A YORKSHIRE airport has defended charging customers £1 to use a smoking shelter.
Bosses at Leeds Bradford Airport were branded “money grubbers” and “penny pinchers” on social media sites - although many others supported the move.
Some claimed that the charge would lose the airport custom to Manchester or Liverpool airports.
On Facebook, John Kitchen said: “LBA can have no idea of the people who go to other airports for sheer convenience.”
He called the airport “money grubbers”.
But Adrian Thompson said called it a “great idea” as the £1 charge would deter people from smoking.
A spokesman for the airport said the enclosed smoking area near the departure gates had been welcomed by passengers.
In a statement, the airport said: “In response to customer feedback Leeds Bradford Airport (LBA) constructed an outdoor airside shelter in 2013 for passengers who wish to smoke prior to their flight.
“LBA is one of only a small number of airports in the UK that offers such an airside facility and the smoking area has been welcomed by our passengers.
“The enclosed shelter located close to the departure gates provides a dedicated zone for smokers (entry charge £1) without causing any inconvenience to other passengers.”
The airport was criticised last month for increasing its drop-off charge for drivers from £2 to £3.
Tony Hallwood, the airport’s aviation development director, said: “The charge for the facility pays for the maintenance, upkeep, cleaning and staffing relating to the smoking area. Passengers can alternatively smoke outside the front of the passenger terminal at no charge prior to entering the terminal building.”