PLANO, Texas — A Plano couple is navigating a curveball of a parking bill from DFW International Airport that totaled more than $2,000. The reason behind it is a wild story.
Daniel Boyd's wife drove her car to the airport to pick up a friend in early July.
The couple has an NTTA toll tag, so there was no reason for Boyd's wife to pay for entry on the spot. Equipment at the entrance scanned the car's toll tag when Boyd's wife arrived, admitting entry.
On the way out, Boyd said his wife drove through the toll tag lane, and the exit gate arm rose to allow her to leave.
But this past Sunday, when Boyd drove his wife's car to drop her off for a flight, Boyd said his toll tag wouldn't let him in.
"The gate didn't lift, didn't scan, and so we grabbed a ticket to just pay on our way out at the booth," said Boyd.
After Boyd dropped his wife off, he headed to the exit.
"I was about to put my ticket into the scanner, but then it read my toll tag, the gate lifted and I left," said Boyd.
Yet, a surprise was soon found in Boyd's checking account.
"About five minutes later, I get a call from my wife saying there was a suspicious charge on our account," Boyd said. "They charged us $2,088 for being in the airport for five minutes."
Boyd headed to his toll tag history and quickly put together what had happened.
"The scanner didn't read the tag as my wife left in July, so the reader thought my wife's car had been parked at the airport for the last three months," said Boyd.
"Should have been as simple as dropping her off, but it really ruined my Sunday," Boyd said with a laugh.
The NTTA told WFAA that it merely takes the parking information from the airport and processes the data given.
Meaning, DFW International Airport was Boyd's next call. After explaining the situation and pointing to his entry ticket on Sunday to prove his wife's car wasn't there for months, officials began working on a refund.
Boyd also informed the airport of his toll tag history, which shows his wife's car going all over North Texas since her airport visit in July.
A spokesperson for the airport sent WFAA this statement Tuesday:
“DFW Airport sincerely regrets what happened to this customer. We reimbursed the full amount charged the same day the matter was brought to our attention.
DFW is working with our vendor to prevent similar mistakes from happening again. It’s rare to have an overcharge of this magnitude.”
Boyd is appreciative but said his toll tag account is linked to his debit card, so there was no way to stop the money from being withdrawn, making his week uncomfortable.
"We just got our rent check in, and getting a surprise $2,000 charge was concerning. If this happened to someone who maybe didn't have the means that I have, their rent check could have bounced, or maybe it hurts their credit rating," said Boyd.
"What if we didn't go back to the airport until January? The bill could be $8,000 instead," theorized Boyd.
"I just want to make sure this doesn't happen to someone else," he said.
The NTTA does allow toll tag users to disable scans from certain parking areas.