Brits planning to drop holidaymakers off at the airport before they off on holiday this summer should apparently "brace themselves" as the cost of drop-off zones at UK airports is set to skyrocket, research shows.
Getting a friend or family member to take you to the airport has been a money-saving option for a long time – but taking too long to say goodbye could see you all having to fork out extra cash. It looks like the era of cheap drop-offs is over according to new research by RAC.
READ MORE: Brits warned of 'dark patterns' online that trick you into paying more for flights
It looked at the price of a short-term drop off by car at the UK’s 21 busiest airports, and found that seven are putting up their drop-off fees, with one airport introducing them for the first time.
The largest jumps were at Southampton Airport which has increased its drop-off fees to £6 for 20 minutes (was £4 for 20 minutes in 2022) and Belfast International, which has put the charge up by £2 to £3 for 10 minutes.
Those going to Glasgow Airport pay £5 for 15 minutes (up from £4 for 15 minutes in 2022) while at Aberdeen the initial rate also sits at £5 for 15 minutes (up from £4 for 10 minutes in 2022).
Over at Leeds Bradford the charge has climbed to £6 for 10 minutes (from £5 for 10 minutes) and Liverpool John Lennon is now £5 for 10 minutes (up from £4 for 10 minutes).
Birmingham has increased its fee to £4 for 15 minutes (from £3 for 15 minutes). Meanwhile, Belfast’s other airport, Belfast City, has now introduced a charge of £3 for 10 minutes, having previously not charged for dropping off.
London Stansted has not increased its drop-off prices this year, but remains the airport with the highest charge. It costs £7 for 15 minutes.
Six of the busiest UK airports are among 13 that have not changed drop-off fees since last year. These include London Heathrow and London Gatwick which charge £5, Manchester is £5 for five minutes, London Luton is still asking for £5 for 10 minutes and Edinburgh costs £4 for 10 minutes.
Cardiff, London City and Inverness airports all have free drop-off zones where you don’t have to pay a penny to be delivered to the airport by a pal. Phew!
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: "Having tracked airport drop-off fees since 2016, we can see putting up charges has now become something of an annual ritual. This year is no different with seven out of 21 increasing their fees and one introducing them for the first time. Drivers should brace themselves for jaw-dropping prices when they drop their loved-ones off at the terminal.
"Thankfully the proportion of airports hiking fees this year is lower than last year, but that will be little consolation as charges across the board have never been so high.
"What’s perhaps more frustrating is that many travellers will call on their friends or family to take them to the airport because of persistent industrial action on the rail network meaning that for many, being dropped off at the airport by car is the only reliable way to make their flight on-time.
"Doing your research ahead of travelling has never been more important. Many airports offer a free or reduced-rate drop-off area away from the terminal in long-stay car parks where travellers can hop on a shuttle bus connection, saving their driver incurring more expensive charges nearer the departures building.
"Drivers tempted to drop loved-ones on the roads inside the boundaries of the airport should beware as many enforce no-stopping areas with cameras could lead to hefty penalty charges."
Parking won't be the only thing ripping more money from your pocket this year. Brits who want to go on holiday to Spain will need to provide a letter of invitation if staying with friends – costing £70.
While you could also face £3,400 fines for wearing wrong clothes on holiday this summer. The Croatian city of Split has followed Dubrovnik’s lead and banned walking around the old city centre in a bikini or topless.
- Spain travel warning issued for Brits over £93-a-day holiday rule for tourists
- Brits staying with friends in Spain warned they need £70 letter to enter country
- Woman’s holiday ruined due to passport error – but people say it’s her fault
- British tourists warned never to take wedding rings on summer holidays
- Flight attendant says you should always pack a shower cap when going abroad
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