Australian airports are not ripping you off: PC report

Airports are not using their market power to rip you off, says the Productivity Commission.

When travellers fork out as much for airport parking as they do for their flights, something is wrong.

Not so, says the Productivity Commission (PC), which has decreed that airports are not ripping off travellers with high car parking prices.

No, according to the PC, Australian airports are perfectly justified charging $20 per hour for parking, and they’re not using their market powers to price gouge customers.

“Car parking charges are not due to airports exercising their market power – the price of parking at-terminal can largely be explained by the value passengers place on convenience, the limited amount of land close to the terminal, and the need to manage congestion,” says the PC report.

In other words, airport parking is convenient, so you have to pay a high price for it.

In all fairness, the PC, in its wisdom, does share some tips to save on airport parking.

“There are many ways for people to access the airport precinct, such as taxi, Uber, off-airport car parks and public transport and, while they are not perfectly substitutable for those wishing to park at the terminal, they do constrain the ability of airport operators to increase prices significantly,” it says.

Former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) chairman Professor Graeme Samuel expressed his incredulity at the report.

“They’ve said, ‘Oh, it’s convenient to park at Melbourne Airport. That's why the charges are high’,” he said.

“Well, it is equally convenient to park at the Alfred Hospital, but the charges there are half of those that are charged by Melbourne Airport.

“Similar things occur with Sydney Airport and the like. It is a nonsense and frankly their analysis is very, very poor.”

The Productivity Commission report opposed findings by the ACCC and IATA, which said Aussie airports need to revisit their parking fees.

Do you think you pay too much for airport parking?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    23rd Feb 2019
    Not expensive. Probably another company Joe Hockey and Matthias Corman have shares in. Ask Josh Frydenberg. Oh that’s right we pay their airport parking fees.
    23rd Feb 2019
    They don't need airport parking, they are dropped of and picked up by Com Cars, at our expense of course.
    23rd Feb 2019
    If you're worried about parking costs, then go by public transport.

    In Sydney there are 2 bus routes and the International and Domestic Airport stations.

    The bus routes are the cheapest option if you've got a Seniors/Pensioner Opal Card (similar to Myki in Melbourne). It only costs $2.50 to get to the airports by bus, no matter where you start your journey from. This card can be applied for online if you have a valid Pensioner Concession Card. If you an Interstate Seniors Card, you'll need to complete an application form. Both applications take around 3 weeks to finalise.

    The 2 bus routes are the 400 from Bondi Junction to the International Terminal (and return), and the 420 from Burwood to Eastgardens via both terminals (and return). Check out the timetables on the Transport NSW website.

    You can also get the trains, but you'll be slugged an extra $10 - 12 just for the station access fee on top of your $2.50 fare.
    23rd Feb 2019
    That's nonsense. Not everyone is physically able to jump on trains or buses with luggage and walk extra distances, and allowing extra time as well. Parking at such an important destination is of paramount importance for such (many seniors) people, and parking fees need to be reasonable - Sydney Airport fees are not. They are a monopoly ripping people off.
    23rd Feb 2019
    And how do you get there from the Northern side of the harbour. If you think its bad now, imagine when we have to travel to Badgereys Creek!

    23rd Feb 2019
    PC report is outrageous, maybe their members own shares in Sydney Airport - have they revealed that? I agree with Grant Samuels, "..their analysis is very, very poor."

    Sydney Airport parking charges are a rip-off, they charge as much as possible because they can being a monopoly, and the Federal Govt (Liberals) never put proper controls on them when they handed over the Airport to this private company cheaply - after the Govt spent billions of taxpayers money to upgrade it for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

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