AIRPORT DROP-OFF FEES: A thorn in the taxi drivers side


For the most part, taxi drivers around the UK enjoy hearing the words “to the airport please”.

Journeys can be a bit more pleasant if major routes are not jammed, and in most cases the distance is of enough significance that the earnings from that one job can mean the pressure is off for the next hour or two.

However, a thorn in the side for some cabbies is the fee which needs to be paid at most major UK airports when dropping directly outside terminals. As a door to door service, you would be hard pushed to find a taxi driver who didn’t want to make sure his or her customer got right outside the terminal.


Some drivers bite the bullet and pay the fee themselves, whilst others sometimes include the fee in the price at the start of the trip.


But with many airport runs coming at fixed prices, often discounted as a way of securing the job, additional fees for drivers to pay can feel like a kick in the teeth.


Here we take a look at some of the most expensive airports to drop-off at around the UK, bearing in mind that it can take up to ten minutes to complete a drop-off once luggage is unloaded, payment is secured and you’ve queued to exit to terminal road.


Leading the way with the most expensive fee is London Stansted Airport, with a £5 charge for the first ten minutes. It may not seem a terribly high amount at first glance, but if a fixed discounted price has been arranged and payment is being made by card then a transaction fee is likely to be charged to the driver, and it all adds up.

In joint second place is another of the London connected airports, Luton, with a £4 charge for the first ten minutes. Only last month during the pandemic, Bristol Airport also chose to up their fees matching that of Luton.


Taking the bronze medal is East Midlands Airport, with its recently increased fee of £4. But unlike Luton’s ten minute time limit, East Midlands offers fifteen.

Here is a list of other airports which charge a fee to use its rapid/quick drop-off area. It must be noted that London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London City airports do not charge to drop outside the terminal, although they are all clear on making sure no drivers take longer than necessary to complete their drop.


All airports listed charge additional fees for failing to leave the drop-off zones in the specified times. Those fees vary across the board.


So, as you can see, it is rare to come across an airport around the UK that doesn’t charge for drivers to drop a fare. And with East Midlands Airport citing “measures like this [the recent price increase] will help us reduce the financial impact of COVID-19 and to keep the airport operational”, might we see others following suit and having a further impact on the real price of an airport run?


Here‘s a look at some of the prices you can expect to pay around the UK:


Liverpool John Lennon Airport - £4 – up to ten minutes

Manchester Airport - £3 – up to five minutes - £4 up to ten minutes

Edinburgh Airport - £2 – up to five minutes - £4 up to ten minutes

Bristol Airport - £4 – up to ten minutes

Newcastle Airport - £3 – up to ten minutes

Leeds Bradford Airport - £3 – up to ten minutes

Aberdeen Airport - £3 – up to ten minutes

London Southend Airport - £3 – up to ten minutes

Birmingham Airport - £3 – up to fifteen minutes

Glasgow Airport - £2 – up to ten minutes

Southampton Airport - £2 – up to fifteen minutes

Cardiff Airport – first five minutes are free - £3 for every ten minutes thereafter

Belfast Airport - £1 – up to ten minutes

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