Welcome to O R Tambo International Airport. This is the view from what must be the most expensive parking in Johannesburg, if you are not paying careful attention to what you are doing.
I drove into this parking area this morning with the belief that this parking area is cheaper parking than the main parkades, albeit a bit of a walk from the terminals.
I had this notion that I had parked there before for an hour or two at a time in the past and didn’t pay much attention to the signs on the way in or this little sign on the ticket dispenser (you’d think I would have paid more attention, being a lawyer acutely aware of terms and conditions):
Alas I didn’t (and I suspect the numerous people I saw approaching the attendants didn’t either) and when I arrived back at the parking area after about 2 hours to pay for my parking I received a little surprise:
It is entirely possible that the parking was never charged by the hour (although I doubt that, I am pretty sure I have paid for shorter term parking there) and that there were prominent signs posted overhead identifying this parking area as longer term parking only – I didn’t notice either. The clincher is that I didn’t pay attention to the little yellow sign at the entrance advertising the charges. That was a real newspaper moment.
The problem with all this is that if you are not careful enough, you could wind up paying the most for parking you have paid in Joburg. There is no lesser charge if you are only there for a quick pickup, 2 hours or 20 hours. Anything up to a day will cost you R45. If you proceed up to the main parkades you will pay around R10 an hour for parking. You really need to plan ahead and park at that parkade which is apparently a bus ride away from the airport if you want to evade the ACSA parking tax.
It is all very unsatisfactory, expensive and a little worrying. So next time you head to the airport and intend parking there, don’t go for the shaded parking. Just park in the overpriced main parkades, it will still be cheaper!
Thanks for the screw ACSA, I know it was good for you. It just left a bad taste in my mouth.