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Gatwick Airport to introduce £5 charge to drop off passengers from 2021

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Gatwick Airport has announced that it will start charging for terminal drop-offs in 2021.

Any vehicles dropping off passengers directly outside either the North or South terminals will be charged a £5 fee for the privilege.

It now joins Stansted, Luton, Edinburgh, Manchester and many other regional airports in charging. London Heathrow is the notable outlier, with drop off and pick up free at all times.

On introduction it will also be one of the most expensive airport drop-off fees in the country, matching Stansted’s pricing.

If you want to park for free you can get up to two hours free parking in Gatwick’s long stay car parks, although you’ll have to hop on a (free) shuttle bus to the terminal.

Gatwick North Terminal

Gatwick is spinning this as a sustainable initiative to reduce traffic in and around the airport. Around 15% of all passengers currently get dropped off on the kerb and Gatwick is clearly hoping it can encourage more people to take the train.

It also suggests that any revenue generated will help the airport “recover and preserve jobs from the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”

No date has yet been set for the launch of the charges, but look out for it in 2021.

Comments (67)

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  • Baji Nahid says:

    Lol, this is just the start of the milking of passengers by airports.

  • Goldmember says:

    That’ll be drop offs and pickups at the Hilton South Terminal from now on then lol

  • Ian says:

    In todays exco we want your ideas how to: “encourage people not to fly!”

    Charge for drop off
    Charge exit fee to all passengers for airport development
    Make people walk miles around duty free shops
    Remove air bridges
    Remove all check in desk

  • Stu R says:

    Wow, now there’s an incentive to book my next holiday from Gatwick!

    This really starts to feel like the race to the bottom, effectively charging passengers an airport entry and exit fee, when they already pay to use the airport as part of their taxes and fees (which in most cases cost more than the ticket these days!).

    And I suspect the Hilton will get wise to drop-offs and pick-ups and act to stop it in a very short space of time: a single from Horley is £2 by train, or Three Bridges £2.50 … or better still, another reason not to fly from Gatwick.

    • ChrisC says:

      You’d probably pay more that a fiver in petrol going to another airport.

      And there is an easy way to avoid it and that’s to use the long term car park.

      It won’t bother me because I use the train.

    • Goldmember says:

      I imagine Hilton will try to curb abuse but difficult to enforce. Not only would it enrage their guests there’s also pedestrian footpaths to the railway station – lots of commuters in the area start their journey at Gatwick and get picked up/dropped off by car here. Can’t imagine Southern will be too pleased if their commuters can’t be dropped off/picked up without incurring a massive fee. Also the current Eastway which is the access road to the front of the Hilton is also the access/exit road to a massive Euro Carpark and also takes you back to Mcdonalds, BP and the roundabout without actually having to enter the South Terminal complex….. so unless massive redevelopment is underway to address these too then I don’t see it being as fortress like as is the case at Luton or Stansted.

    • Paul says:

      This really starts to feel like the race to the bottom, effectively charging passengers an airport entry and exit fee, when they already pay to use the airport as part of their taxes

      Welcome to rip off Britain

  • Jamie says:

    Where do the imbeciles that run these companies come from? And how do they get to be where they are? It is certainly not from the likes of Eton. Boris being the obvious outlier.

  • Richard M says:

    So what will happen is there will be lots of drop offs along the road in unsafe places both for cars and pedestrians.

    • Blenz101 says:

      It will become the same as all the other airports mentioned in the article.

      Uber adds the “airport surcharge” on at LBA to cover the cost of the drop off fee, assuming this is true elsewhere at least those arriving by taxi will have no incentive to be dropped off before the point of being charged, especially under the fixed price model.

    • Jonathan says:

      If it’s anything like Liverpool airport then all the approaching roads will be double yellow with no stopping signs & aggressively enforced by CCTV.

      • Paul says:

        Even worse they are double reds and that van with the camera permanently parked on the roundabout must rake in thousands a year for Peel Holdings as I don’t know anyone who has successfully appealed – including for stopping to change a puncture!

  • ChrisC says:

    Sorry missed typed.

    It’s not 15% of car trips that are kiss and fly but 15% of airport journeys are by car.

    • Jonathan says:

      I presume this doesn’t include taxis as 15% is pretty low. Certainly much lower than school drop offs or visits to shops/gyms etc which probably lend themselves more to alternative methods.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    Hmmm… how many of those drop offs are not practical another way? elderly relatives or parents with kids or simply people who live not near a station that goes to Gatwick?

    • Stu N says:

      It’s a fee for convenience, essentially. Edinburgh has had it for years, I (pre-Covid, anyway) flew regularly and rarely paid it. Combination of using free drop-offs and walking more than the length of myself or using public transport where possible.

      Your examples are typical of the red herrings trotted out by the motoring lobby. People dropping off elderly relatives and young families are in all likelihood parking up at the moment anyway so won’t be affected – in fact, if it has a deterrent effect they may actually benefit via reduced congestion and faster, more reliable journey times.

      People who don’t live near a station can use the free drop off slightly further from the terminal, or maybe they will think again about how they get to the airport.

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