REVEALED: Holidaymakers are being ‘taken for a ride’ by airport parking firm which is dumping their expensive vehicles at hotels housing migrants instead of secured car park with CCTV and 24 hours patrols the firm promises
- Blue Circle Parking offers a VIP ‘meet and greet’ at London’s Heathrow Airport
- The Crowne Plaza in West Drayton, is one of two hotels being used
Holidaymakers are being taken for a ride by an airport valet parking firm which is dumping their expensive cars at hotels packed with migrants.
MailOnline can reveal unsuspecting families’ luxury vehicles are being put at risk when they are left in the hands of Blue Circle Parking which offers a VIP ‘meet and greet’ service at London’s Heathrow Airport.
Customers are promised that after dropping their vehicles off at the terminal, professional chauffeurs’ will take them to their car park secured by security barriers, CCTV and 24 hour patrols.
But MailOnline discovered vehicles are driven to large hotels housing asylum vehicles – with hundreds of vehicles and their keys left in an unsecured car park.
The Crowne Plaza in West Drayton, which is two miles from the airport, is one of two hotels housing migrants which the firm is using to park vehicles.
Incredibly, we found customers’ keys and personal details are being kept in transparent plastic containers stored in the boot of cars there.
Our investigators discovered staff using customer’s cars as makeshift mobile offices and wandered around the vast site while unattended containers were piled up on top of each other in the open vehicles.
Cars parked in the public car park outside the Crowne Plaza hotel which is used to house immigrants
Cars parked in the public car park at the Crowne Plaza hotel. The hotel is two miles from the airport, is one of two hotels housing migrants which the firm is using to park vehicles
Cars in the car park include an £80,000 electric BMW iX7, £90,00 F-type Jaguar, a £100,000 top-of-the-range Land Rover Defender and a £70,000 Audi Q8 e-tron
Cars parked in the public car park outside the Crowne plaza hotel
Envelopes marked Blue Circle Parking, in which the car keys are placed ,clearly show the names and addresses of customers, vehicle registration numbers and the dates they arrive and depart the airport.
We watched as groups of asylum seekers wandered around the car park packed with top-of-the-range vehicles worth up to £100,000.
One astonished onlooker said: ‘There are no barriers or secure cameras. There must be well over £10 million worth of cars here alone and the keys are left just lying around. It’s extraordinary.’
We found around 500 vehicles in the car park of the 465-room hotel jam packed together and lined up in row after row.
They included cars such as an £80,000 electric BMW iX7, £90,00 F-type Jaguar, a £100,000 top-of-the-range Land Rover Defender and a £70,000 Audi Q8 e-tron.
Each vehicle has a printed label on the dashboard which shows staff the date and time of arrival of the customer along with the terminal number, booking reference and vehicle details.
Around the corner, in a former hotel service area, more vehicles are crammed into every available space.
Our investigators found workers operating mobile offices from the back of customers’ cars after we visited the site on two separate days.
Incredibly, we found customers’ keys and personal details are being kept in transparent plastic containers stored in the boot of cars there
Envelopes marked Blue Circle Parking, in which the car keys are placed, clearly show the names and addresses of customers, vehicle registration numbers and the dates they arrive and depart the airport
The car park at the Holiday Inn at London Heathrow is also being used by the parking firm. Hundreds more vehicles are parked in two separate areas of the hotel
On one occasion a silver Ford hatchback was left unattended with at least four plastic boxes containing envelopes with keys and personal details stacked up in the open vehicle.
Another container was dumped on the ground beside the car.
When challenged, a worker who was pottering around the site, said he was preparing vehicles to be moved to a car park nearer the airport.
He said: ‘We don’t have an office here so we keep the keys in the boxes.
‘The office is in an old NCP car park nearer the airport. It’s rented by Blue Circle but it is full up so the cars come here for long term parking.
‘There are no security cameras in the car park but there are people here day and night. Some start at 3.30am. The police come round from time to time.
‘The people living in the hotel walk around normally when they are going down to the shops but they don’t hang around the car park for hours on end.’
Explaining why the vehicles are parked in the hotel car park he said: ‘This is an overspill area. It’s so busy at the moment because of the summer holidays so the cars are kept here.
‘We can’t keep them on the road so this place has been rented.
Heathrow Blue Circle parking – The company which offers Heathrow off site secure parking
‘The cars will be taken back to the car park when there are spaces.
‘The keys are here because the owners are coming back in the next couple of days and the cars will be moved.’
There are no barriers at the Crowne Plaza and members of the public can pay to leave cars there by using the app Your Parking Space.
There are CCTV cameras on the hotel building but that is separated from the car park by tall hoardings.
At the nearby Holiday Inn, hundreds more vehicles are parked in two separate areas of the hotel which has been home to migrants for more than two years.
The vehicles seem out of place parked alongside migrants’ bicycles which are left parked up on a patio outside a former bar at the hotel which is now closed.
After leaving the hotel, one migrant from Sudan, who said he had been living in the hotel for two years, said: ‘There are always lots of nice cars parked here. The car park is always full. The people here either walk or have bicycles so I don’t know who they belong to.’
Blue Circle Parking promise customers a VIP service at affordable prices.
For its ‘meet and greet’ service, holidaymakers drive to the terminal where they hand their cars over to ‘our fully insured driver, who will transfer your vehicle to a protected car park’.
At the nearby Holiday Inn, hundreds more vehicles are parked in two separate areas of the hotel which has been home to migrants for more than two years
Their website says: ‘On your return, our driver will hand over your keys and you can be on your way home in no time, no queues, no hassle. Feel like a VIP.’
The firm, whose motto is ‘Better parking, all round’, say they have been operating since 2009 and have expanded from their base at Heathrow to providing services at Gatwick, Birmingham and Luton.
Blue Circle Parking is the trading name of Aero Travel Extras Limited which is run by businessman Naushad Hameed, 41.
In 2017 he was operations director of another valet parking firm which was forced to apologise to a man who was fined after his car was illegally parked in a bus stop while he was away.
Graeme Philpot left his BMW with Drivefly when flying from Luton Airport.
He later received a £70 penalty charge notice for being ‘stopped on a restricted bus stop’ in the town centre on September 7 – two days before he returned from holiday.
Dissatisfied customers have bombarded the Trustpilot website with poor reviews of Blue Circle Travel – although some have praised the company with the most recent commenter saying they ‘can’t have had a better service’.
Customers complained of vehicles being returned damaged, dash cam and trackers disconnected and poor customer service.
One owner complained their car had clocked up 156 miles while they were away.
Blue Circle Parking has been contacted by MailOnline and alerted of our findings.
Lawyers representing the firm said Aero Travel Extras Limited has ‘a legally binding agreement with both Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza who are the private landowners to use their secured private car parks’.
They said the Holiday Inn car park ‘has a number of CCTVs present’.
The lawyers said the Holiday Inn car park has a Park Mark Award ‘which means that the car park has been labelled secure by the police after through vetting’.
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