Before I start to write this article I need to be really clear about something. Some people will read this and think it’s simply another airport parking company who’s bemoaning the fact that they’re not ranking as high as other websites, i.e. official airport sites. Well, to be honest this is partly true, I mean, who doesn’t want to rank on search engines better than anybody else!
However, there is a much bigger story to be told when it comes to UK airport parking, and that is that consumers are losing out financially! Let me explain…
Google, and indeed other search engines always talk about wanting to return the most relevant websites for a given search term, which makes sense, but from a consumers point of view there are two ways of defining a good result for a search term in this instance.
The first is how Google see it, they want to return results which are most relevant and authoritative, they don’t concern themselves with price. They simply see a search term such as “heathrow airport parking” and their algorithms go to work. Of course they return very relevant sites and invariably this will have the official airport website at the top. In the case of this particular search term you’ll see at the top three results for Heathrow airport from Google maps followed by another result returned for the same site. So basically the first four results are all for the official Heathrow airport. This is in general the same for all UK airport parking searches.
A lot of people may say that’s good, which it is from an authority point of view but when you consider airport parking is a “grudge purchase” this is where the relevance from a consumers point of view fails!
The reason for this is simple, most holidaymakers are very price driven, they want their hard earned money in their pockets on holiday not in the hands of a car park company! This is where the official airport sites can sometimes fail the consumer because they only offer their own on site car parks which cost more.
Take a quick look at the airport parking examples below to see just how much a typical holidaymaker could save by not simply using the official airport web site :
5th Dec 2014 to 12th Dec 2014 – Cheapest Car Park Found –
Heathrow airport website : £70.10
UKACP website : £51.95 (saving £18.15).
Gatwick airport website : £40
UKACP website : £27.99 (saving £12.01).
Birmingham airport website : £35.99
UKACP website : £23.85 (saving £12.14).
Liverpool airport website : £31.99
UKACP website : £26.99 (saving £5.00).
Cardiff airport website : £37.99
UKACP website : £29.99 (saving £8.00).
We also checked out Glasgow airport and we were actually 99p cheaper than their own official on airport car park (the very same product). We also have to say to be fair that we looked at Manchester airport and we were only a couple of pounds cheaper and East Midlands airport came out at the exact same price as us.
Also, it needs to be noted that all car parks had the same transfer time give or take a couple of minutes and all had the same levels of security.