Travel

Heathrow Airport plan to charge passengers £5 just be dropped off at the terminals


HEATHROW Airport is in talks to start charging drivers £5 to drop off passengers, in a desperate attempt to recoup profits.

The airport has lost £1.5bn in 2020 due to the pandemic, following an 80 per cent drop in passengers.

Heathrow Airport is looking at charging travellers £5 to be dropped off

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Heathrow Airport is looking at charging travellers £5 to be dropped offCredit: AFP – Getty

The airport has announced the plans will be a Forecourt Access Charge (FAC), starting from the end of next year.

It will apply to all drivers entering the terminals, excluding blue badge holders and emergency vehicles.

It is yet to be implemented, but it is expected to be finalised in 2021.

Passengers who don’t want to pay the charge will instead have to be dropped off at the long stay car parks, and travel to the airport via the free shuttle buses.

Heathrow Director of Surface Access Tony Caccavone said the decisions were being made due to the “severe” impact of the pandemic on the industry.

The charges will follow in Gatwick's footsteps.

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The charges will follow in Gatwick’s footsteps.Credit: Ian Whittaker – The Sun

He added: “These changes will help us to protect the business financially and save jobs in the short term, whilst also allowing us to stay on track for our long-term goals of providing safe, sustainable and affordable transport options into the future.”

A study last year found London Stansted and London Luton to have the highest airport charges.

London Stansted now charge £7.00 to stay 15 minutes, while London Luton charges £4 for the first 15 minutes.

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The only airports in England which didn’t charge were London City, London Gatwick and London Heathrow.

Gatwick now charges £5 for the first 30 minutes – something Heathrow may choose to follow, while London City is £3.50 for the first 10 minutes.

Jersey Airport has free drop offs at the terminal, while Belfast and Cardiff are free for the first 10 minutes.

They aren’t the only new charges passengers can expect – easyJet has removed their free hand luggage policy, charging £24 for a suitcase in the cabin.

Flights are also expected to get more expensive after the pandemic.

More than 200 airports across the UK and Europe are facing closure, with regional airports hit the hardest by the lockdown.

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