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Free ticket withdrawal sours air show neighbour relations

An offer for buy one get one free tickets to the air show ends this week, while residents have been angered by the removal of a complimentary ticket deal

Daily Mirror
Hawker Hurricane at the 1994 airshow

North Camp residents are angry that they are being denied complimentary tickets to this year's Farnborough Airshow.

Households in the area, which are directly affected by the road closures and other management plans put in place during the air show, have previously been given two free tickets to the event for the last three shows.

However, all Farnborough residents within the GU14 postcode are now being offered a buy one get one free ticket deal for the public weekend instead.

Although the new offer means more local people will be entitled to discount tickets, North Camp residents are disappointed that the previous deal has been scrapped by air show organisers.

James Ridley, who lives in the Queensgate development, said: “We got free tickets two years ago and we got a letter about the buy one get one free deal a few weeks ago, but it was worded towards the rest of the Farnborough area and didn’t mention about the residents’ tickets being withdrawn, so I assumed we were still entitled to our free tickets and threw the letter away.

“During the air show the whole of North Camp is practically closed, my children’s school closes for half a day all week because of the noise.”

The previous offer was available for approximately 3,000 households, with two tickets available each. Around 1,500 households took advantage of it.

The new discount is available to 23,700 households but on a first come, first serve basis. The deal ends on June 30.

Although Mr Ridley agreed the new offer was a good idea for the rest of the town, he said he was disappointed Farnborough International had failed to mention the complimentary tickets and said the company had ‘done a very good job of skating round the subject’.

He said: “It’s more the fact I don’t remember the letter saying anything about them withdrawing the free residents’ tickets, so it’s the fact they have ignored it and just said what a good deal this is instead.

“A lot of residents thought they would still be entitled to the free tickets, not everyone is aware we won’t get them.

“There are many other local residents that will be up in arms when they realise, however, by that point it could be too late.”

Many other residents have taken to social media to bemoan the price of tickets and the loss of the free deal.

On Facebook page, Emma Griffiths said: “The local residents used to walk there with their free tickets to justify the inconvenience of the one-way road system. But it would appear we are not worthy of this anymore.”

Shaun Ormrod, chief executive of Farnborough International, said: “Local feedback after the 2012 show indicated that the air show has a wider effect on the town than just the traffic and therefore it was agreed that any local resident’s offer should encompass and support the Farnborough residential community as a whole.

“Whilst we understand that a small number of North Camp households feel disappointed that they no longer receive complimentary tickets, we are delighted by the positive response received from the wider Farnborough community, many of whom have already taken up the offer.”

 
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