Understanding Heathrow Drop Off Charges: Your Most Pressing Questions Answered

What exactly are Heathrow drop off charges?

Heathrow drop off charges are fees that are levied to drivers who are dropping off passengers at certain designated points in Heathrow Airport. These charges were implemented by the airport with the aim of reducing crowding and managing traffic in what is one of the busiest airports in the world.

When were Heathrow drop off charges introduced?

Heathrow drop off charges were introduced on July 1, 2020, replacing the old system where different parts of the terminal had different rules concerning drop offs.

How much are the Heathrow drop off charges?

Currently, the cost is £5 for up to 10 minutes, £10 for up to 20 minutes, and £20 for up to 30 minutes.

How are the charges collected?

The charges are collected using a system that identifies number plates and charges the registered owner of the vehicle.

Are there any exceptions to these charges?

Blue Badge holders, motorcycles and electric vehicles are exempt from payment until at least 2025. Also, licensed taxis and private hire vehicles are exempt when picking up passengers who have pre-booked.

Where exactly does one have to pay these charges?

The charges are applicable to the forecourts directly outside the terminals.

Does this affect the drop off spots?

Yes, the new initiative limited the drop off locations to the designated points that incur the charges.

Why were these charges implemented?

Heathrow has said the charges are intended to reduce congestion around the airport and cut carbon emissions by discouraging unnecessary car journeys.

Can the charges be paid in advance?

No, the charges need to be paid either at the terminal or online within 24 hours of the drop off.

What happens if someone fails to pay the charges?

If the charges are not paid within 24 hours, a penalty charge notice will be issued.

What is the process to dispute a charge?

Any disputes regarding the charges can be taken up with the Appeals Service.

Can I appeal a penalty fee?

Yes, provided you have a genuine and valid reason to do so.

Are there any alternatives to avoid this charge?

Yes, people can use the long stay car parks for up to 2 hours for free.

Can I pick up passengers at the drop off areas?

No, picking up passengers at the drop off areas is strictly prohibited.

Are there charges for picking up passengers?

Yes, picking up passengers is also chargeable and is done at the car parks.

What is the reaction of passengers to this charge?

There have been mixed reactions with some passengers understanding the reasons behind the introduction of the charges, while others have expressed frustration at the added cost.

Has this measure proven effective in reducing traffic congestion?

Based on initial reports, there has been a reduction in traffic congestion around the airport.

What effect have these charges had on emissions levels?

Heathrow is yet to publish detailed data on this, however, they hope that the introduction of the charges will significantly reduce emissions in and around the airport.

Is it expected that other airports will introduce similar charges?

It is possible as many airports globally are looking for ways to reduce congestion and manage traffic.

Is there any other relevant information about Heathrow drop off charges that I should know?

All the latest updates and information about Heathrow drop off charges can be accessed from the official Heathrow Airport website.


Steve Jones
Steve Jones

I have worked in the emergency services for 20 years. I now try and find ways to help people who work in the emergency services to save money, be that via discounts from well known UK high street brands.