ORLANDO, Fla. — Hundreds of workers at Orlando International Airport are being hit with tickets for having nowhere to park.
This is happening inside of a parking lot the airport admits is too small.
For at least a year, hiring at OIA has been through the roof, but with no new parking spots have been added for employees.
Originally, airport leaders said another spike in employment led to 15 tickets last month.
The parking problem stems from the airport growing faster than just about anyone expected.
Airport leaders are working on a plan to add parking, but they don't have that plan nailed down yet.
The lack of spaces has some employees parking on the grass and apparently risking a ticket.
Two weeks after WFTV first reported on the parking shortage for OIA workers, the frustration continues.
Thursday afternoon, people shared videos of their cars crowded into the grass because parking spots ran out.
"The parking situation definitely has not gotten better. It's still the same situation," one anonymous OIA employee said.
He and others said once WFTV’s initial story ran, the airport stopped issuing tickets, but they're still worried about leaving their cars in the grass.
"I've been a couple of times late because of it,” he said. “Because I’ve already been ticketed and I didn't want to get ticketed again, so I keep driving around looking for parking."
9-Investigates discovered it's happened 768 times in the past year.
Each time, an airport worker gets hit with a ticket for at least $22 or more.
Leaving the city of Orlando to collect $17,276 from people just trying to go to work and park where they've been told to park.
"When you get to 768, that's when you know you're taking advantage of innocent employees that are working at the airport," the employee said.
Airport leaders said they would not answer questions on camera. Instead, they sent a statement justifying those 768 tickets as necessary for public safety.
Their statement avoided more specific questions of whether any of those workers might deserve a refund.
Part of the airport's justification on this is that it averages giving out just two tickets per day.
A close look at the records reveals that parking enforcement shows up on random days and writes dozens of tickets at a time, which lines up with employee claims that this is just a blanket ticketing of everyone who's left without a spot.
© 2019 Cox Media Group