Airport Parking Company Really Sorry About Tasteless E-mail Mocking Parking Lot Death

Image courtesy of (<a href="Neff Conner">Neff Conner)


(Neff Conner)

Earlier this month, a man in his fifties from the suburbs of Chicago was reported missing, then found dead in a parking lot at O’Hare International Airport. An autopsy was inconclusive, but authorities found no evidence that there was any foul play. knows why he died, though. He died because finding a parking space at the airport totally sucks.

Of course, they don’t know this for sure. They were just making an adorable Spirit Airlines-style play to get the attention of people who are on their e-mail list. They sent out a message yesterday that discussed the man’s death and pitched a $5 off coupon for their offsite airport parking reservation service.

The message worked to get the attention of customers and spread the word about the company…but probably not in the way they intended.

“I have no idea if somebody actually died at O’Hare,” reader Chris wrote when forwarding this message to us, “but to use a death in a marketing campaign for your services is abhorrent.” There really was a death in the airport parking lot, which makes this message even more tasteless.


Here’s the full text of the message, in case you’re on a tiny mobile screen or using a screen reader:

Can On-Airport Parking Kill?

Last week a 55 year old man was found dead at a Chicago O’Hare parking lot. He was found lying on the ground unresponsive at around 7:15 am. The Chicago police did not find any signs of a homicide and an autopsy is to follow.

There could be many reasons for the cause of this man’s death, but based on the story one possible reason could be stress. The process of arriving to the airport, getting through security, and boarding the plane can be very stressful.

Many airlines and travel industries have implemented technology to make traveling easier such as through buying airfare online, booking hotels and renting cars, and even reserving off-airport parking through an app.

Don’t be late and end up in a crate. Save stress and possibly anything worse by utilizing technology and reserving all your travel needs in advance.

Yes. They actually concluded the message by saying “Don’t be late and end up in a crate.” The man’s autopsy was inconclusive, and he had been reported missing a week before he was found in the parking lot, so we’re going to guess that the stress of finding a parking place was probably not his top complaint.

The company posted an apology earlier today, and they at least sound appropriately horrified. The same message went out to e-mail list subscribers who saw the original message.

On behalf of and, we cannot emphasize how apologetic we are about the marketing email that went out on September 22, 2014. It was an extremely poor choice and a mistake that leaves us all in remorse.

There is no good explanation to how and why we made the decision to create such a tasteless marketing email. It was clearly a poor choice on our end and we never had the intention to hurt or disrespect anyone. From the bottom of our hearts, we sincerely apologize for all the anger and emotional distress we have caused to the family of the deceased, the public and our customers.

Of course, the company’s blog shows posts on other inflammatory topics, such as “Why Kids Shouldn’t Be Allowed On Planes,” but maybe they’ve learned their lesson now.

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