From July 2018, Prague Airport will make life more difficult for people who are earning side-money with an alternative taxi service. It plans to considerably extend the time that drivers have to wait for them to return to the parking lot directly in front of the airport terminals. Free parking places for people arriving for relatives returning from their holiday are being abused by the drivers who make their living as taxi drivers.
Passengers using these services will not, however, be touched by these measures directly.
At express parking lots in front of airport terminals, it is now possible to wait for no more than fifteen minutes free of charge. After that, you need to leave the car park, and more free parking is available for the same vehicle at the airport after a one-hour period. This period will be extended to 24 hours from 1 July 2018.
The airport admits that this measure is directed against commercial carriers. However, the parking space has also been forced to move. “Together with the increase in the number of passengers, we are dealing with large capacity problems in car parks,” said Marika Janoušková, Prague Airport spokeswoman.
The fifteen-minute free parking space is valid after sixty minutes in each of the express parking spaces. Different carriers and illegal taxi drivers use it to move from one car park to another all day long. The airport wants to stop that and force commercial operators to purchase prepaid entry cards.
On the contrary, ordinary passengers should not be touched by this measure. According to Janoušková, the stated time for the passenger is absolutely sufficient, because almost no one leaves more than once within 24 hours.
Complications may be caused upon arrival if the planned landing is delayed. In such a case, people only have to use charged spaces if they do not want to circle around the airport and pick up the travellers farther from airport terminals.
Prague Airport was the scene of one of the classic taxi drivers’ protests against Uber last September. About five dozen protesters stuck stickers on the vehicles of their competitors that warned customers that they allegedly operated illegal transport. Protests of taxi drivers began in February 2016, when their vehicles blocked the Prague highway. Generally, they complain that alternative taxis drivers do not have to conform to the same strict rules and do not need to use a taximeter.
In addition to express parking lot changes, Prague Airport has prepared changes for the short-term parking in the PB Economy Park area as well, and covered parking in the PC Comfort building, which will be effective from July. The cost of parking will increase from fifty to sixty crowns per hour. According to Janoušek, the price of this parking has not increased for the past ten years. The airport did so because of the increasing cost of maintaining parking spaces.