Gatwick warns passengers on unapproved car parks after more than a hundred holidaymakers were left stranded

Rebecca Smith
The London airport has told passengers to stick to approved operators
The London airport has told passengers to stick to approved operators (Source: Gatwick)

Gatwick Airport today warned passengers to stick to official car parks and approved operators, after a car parking firm closed down and failed to return vehicles to more than a hundred holidaymakers this week.

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Police were called when Gatwick First Parking appeared to cease trading and left vehicles abandoned with their owners unable to retrieve them. Gatwick said it had since used its own number plate tracking system to help locate many of the missing cars.

And today the airport advised passengers to stick to airport-approved operators, or official parking at the airport.

Chris Banford, senior commercial operations manager at Gatwick Airport, said:

We sympathise with any of our passengers who put their trust in Gatwick First Parking and have been affected by its abrupt collapse and the lack of information provided in the aftermath.

This company had absolutely no affiliation to Gatwick Airport and we strongly recommend that passengers should avoid non-approved firms going forward.

By using official on-airport parking or companies in our Approved Operators Scheme instead, passengers will eliminate the risk of experiencing a distressing incident like this in the future.

Earlier this week passengers at the London airport faced separate disruption after a plane tyre burst when leaving the runway for a transatlantic flight.

Planes had to use the airport's back-up runway after the airport's main strip was closed after the incident involving an Air Canada Rouge flight.

Gatwick said at the time it had to check for debris with a "mandatory inspection of the runway", leading to a backlog of delays.

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