Solicitation at Northwest Florida Beaches International?

By: Cameron Taylor Email
By: Cameron Taylor Email

PANAMA CITY BEACH - One local cab company is being accused by another for soliciting passengers at Northwest Florida Beaches International.

Beeline Taxi claims Sunshine Shuttle's solicitation violates its contract with the airport.

Airport officials say they haven't seen any proof of the accusations.

In late May, Sunshine Shuttle won a bid to be the premium shuttle service for Northwest Florida Beaches International.

The contract gives the company a kiosk inside the airport and prime parking spots.

Other cab companies like Beeline Taxi say sunshine hasn't been playing fairly.

"Since then, we have lost 60 to 70 percent of our business over Sunshine being able to go inside, solicit customers, solicit at the curb, and take our business from us," said Mark Knight, Beeline Taxi Manager.

Knight says he's reported the solicitations to airport management and police officials, but so far he hasn't received any response.

Maybe that's because airport executive director Parker McLellan says he hasn't seen any proof of soliciting.

"If we have examples of something that either company is doing that's unfair, we'll look into it. So the term playing fair, i don't understand really what that is," said McLellan.

Sunshine Shuttle officials say that other companies are confusing soliciting with the overall services they provide.

"They don't understand the total scope of what it is that we do, what it is that we provide to a customer. I've even heard complaints that we're carrying the luggage of a guest," said John Finch, Sunshine Shuttle Owner.

Finch says his company abides by the contract and follows all of the airport's rules and regulations, the biggest being soliciting.

Airport officials say they take soliciting seriously and investigate all allegations.

If they find evidence, the offending company could be suspended from doing business at the airport.


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