By Brian Maass

DENVER (CBS4) – Passengers flying out of Denver International Airport who have encountered — and complained about — the limited parking options have been regularly getting refunds, according to a CBS4 Investigation.

(credit: CBS)

“We’re just trying to keep our customers happy and keep them coming back,” said the airport’s parking manager Harold Hensley. “If it’s a legitimate gripe, we’ll take care of you.”

During the pandemic, the airport closed some lots in May 2020 in what the airport termed “a cost-savings measure not a revenue-generating change.”

As a result, many travelers have encountered packed economy lots and have had to resort to parking in pricier “close-in” lots than what they intended.

But everyone who complained to the airport in recent months — and there have been dozens of complaints — has received at least a partial refund, according to letters, emails and complaints sent to the airport and provided to CBS4 via a Colorado Open Records Act request.

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One flyer wrote the airport in July stating they intended to park at the Pikes Peak or Mount Elbert shuttle lots but since they were shut down the passenger had to park in short-term parking for $28 per day. For a 17 day trip, their bill added up to $486.

“In these financially hard times, I would really appreciate if you could consider a refund,” wrote the passenger.

Francine Crusan, Public Parking Manager for the airport wrote back that “as a one-time courtesy,” a partial refund of $215 would be granted.

Another passenger in July said when they arrived, the shuttle lot was closed and the economy lot was completely full.

(credit: CBS)

“I was forced to park in the parking deck at a rate of $28 per day.”

In its response, parking managers offered a “fee reduction” to the economy rate and returned $72.

In July, a man from Longmont wrote that when he arrived at the airport, “I had no idea that the shuttle lots were closed.”

He said when he couldn’t find any other parking, he ended up parking in the short-term garage parking.

“On returning to DIA, I was shocked to see the parking bill was $295!! It’s ridiculous to have the shuttle lots closed when the amount of flights out of DIA are pretty close to normal,” he wrote.

The airport responded with a partial refund of $124.

Over and over the airport has agreed to partial refunds to all these similar complaints. Hensley said each complaint is researched to make sure the passenger is telling the truth, parked where they said they parked and has not previously requested a refund.

Many of the flyers wrote that with packed lots, they were running out of time to catch their flights and thus had to resort to the expensive short-term parking.

(credit: CBS)

Hensley said if you have a complaint about parking at the airport and are seeking a refund, you can ask for a comment card when you are paying the cashier on the way out. He said another option is to email the airport park@flydenver.com.

The airport is planning to reopen the Pikes Peak shuttle lot on a full-time basis beginning Nov. 19 and continuing through the holidays. If that lot reaches capacity, Hensley said the second shuttle lot, Mt. Elbert, would then be opened.

“We’re trying to help customers out and keep them as customers for the future,” he said.

RELATED: Denver International Airport Closing East Economy Parking Lot In Order To Open Pikes Peak Shuttle Lot

Brian Maass