It is estimated that drivers could pay more than £105million in airport drop-off fees annually once traveller numbers return to their pre-Covid levels. Heathrow Airport is the latest UK airport to introduce a drop-off charge, as of today, November 1.
Tom Bishop, Head of Direct Line Travel Insurance, said the changes are frustrating, but drivers will need to adjust.
He said: “While holidaymakers will find them frustrating, the introduction of these charges is understandable given the huge financial strain put on airports during the pandemic, coupled with uncertain traveller volumes in the near future.
“However, since Heathrow is one of the last airports to introduce the fee, with most having some form of one, it is important that as travellers return to airports they are aware of the drop-off fees which they may incur, as well as alternative options available to them.
“Indeed, those who are not willing to pay such fees for a more convenient drop off should check if the airport has a free drop-off zone, as well as considering alternative public or private transfer options.”
Non-payment will result in an £80 parking charge, which can be reduced to £40 if paid within 14 days.
Blue badge holders do not have to pay the drop-off fee, but they will need to apply for their exemption in advance, via the airport website.
The charge does not affect pick-ups, and further discounts are available to buses, coaches and two-wheeled motorbikes.
Those not wishing to pay the charge will be able to take a free bus transfer from Heathrow’s long-stay car parks.