Airport drop-off charges on the increase

Airport drop-off charges on the increase

It will come as no surprise to frequent flyers that airport drop-off charges are on the increase .

The RAC said 18 of the 22 they looked at have introduced or raised drop-off fees and claimed motorists were “often left wincing” at the prices.

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Charges for seeing off someone as close to the terminal as possible have gone up at eight airports compared with last year.

Stansted and Luton topped the poll of the priciest airports for loved ones to say goodbye at, with initial charges of £4 for 10 minutes and 13 minutes, respectively.

Many airports offer short-term car parks for pick-ups so drivers can leave their vehicles and greet their passengers at the arrivals area.

Stansted hiked its prices for this type of parking the most, with a £2.50 rise to £8 for half an hour, taking it level with Luton for the most expensive pick-up fee.

In comparison, if you are dropping off or picking up at Leeds-Bradford, you get one whole hour for free.

Birmingham is the third costliest airport at £5.50 for an hour, and along with, East Midlands, Doncaster-Sheffield and Newcastle, it added £1 to its minimum dropping off charges.

Manchester asks for the most money per minute, with drivers getting just five for £3 – while in comparison – Heathrow and Gatwick are among six airports which continue to offer free drop-off facilities.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams said the best advice is to “do your research” before heading to an airport to drop off or pick someone up.

He added: “Many travellers simply do not have easy public transport access to get to the airport and even if they do, they can’t always depend on it getting them to the airport in good time.

“Many drivers dropping off their friends or family will naturally only spend a minute or two doing so, which makes the experience all the more painful.”

Some airports offer cheaper rates, or even no charges for using car parks further away from the terminal, which often requires a shuttle bus connection.

A spokesman for the Airport Operators Association said: “Airports that operate drop-off charges directly outside the terminal do so for a number of different reasons, including to manage congestion in capacity-restricted areas and to limit the environmental and air quality impacts of kiss and fly journeys.

“As the RAC notes, airports offer free drop-off and pick-up alternatives with good links to the terminal.

“This information ensures travellers are well-informed on the range of options to suit their needs.”

The initial fees for using a car park close to airport terminals to pick up passengers, according to the RAC:

1:= Luton: £8 for 30 minutes

1= Stansted: £8 for 30 minutes

3:: Birmingham: £5.50 for one hour

4:: Manchester: £4.50 for 30 minutes

5::Heathrow: £4.20 for 30 minutes

6:: Edinburgh Airport : £4 for 15 minutes

7= East Midlands: £4 for 30 minutes

7= Gatwick: £4 for 30 minutes

9:: London City: £3.50 for 10 minutes

10:: Southend: £3 for 10 minutes

11= Liverpool John Lennon: £3 for 20 minutes

11= Glasgow Airport : £3 for 20 minutes

13:: Aberdeen: £2.50 for 15 minutes

14:: Newcastle: £2 for 10 minutes

15:: Southampton: £2 for 15 minutes

16= Belfast International: £1 for 10 minutes

16= Cardiff: £1 for 10 minutes

18:: Bristol: £1 for 20 minutes

19:: Jersey: 80p for 30 minutes

20:: Belfast City: Free for 10 minutes

21:: Doncaster Sheffield: Free for 15 minutes

22:: Leeds Bradford: Free for one hour

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