The Calgary airport authority apologized August 21 for moving several handicap parking spaces in one of its garages and replacing them with Lexus-only parking, reports CBC News.
The public relations quagmire unfolded when the Calgary airport leased five handicap parking spots to Lexus Canada for use in a premium parking spot marketing campaign being undertaken by the automaker.
Then, parents with a disabled child recently drove toward their regular handicap parking spots at the airport to find they’d been rebranded as Lexus premium parking spots. And they didn’t drive a Lexus.
After complaining to airport management, both the Calgary airport and Lexus Canada had an awkward public relations misstep to remedy.
“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,” said Michael Bouliane, corporate communications manager, Lexus Canada in an email exchange with CBC Calgary.
“We were not aware that accessible parking spaces would be used for this campaign, and have asked the airport to correct the situation as quickly as possible by returning these parking spaces to their intended use
Airport management also publicly apologized for their part in the predicament.
“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,” wrote an airport public relations officer in a public statement.
“The Calgary Airport Authority would also like to apologize to Lexus Canada,” continued the statement.