Canadian airport slammed for converting handicapped parking to “Lexus-only” spaces
According to CBC Calgary News, the airport received a complaint from a family who found five disabled parking bays marked as premium spaces for owners of Lexus-branded vehicles.
Lexus Canada told the media it was unaware the airport’s marketing campaign would involve the removal of parking spaces for travelers with disabilities.
"Lexus Canada would like to offer our heartfelt apologies to anyone who may have been affected or offended by a recent marketing campaign at the Calgary airport… We have asked the airport to correct the situation as quickly as possible by returning these parking spaces to their intended use," Michael Bouliane, manager of corporate communications at Lexus wrote.
He said the company was “truly embarrassed by this mistake” and in the future will more carefully scrutinize the details of such types of marketing campaigns “to make sure that it doesn't happen again."
The airport has also released a statement, saying it would reverse the decision and return the spots to accessible parking.
“YYC Calgary International Airport would like to apologize to our passengers impacted by the decision to change the location of the accessible parking stalls at the airport; it is clearly out of touch with our commitment to being an accessible facility," it said.
The Calgary Airport Authority has also apologized to Lexus Canada, claiming it was “solely responsible for the selection of the stalls identified for the parking campaign.”
“Lexus Canada did not play a role in selecting, and was not aware of, the locations for the campaign,” said the airport statement.
Jody Moseley, the spokesperson for Calgary Airport Authority, has explained that selling the parking bays to luxury brands was an income-generating decision.
"We're always looking at different ways to diversify our revenue stream," she said, adding “not providing alternative accessible spaces simultaneously was just a case of bad timing.”