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

Jul 27, 2021

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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.

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 photo by Ilya Dmitryachev/Getty Images.

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