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Martin Lewis' MSE explains how to avoid expensive airport drop-off charges

Anish Vij

Published 
| Last updated 

Martin Lewis' MSE explains how to avoid expensive airport drop-off charges

Martin Lewis' people at MoneySavingExpert (MSE) have explained how to avoid the spenny airport drop-off charges.

It still baffles me how UK airports charge you to say goodbye to loved ones who are about to ascend 35,000 ft into the sky to jet off abroad.

The MSE website has looked at airport drop-off fees up and down the country and have discovered that Bristol's charge for a five-minute drop-off is up 400 percent since 2019, from £1 to £5.

Martin Lewis' people at MoneySavingExpert (MSE) have explained how to avoid the spenny airport drop-off charges. Credit: ITV
Martin Lewis' people at MoneySavingExpert (MSE) have explained how to avoid the spenny airport drop-off charges. Credit: ITV
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Meanwhile Stansted's 15 minute drop-off fee has risen from £4 to £7 - the highest charge that they found.

Airport spokespeople throughout the country have told Martin Lewis' website that the 'devastating impacts of the pandemic' were responsible the price increase, along with the idea of reducing 'airport-related traffic'.

I guess the harsh reality of the cost-of-living crisis is that everything is getting more expensive, and airport-drop offs aren't an anomaly.

Airport drop-off prices are on the up. Credit: Andy Soloman / Alamy
Airport drop-off prices are on the up. Credit: Andy Soloman / Alamy
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As of July 2019, the following airports have hiked their prices up:

Aberdeen Airport - from £2 to £4 for a 10-minute-stay

Bristol Airport - from £1 to £5 for a 10-minute-stay

Cardiff Airport - free drop off for less than five minutes, then £3 more for every 10 minutes

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport - from £3 to £4 for a 10-minute-stay

East Midlands Airport - from £3 to £5 for a 10-minute-stay

Edinburgh Airport - from £2 to £4 for 5-minute-drop-off

Exeter Airport - from £1 to £3 for drop-offs-up-to-30-minutes

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Gatwick Airport - from £5 for up to 10 minutes and £1 for each additional minute; it was previously free

Glasgow Airport - from £2 to £4 for 10-minute-drop-off

Glasgow Prestwick - from £2 to £3 for up to an hour's wait

Heathrow Airport - £5 charge to enter the drop-off area; previously free

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Leeds Bradford Airport - from £3 to £5 for a 10-minute drop-off

Liverpool Airport - £3 to £4 for a 10-minute-stay

Luton Airport - £3 to £5 for a 10-minute-stay

Manchester Airport - £5 for five minutes and £6 for 10 minutes; up from £3 and £4 respectively

Newcastle Airport - 10-minute drop-off up from £2 to £4.

Norwich Airport - £3 charge for drop-offs of up to 30 minutes; previously free

Southend Airport - Drop-offs between 10 and 30 minutes have risen from £5 to £7; previously £3 and £5 respectively

Stansted Airport - has upped the cost of drop-offs of up to 15 minutes – they now cost £7, not £4. This was the highest minimum charge found

It costs money to say goodbye to your loved ones at an airport. Credit: Pexels
It costs money to say goodbye to your loved ones at an airport. Credit: Pexels

Thankfully, Oli Townsend, assistant deals & features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, has revealed a potential solution.

"The cost of dropping people off at an airport has soared since the pandemic," he said.

"Many passengers will rightly be shocked when hit with a charge as much as £7 just to set someone down outside the terminal.

"But the good news is that in most cases there's no need to pay anything when saying goodbye to family and friends, as almost all airports have a free area for drop-offs – as long as you're willing to take a short walk or shuttle ride to the terminal."

Bristol airport told MSE: "Like other UK airports, Bristol Airport has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and the [Drop & Go] price increase is a commercial decision to reduce financial losses.

"'Kiss and fly' journeys to the airport are the most inefficient form of transport and the highest generators of car traffic."

A spokesperson for Stansted told MSE: "The express set-down charge increased from £5 to £7 in November 2020. This increase was a direct result of the devastating impacts of the pandemic on the airport."

Featured Image Credit: PA Images / Alamy / Andy Soloman / Alamy

Topics: Martin Lewis

Anish Vij
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