Sunday, July 21, 2024

UK airports hike much-hated drop-off charges up to £7 for just 15 minutes

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PASSENGERS are forking out £7 to be dropped off at the airport – but there is one way to dodge the fee.

Airport drop-off charges have been steadily increasing over the last few years.


Airport drop-off fees at seven UK airports have increased in price since last yearCredit: Getty

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Holidaymakers often vent their frustrations on social media, with one person describing the charges as “ridiculous” on X (formerly Twitter).

They wrote: “Drop off and pick up charges are ridiculous. Give people five minutes to drop off, it’s not that much.”

And earlier this month, an exclusive report by The Sun revealed that drop-off charges at some airports had surged by up to 20 per cent compared to the previous year.

The report compared the cost of drop-off fees at 28 UK airports, with seven upping their charges.

These included Aberdeen Airport, Birmingham Airport, Bristol Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Glasgow Prestwick Airport and Leeds Bradford Airport.

Bristol Airport upped its cost from £5 to £6 for a 30-minute drop-off.

Drop-off prices also rose to £6 at Gatwick Airport – this time for a 15 minutes.

Aberdeen Airport increased its charge from £5 to £5.50, Glasgow Airport hiked its 15-minute stop from £5 to £5.50 and Glasgow Prestwick’s rose by 50p to £4.

Leeds Bradford Airport also increased its charged to £6.50 for a 10-minute stay.

The highest airport drop-off cost was at Stansted Airport where passengers are charged £7 for a stay of up to 15 minutes.

I’ve used the drop-off zone at Stansted Airport and I rarely stay for longer than a few minutes.

This is because you can’t leave your vehicle, so once you’ve hugged your loved ones goodbye, you’re back on the road.

Airport mistakes to avoid: From gate delays to overpriced currency exchange

Almost all UK airports charge drivers a minimum of £3 to drop off passengers, with some airports fining motorists who fail to pay the charge.

According to the report, Inverness, Newquay and Cardiff airports don’t impose a drop-off charge.

Earlier this week, the MoneySavingExpert published a similar study noting increased drop-off charges at both Aberdeen and Birmingham Airport.

Oli Townsend, assistant deals editor at, said: “The cost of dropping people off at an airport has soared in the last few years.

“Many passengers will rightly be shocked when hit with a charge as much as £7 just to set someone down outside the terminal.

“But the good news is in most cases there’s no need to pay anything when saying goodbye to family and friends, as almost all airports have a free area for drop-offs – as long as you’re willing to take a short walk or shuttle ride to the terminal.” 

A handful of airports across the country have free alternative drop-off areas in their long-stay car parks.

For example, drop-offs at any of Heathrow’s various long-stay car parks are free for 30 minutes.

Holidaymakers will just need to board a free transit bus to the terminal.

At London Luton Airport passengers can be dropped off at its mid-stay car park without having to pay.

Other airports also run similar schemes, including Aberdeen Airport, Birmingham International Airport, Bristol Airport, East Midlands Airport, Gatwick Airport, Glasgow Airport, Leeds Bradford Airport, Manchester Airport, Newcastle Airport, Southend Airport and Stansted Airport.

Seven things you can buy for under £7

EVEN with the price of groceries and activities rising, there are plenty of things Brits can get for £7 – and even come away with change.

  • The average price of a pint in the UK is £4.80, giving Brits £2.20 to spent elsewhere.
  • Brits can buy a bottle of Hardys for £5.50.
  • A Wetherspoons Deli Meal with an alcoholic drinks costs £6.85.
  • A Big Mac Meal costs £6.69 – need we say more?
  • Four warm sausage rolls from Greggs cost £5.80.
  • Brits can nab a lunch-time pizza at Domino’s for just £4.
  • Saver cinema tickets at Vue can be purchased for just £6.49.

Meanwhile, here are the eight hidden airport charges adding up to £592 to your holiday bills – and how to avoid them.

Travellers love this bag that they claim prevents them from having to pay for hand luggage.

Several UK airports have zones where passengers can be dropped for free - they're just further away from the terminal building


Several UK airports have zones where passengers can be dropped for free – they’re just further away from the terminal buildingCredit: Getty

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