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Airport fine just for being in the drop-off line: How to avoid a £100 bill

Lydia Crispin | Communications Assistant
Last updated 13 April 2022

Did you know that there are 80.1 million annual passengers at Heathrow airport every year? That is around 219,458 departures and arrivals every day. With 40 airports around the UK, the flow of travellers heading to and from their holidays is significant.

Being dropped off or picked up after a flight is a quick endeavour for many. A friend or family member is often kind enough to provide the favour. After all, it’s been an easy way to save on holiday expenses over the years. Especially considering the average price for parking at an airport is around £89.57 for two weeks in a long stay car park.

What’s changed with airport drop-offs?

Drivers dropping travellers off or picking travellers up from the airport now need to pay in most airports. Drop off charges vary. Price ranges from £2 for ten minutes at London Stansted to £4 an hour at Heathrow.

Failure to pay can result in a staggering fine!

Nancy reported her unfortunate experience to the Bristol Post. She was flying from Bristol Airport on a £20 flight. As a result of stopping to swap seats with her friend who was collecting her from the airport. She incurred a £100 fine for not paying the pickup charge.

She stated: “When we got to the entrance, I stopped to hand the driving over to my friend, I got out of the car briefly so she could take over, and that’s when the cameras spotted me.”

“….. I was fined right there”.

Five money-saving tips at the airport

Given the current cost of living crisis, we’ve put together the following tips to help you save at the airport.

  1. Research the price of airport drop-off’s in advance. Planning will stop you from being caught out by costly fees and help you avoid unexpected fines.
  2. Weigh your luggage before you get to the airport. When packing, it can be easy to take a couple of extra ‘just in case items’. However, this can add up.  Avoid additional costs by ensuring you’re within your luggage weight limit before getting to the airport.
  3. Buy water and snacks at the airport, not on your flight. Food and drink can come with an extra concession when onboard your flight. To save, buy your food and drink items after going through security.
  4. Check your credit and debit card rates for use abroad. Some banks will charge you an additional fee for the privilege of using your card abroad. Anything purchased at the airport or on holiday could be costly if you don’t know and budget for additional fees.
  5. Consider the Flyer or Shuttle instead of taking a taxi. Between Heathrow and Central London, a 30 – 60 mins taxi can cost between £49 – £92. A National Express coach booked in advance can cost as little as £15.001.

Are your next flights covered?

If you’re planning to fly in the next few weeks or months, protect your holiday investment by buying Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

At AllClear, we provide specialist Medical Travel Insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions. Our cover has no upper age limits, meaning you can travel with peace of mind at any age.

Author notes

Written by Lydia Crispin, MA Content Creator at AllClear
Edited by Letitia Smith, M.Sc. Content Manager at AllClear

1 Based on National Express prices for the 30th April from Heathrow airport to Leeds coach station.

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