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Tarbes airport

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Flew in to Toulouse last Thursday night, picked up a car and could only inspect it next morning when I noticed that the bumper was scratched. Could not contact the agency where I hired it (they were not answering the phone) so called the central reservation number who told me to take it to another agency to get it verified. Tarbes was the easiest so was told either Tarbes (Ossun) airport or in downtown Tarbes.

Opted for the airport, which I had never seen before. Discovered a brand new airport. Entered and found I was in the departure area. Could see a few people in the inner departure area and there was a woman working in the restaurant. Went down to the arrivals hall and it was totally deserted, including all of the car hire desks.

Seemed a very large white elephant.


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Did you find the arrivals area? bet there would of been people on those desk to take your money, once you come back no one wants to know !! Did you check your paper work some times damage isnt pointed out to you but has been marked on your copy of the paper work. we spent days worring about a broken key hole that looked like it had been forced while we were in town,(hadnt seen it before as we had used the key fob to open close doors) only to see later that it had already been done and marked on the paper work. Its hard to look over a car when you arrive in he dark. Still hope you had a great holiday apart fom that ?   
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As I said, I went to the arrivals hall at Tarbes and there was not a soul there - it was a ghost town.

When I collected the car at Toulouse I was given a diagram of a car and one of the rear doors was then ringed and I was told that it had a dent - the only damage - and signed the paperwork. At 23:00 in the darkness of the car compound you cannot check. It was in the morning that I checked (always do with a night pickup) and discovered the bumper had been scrapped.

Always wary of car firms so wanted to report it so that I did not get charged.


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Somebody told me once that Tarbes is the second busiest airport for charter flights in France, almost all flying in pilgrims to Lourdes, and that in the summer it is heaving.  I guess that is pretty much seasonal traffic, between Easter and October, and the rest of the time there are just three Air France flights each day to and from Paris Orly.  The airport was at one time apparently a contender for Ryanair flights to SW France but there was a lot of opposition from the charter airlines and eventually Mr O'Leary opted for Pau instead.

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