Calgary airport to convert back luxury Lexus-only Daybed to accessible parking

Calgary International Airport has apologized for setting up a Lexus marketing campaign in their location and moving parking stalls.

The pavement in the parking areas was painted to indicate they were earmarked for drivers of the luxury automobile.

The airport says the transfer was definitely out of touch with its commitment to being an accessible facility.

Calgary International Airport has apologized for moving parking stalls reserved for all those who have disabilities and setting up a Lexus marketing campaign in their location.

The pavement in the parking areas near the terminal had recently been painted to indicate they were earmarked for drivers of the luxury automobile. New stalls for people with disabilities were displaced into the row just behind.

The issue was initially brought to the airport attention by a man who saw the stalls being painted while he was dropping off his mom, said Jody Moseley, the Calgary Airport Authority’s senior director of corporate communications and stakeholder relations.

It was not long before outrage started spreading on social networking.

Moseley said Lexus-branded stalls across the parkade, including the designated handicapped ones, have been returned to their previous states.

“The airport apologizes for even considering looking at these areas. Access is important to us,” she said Tuesday.

“I think obviously we didn’t put enough thought to the impact that would have on our passengers and we apologize.”

The accessible spots which were inserted within the next row will stay, meaning there will be many more spots reserved for people with disabilities compared to previously.

The airport authority can be apologizing to Lexus Canada, which it says played no part in picking which parking areas have been used in the campaign.

Lexus Canada said in a statement it asked the airport to correct the situation as promptly as possible and provided a mea culpa of its own.

“In the long run, we are going to closely inspect the details of these kinds of marketing campaigns,” said Michael Bouliane, director of corporate communications for the car company.

“We were truly embarrassed by this error. It shouldn’t have happened and we’re taking measures to be certain it does not occur again.”

Moseley said the Calgary Airport Authority doesn’t get funding from any level of government and advertising and marketing campaigns such as the one with Lexus are a means to bring in money.

“There is quite a lot of tension to find earnings to make sure that we’re able to do what we will need to do and build and develop the airport,” she said.

“We’re always looking at opportunities to decrease the direct impact to our airlines and our passengers and examine different resources.”

The Edmonton International Airport launched a similar marketing campaign with Lexus past year but Traci Bednard, vice president of market development for the airport, said it did not displace any areas reserved for all those who have disabilities.