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McCausland Airport Car Park in refund row after Belfast flights cancelled

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Jenny and Mervyn McNeill

Jenny and Mervyn McNeill

Jenny and Mervyn McNeill

Some holidaymakers who had their flights cancelled due to the Covid-19 virus have vented their anger after a car park servicing Belfast International Airport refused refunds.

The travellers had booked parking at McCausland Airport Car Park and were trying to claim their money back after their flights to Spain had been cancelled.

Mervyn and Jenny McNeill from Doagh were due to travel in a group of 12 for three nights in Spain from Saturday but had their flights cancelled by easyJet.

The couple was able to get refunds from the airline and the hotel in Spain, but were angry when McCausland said no refund would be made as was stated in the terms and conditions.

Mr McNeill said: "We had booked a short holiday to the same place in Spain that we had visited last year. We were a group of 12 friends that had also paid for a hotel, paid deposits for restaurants and airport transfers in Spain.

"The flight leaving Belfast was quite early so rather than ask anyone to leave us to the airport we booked parking with McCausland at just over£30.

"Sadly, all our plans were axed with the coronavirus taking hold and we had to cancel everything. EasyJet refunded the flights no problem, as did the hotel in Spain, the transfer company and the restaurants.

"However, when it came to getting a refund from McCausland we were refused and told we wouldn't be getting our money back as that was the policy as set in the cancellation terms and conditions.

"Flights being cancelled were not our fault and I found it incredibly petty that the car park refused to refund the money."

Mervyn sent two emails to the company but the answer was clear that no refunds were being offered as the couple had booked the parking over 14 days ago.

He added: "With everything going on around the world with the coronavirus I thought it was really petty of them refusing a refund. They didn't even offer a credit note to use another time when I contacted them.

"It says a lot when the hotel in Spain sent us a nice message with the refund wishing us well and welcoming us again at another time yet a Northern Ireland business refused to co-operate."

When a call was made to McCausland Airport Car Park the Belfast Telegraph was diverted to the company's head office, but nobody was available to comment.

Director Christopher McCausland later called back and said: "Customers receive discounted parking price when they book online. The terms and conditions state the charge can be fully refunded within 14 days.

"However, today we have reviewed our policy and as a gesture of goodwill we are offering those who booked outside the 14 days a credit note to use at some stage in the future.

"Our family business has been operating for 35 years and we are not here to hurt anyone. At the airport business is down 70% due to low numbers travelling.

"We have 50 staff who work there and it is them we are also concerned about. Over the last few days we have refunded over £10,000 to 300 people who had booked inside the 14 days and had travel cancelled.

"This virus is going to hurt a number of businesses. Our own Value Cabs taxi company is also heavily affected."

Some people who also felt aggrieved at the refund policy had previously taken to social media to say they would never use the car park again.

Belfast Telegraph