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Snowbird racks up charges for RSW airport parking after getting stuck in Canada

A Canadian snowbird has been stuck across the border while his car runs up a bill in long-term parking in Southwest Florida. It’s been stranded for months, and he has been scared to learn the balance.

Darryl Simmons lives in Naples part-time, and he left his car in long-term parking at RSW airport back in March before traveling back home. He expected to be back for it a week later, but the border was shut down.

Simmons’ car roasted in the sun all summer long.

Simmons told us he never meant to leave his car in the region, but the pandemic changed everything. Now, he must pay the price.

“I’m telling you, if I would’ve just known, I would’ve just walked to the airport or taken a bicycle,” Simmons said.

Simmons bolted from Southwest Florida when COVID-19 started to spike.

“When I left, I drove my car with the full intent that I would be back in a week, two weeks at the most,” Simmons said.

“This car is sitting in the lot,” Simmons said. “I can’t get it out, and I don’t know what to do with it. I mean, I have to get it out, but every day, I’m paying another 10 bucks.”

Simmons contacted the people who run the airport hoping for help.

“They said the best we can do is take a $200 discount off of your bill, so I asked, ‘What is my entire bill?’” Simmons said. “And I didn’t get a response because I don’t know what the bill is. Is it 1,000? Is it 1,500? Is it 2,000? I don’t know.”

An airport spokesperson told us that’s what they do for people stuck in situations like Simmons.

“It would give me peace of mind to say we’re going to cut you a break and say it’s going to be $300 or $500,” Simmons said. “And I say, ‘Thank you. We’ll be there as soon as I can get it.’”

With Simmons permission, we learned, if the car remains at airport parking by Oc. 26, his bill will be $728 with the $200 credit.

The airport spokesperson told us anyone who might be in the same situation should not wait to resolve it. Call and work something out.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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