Gatwick Airport has no relationship with any alleged rogue ‘meet and greet’ parking companies, even though many of them have ‘Gatwick’ in their company name.  

“Legally these firms can operate on the airport as long as they do not break our bye-laws.   

“If passengers are considering using an off-airport meet and greet parking provider, they should check that they have a good reputation on Trustpilot, Trip Advisor or any other reliable means. 

“The British Parking Association also has some good advice.

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“For complete peace of mind, I would however strongly recommend that passengers use official on-airport parking.”

JustParkMe was unavailable for comment.

Emma and Alex said it cost £3,750 to repair the damage to their Seat Leon

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Emma and Alex said it cost £3,750 to repair the damage to their Seat LeonCredit: Supplied
Justlinkparking.co.uk said it is investigating what happened

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Justlinkparking.co.uk said it is investigating what happenedCredit: Supplied
The couple were on holiday in Nerja, Spain, for a family wedding at the time

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The couple were on holiday in Nerja, Spain, for a family wedding at the timeCredit: Supplied





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