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Dropping off friends and family at UK airports can cost more than flight to Paris, RAC warns

Shola Lee

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Dropping off friends and family at UK airports can cost more than flight to Paris, RAC warns

According to the RAC, dropping your mates or family off at the airport could now set you back more than a flight to Paris.

If you ever needed an excuse not to do the dreaded airport run, boy, do we have the perfect one for you.

The RAC has reported that since 2019, 16 airports have raised their fees for passenger drop-offs, and it's not hard to guess which are the most expensive.

According to the RAC it's more expensive to drop off passengers than to fly to Paris. Credit: Alamy
According to the RAC it's more expensive to drop off passengers than to fly to Paris. Credit: Alamy

If you guessed London, you're correct, with Stansted Airport taking the crown for most expensive drop-off charges, with its rate running at £7 for up to 15 minutes.

If you stay for longer than 15 minutes, the price nearly triples to £25, so if you stay for 16 minutes or longer, each minute costs you £1.55.

For comparison, you can nab a one-way flight to Paris for £25, which works out as 27p per minute.

You might as well book the flight. Credit: Pixabay
You might as well book the flight. Credit: Pixabay

Nicholas Lyes from the RAC said: "Anyone dropping a loved one off at the terminal this summer will be stunned by some of these sky-high, kiss-and-drop charges."

For anyone wondering what a kiss and drop charge is, it's dropping off a loved one and leaving before the fees get crazy.

If at this point you're wondering what happened to the old free drop-off policy at Heathrow and Gatwick, that's well and truly a thing of the past, with Nicholas explaining: "And for those using the UK’s two busiest airports, the luxury of free drop-offs outside the terminal building has been replaced by some pretty high fees.

Standsted said the rise was to accommodate for congestion. Credit: BRIAN HARRIS / Alamy Stock Photo
Standsted said the rise was to accommodate for congestion. Credit: BRIAN HARRIS / Alamy Stock Photo

"Minute for minute and pound for pound, some of these charges could almost be as high as the airfare itself."

So, why are the charges so high?

Well, according to Stansted Airport: "The Express Set Down charge is designed to help manage congestion in a capacity restricted area, and also helps limit the environmental impacts of drop-off and pick-up journeys by private vehicles. We also offer a free park and ride facility at the mid-stay car park that drops passengers off on the terminal forecourt if they don’t want to pay to use the express area."

Elsewhere in the UK, Manchester Airport is charging £5 for just five minutes and Liverpool’s John Lennon Airport is asking for £4 for ten minutes in the drop-off zone.

Nicholas also urged drivers to do their research before rocking up to airports as many use cameras to enforce bans on parking in certain areas.

Next time your mate asks you to do the airport run, maybe suggest they jump on the train instead.

Featured Image Credit: xiu bao/Benjamin John/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Travel, News

Shola Lee
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