Why no change when paying for airport parking?

| 23/03/2016

Why doesn’t the ticket machine at the airport give change? Is that legal?

Auntie’s answer: I must admit that after reading your question, I was all set to rant and rave about the state of the airport parking-ticket-payment machine at Owen Roberts. Anyone who has been in Cayman longer than a few months will certainly have tales of their own about seemingly perfectly flat dollar bills being rejected and being forced to get change or switch offending bills at the taxi booth by the arrivals side.

To be honest, I don’t even remember when the machine stopped functioning properly but know that it has been long enough that I was building up quite a head of steam in preparation to answering your question.

However, after contacting the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA), I am being forced to stand down – to some degree. A CIAA spokesperson has explained that a new system should be up and running sometime in April that will make all of this hurt go away.

But let’s start with how it is working now. When entering the carpark (and note the new one-way system for the road around the airport as well as the new entrances and exits of the carparks) you get a ticket from the machine as before. But when you are ready to leave, hand your ticket to the CIAA ground transport attendant in the blue booth in the arrivals area, who will determine the fee, take your money and validate the ticket. You then exit the carpark using the ticket as previously.

However, once everything is up and running next month, when you are ready to pay, you will simply go to the new payment machine, which is where the old, hated beast used to sit ineffectually by arrivals. I am assured that anyone stuck without single dollars can insert a $10 bill and receive change back. While I suspect many of you will be sceptical about this news, I am told that is how the new system will work.

Do not approach the machine with coins because you will get no joy, but the attendants will be able to change those coins into dollar bills.

The other good news is that, as was the case in years gone by, the new machines will be accepting credit and debit cards, according to the CIAA spokesperson, who expects that change to be activated as “soon as possible”.

In addition, there are payment machines at the carpark exits if you want to bring your ticket there, though they will only accept debit or credit cards once they are activated. For now, they will only take your paid ticket.

I realise that is all a lot to take in, but I think now you know everything there is to know about paying for parking at the airport, for what any of that is worth.

And I guess, starting sometime next month, you and I both will have to find another avenue for our outrage, which shouldn’t be too hard to do.


Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (4)

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  1. P&L says:

    And the same types of machines in the states provide change… So seems silly that the Cayman Airport machines do not. Clearly it is to do with the programming and settings… Incompetence? Or just greed?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Now that’s funny. Its just a regulation. Its like a law. And this is The Cayman Islands.

  3. Anonymous says:

    3rd world treatment, lost count of how much change I never got back, and the attitude of staff (if you can even find someone) when you need to get out and nothing is working…

  4. Anonymous says:

    However, for years we have all been overcharged for parking at the airport, under Civil Aviation Law, The Airport Regulations (1995 Revision) at regulation 5:

    Parking fees

    5. No person shall-

    (a) park a vehicle at an airport elsewhere than in a place provided for that purpose; or depart from such parking area without payment of the prescribed parking fee to the Director or a person authorised by him.

    (b) The following fees are prescribed for the parking of a vehicle at an

    not exceeding one hour $1.00, overnight $5.00, per week $25.00, per month $75.00

    (3) The Director may, in his discretion, waive the prescribed parking fee in whole or in part, whether prospectively or retrospectively, in respect of any person or class of

    These regulations have not been amended so the fees charade now are illegal, in (3) Director may waive fees, but cannot increase the fees.

    Offences related to parking and penalties are also outlined in these regulations, and, interestingly, still,permit wheel,locking……