A RYANAIR customer who paid to park his car with the firm before a holiday has warned others of booking with the "illegitimate" site.
John Paton, of Tyneside, bought his spot at Newcastle Airport in the days before he was due to head to Malaga with wife Sheila.
But when the couple arrived bright and early, staff at Looking4Parking failed to respond with their advertised 'meet and greet service' – and instead had no record of the booking.
Mr Paton was then forced to fork out another £66.99 to park, even though he'd already paid, Chronicle Live reports.
Now a spat has broken out between reps from the airport and Ryanair, with the companies blaming each other for the mix-up.
Mr Paton, of Whitley Bay, said the problems began when he called the number of the parking voucher sent by the airline company.
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He quickly found there was no one to answer his call, let alone collect his car. Instead, an automated voice informed him the service wasn't in operation.
The 69-year-old said: "Luckily we arrived in good time before our flight. Otherwise we would have missed it.
"The message put us in a panic, as our flight time was getting nearer, so we went to the on-site airport parking office, to be told that our voucher was not valid at the airport.
"We had no choice but pay for more parking through the airport's official site and had to pay another £66.99 to park.
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"It was awful – we were conscious that we were running out of time to get through security to catch our flight.
"The whole thing was very stressful."
When the couple returned home, they contacted Ryanair as the booking was made through their website. But reps said they had to contact Looking4Parking instead.
And Newcastle Airport said the Patons aren't the first to have had an issue with parking.
There have been concerns that it's an "illegitimate parking provider" claiming to offer a service, officials said.
"Several passengers have had a negative experience with the operator and we have been assisting them with replacement, on the day, car parking products where possible," a spokesperson told the publication.
But Ryanair, which operates 19 routes from Newcastle Airport, has defended Looking4Parking.
"The car park operation is legitimate. ‘Looking4’ work with the operator at multiple UK airports," a spokesman said.
"Looking4 stringently checks all operators and as soon as they became aware that the car park at Newcastle was experiencing operational challenges, they were immediately removed from sale and refunded any customers who were inconvenienced."
The couple have been refunded their initial £49.67, as well as the extra £66.99, although Mr Paton said it took nearly six weeks – and 20 emails – for the full amount to be returned.
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A Newcastle Airport spokeswoman said: "We recently became aware of an illegitimate parking provider claiming to offer a parking service at Newcastle International Airport.
"Since then, we have worked closely with the car park consolidators to remove this unofficial product from the market to protect our passengers."
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