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I-Team: DFW Airport Refunded $648K In Parking Overcharges

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It was supposed to make entering and exiting Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport faster and more convenient.

But five months after going online, the airport's $56 million parking system is still experiencing problems and overcharging many drivers who pay using their toll tag accounts.

Airport officials said the number of misreads are down in recent months but remain a concern.

"We are not there yet, but we are making progress," said airport spokesman David Magana.

The CBS 11 I-Team found since the new system was installed in late September, the airport has overcharged more than 4,100 drivers.

"I was shocked," said Bill Woster of Dallas when he noticed his airport parking bill on his toll tag account.. "I was like what's going on."

Woster received a $108 parking bill despite being at the airport for less than 10 minutes.

T.J. Andrews of Plano was in and out of the airport even faster and yet his parking bill came to $1,096.

"It was just a drop off," he explained. "It's very frustrating to be billed that much money and not get a courtesy call because it's a lot of money to take out of someone's account."

Records obtained by the CBS 11 I-Team show as of the end of January the airport had refunded $648,049 for parking overcharges.

It's unknown how many more customers have been wrongly charged and didn't notice or never requested a refund.

Plus, airport officials said for every overcharge there's likely been a customer who was not charged – potentially costing the airport thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

"We didn't think there was going to be as many public problems as we saw and that's where we didn't put our best foot forward," said Magana.

For the past several months airport engineers have been fixing glitches in the new software.

In January the airport refunded 463 customers - down from 1,443 in October.

However, the overcharges in January still added up to $127,505

The airport is currently installing license plate readers as a backup for the toll tag readers and, while the new system is supposed to be fully-automated, attendants can still be found at every gate.

Magana said, "It's fair to say we've not been perfect on this but I think we've gotten better and getting better."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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