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Heathrow Airport will soon charge £5 for passenger drop-offs

July 27, 2021
3 min read
Heathrow Airport will soon charge £5 for passenger drop-offs
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All Uber, Addison Lee, black cab and other rides to Heathrow Airport are about to get more expensive. And, if a loved one is dropping you off at the departure hall curbside, they’ll have to pay a fee in order to do so.

As of October 2021, Heathrow Airport will start charging a £5 Terminal Drop-Off Charge for those who are dropped off outside airport terminals.

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The new charge will apply to all vehicles — including taxis, Ubers, personal cars and more — entering the forecourt areas outside any of the airport’s terminals. The airport will use number plate cameras instead of ticket barriers to track which cars will owe the fee.

Those dropping off passengers will then be required to pay the £5 fee online or over the phone. Failure to pay the fee will result in Parking Charge Notices, according to the Sun.

“From October we will be introducing a Terminal Drop-Off charge that will support Heathrow’s post-pandemic recovery and enable us to meet our updated Surface Access objectives,” a Heathrow spokesperson said in a statement. “These changes will ensure we remain on track to reach our long-term goals of providing sustainable, affordable transport options into the future, whilst safeguarding the business financially as we look to recover from the crisis.”

Heathrow expects the new £5 drop-off fee to bring in about £100 million per year. There will be some exemptions to the compulsory fee, for example, for blue badge holders and emergency vehicles.

Related: All flights from Heathrow Airport are now nearly £10 more expensive

“This will not impact passenger pick-up, which should continue via the car parks, as picking up passengers is not permitted on the terminal forecourts,” the airport said in a statement.

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For those looking to bypass the new £5 fee, which is set to take effect from October, there are still options. For example, passengers could be dropped off at any of the long-stay car parks and then take a free bus transfer to their terminal.

Heathrow Airport isn’t the first in the country to introduce such a fee. Earlier in the pandemic, both Manchester Airport (MAN) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) announced new fees for passengers. As of March 2021, Gatwick is charging £5 for pick-ups and drop-offs.

Related: Gatwick Airport fee for passenger drop-offs starting in March

Given that Uber in the U.K. now shows customers the cost of their ride up-front, passengers should be aware of the new £5 fee when the changes take effect later this year.

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the travel and aviation industries, and airports are no exception. Heathrow Airport — once Europe’s busiest prior to the pandemic — said on Monday that its cumulative losses since the start of the pandemic have topped £2.9 billion.

Featured image by LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 29, 2020: A lone passenger drags her suitcasse at Heathrow Airport deserted amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Most airlines ceasing to operate flights amid the borders closing, volumes of passenger traffic at London Heathrow fell by 97% in April 2020 in comparison to the same month of the previous year. Ilya Dmitryachev/TASS (Photo by Ilya DmitryachevTASS via Getty Images)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees