UK

UK holidaymakers ‘left in limbo’ after car park fire at Luton Airport

Travellers say they do not know what state their cars are in following a fire at Luton Airport (Jordan Pettitt/PA and Katie Forbes)
Travellers say they do not know what state their cars are in following a fire at Luton Airport (Jordan Pettitt/PA and Katie Forbes) Travellers say they do not know what state their cars are in following a fire at Luton Airport (Jordan Pettitt/PA and Katie Forbes)

UK holidaymakers and travellers who left their cars at Luton Airport have been “left in limbo” after a vehicle fire caused a car park to collapse.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service said it received a report of a car fire on level three of the airport’s Terminal Car Park 2 at 8.47pm on Tuesday.

Andrew Hopkinson, chief fire officer for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said up to 1,500 vehicles were inside the car park at the time of the fire.

Luton Airport fire
Luton Airport fire The scene at Luton Airport after a fire ripped through level three of the airport’s Terminal Car Park 2, causing it to collapse (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

Katie Forbes, 42, who lives on the outskirts of Coventry, had travelled to Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands with her husband, daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, due to return on Friday.

Having parked their car in Car Park 2, the group have been forced to hire a car for their return, with no information regarding the state of their vehicle.

Ms Forbes told the PA news agency: “I’ve had no joy with Luton. I’ve heard nothing back, I’ve been tweeting them, everything, and nothing.

“I get it, they’re getting other people that are going to the airport, but to me there’s been no apology, not once has anybody said ‘we’re sorry about the situation’.

“We’re kind of left in limbo.”

Katie Forbes (pictured with her husband Adrian) said they had been left 'in limbo'
Katie Forbes (pictured with her husband Adrian) said they had been left 'in limbo' Katie Forbes, pictured with her husband Adrian, said they had been left ‘in limbo’ (Katie Forbes/PA)

Ms Forbes added her daughter had left her own car keys in the parked car as well, and said the incident had had a negative impact on their holiday.

“It’s hard to do anything, you can’t relax around the pool because you’re constantly looking at your phone to see ‘have they emailed, have we got an update?’ There’s just been nothing.

“An apology goes a long way, it’s not an admission of guilt, it’s an ‘I’m sorry you’re in this situation’ even if they can’t help.”

Thomas Willett, 29, a content manager for a real estate firm, from Essex, had travelled to Gran Canaria with his partner, arriving on Tuesday evening.

Having parked their car on the third floor of Terminal Car Park 2, he said he believes others are being taken care of instead of those looking to confirm the state of their vehicle.

“I received an email from Luton Airport Parking on Wednesday at 2am telling us to email them to get information about our car,” Mr Willett told PA.

Luton Airport fire
Luton Airport fire A London Luton Airport spokesperson thanked customers for their patience (Jordan Pettitt/PA)

“I have since emailed them three times and contacted them on Twitter over the course of Wednesday and (Thursday) but have heard nothing.

“We don’t know if our car has been damaged or not, or how we will be getting home from the airport.

“Their duty of care should be to those whose vehicles have been impacted, but they seem to be replying to everyone else with other queries instead.”

Mr Willett is due to return home on Sunday but said: “Currently, we have no means of getting back home.”

Lucy Lynam, a 42-year-old accountant from Hertfordshire, said she is “none the wiser” about the state of her car and is “expecting the worst”.

Lucy Lynam said that she is 'none the wiser' about the state of her car
Lucy Lynam said that she is 'none the wiser' about the state of her car Lucy Lynam said she is ‘none the wiser’ about the state of her car (Lucy Lynam/PA)

Ms Lynam parked her car on Tuesday morning, as she had to attend a conference in Majorca, and first heard about the fire on Tuesday evening.

However, she praised Luton Airport’s communication, adding she had been emailed “a couple of times with updates”.

She told PA: “I’m parked on level 2 against the perimeter fence (facing row C), nearest the apron, which, from the videos, seems where the bulk of the damage has happened. 

“However, I’m still none the wiser as to the state of my car. I would appreciate more information as to where the fire started based on a map view, maybe with a plan of row letters etc so I can estimate the likelihood of the level of damage to my car. 

“I’m expecting the worst.”

She said she regularly uses her car to transport her two children, but added that Luton Airport has been “good at communicating” with her about updates.

“I can only imagine they’re operating in crisis mode behind the scenes,” she said.

“They’ve emailed me a couple of times with updates and whilst there’s little specific info around my individual vehicle, they’ve kept me up to date.”

A London Luton Airport spokesperson said: “We understand the distress this incident has caused for our car parking customers, and we recognise many are anxious for answers.

“We are working hard to provide those answers as quickly as possible, though this will take some time.

“We would like to thank our customers for their continued patience and understanding.”