Most expensive airport for 10-min 'kiss and fly' drop-off cuts charges
East Midlands Airport has announced it has slashed the cost of dropping off passengers at its terminal – just days after MoneySavingExpert.com revealed it was charging the highest fees for a 10-minute set-down of any major UK airport.
Earlier this month, our investigation found eight major UK airports had upped the cost of dropping off passengers since last July. East Midlands Airport was the worst offender among these for a drop-off of 10 minutes, having more than tripled the cost from £2 to £7.
But last week the airport told us it had "temporarily suspended" its price rise, and today it's announced a new charging structure which will see drivers charged £3 for a 10-minute drop-off instead.
For full info on airports' charges – and how to avoid them – see our Airports hike 'kiss and fly' drop-off fees MSE News story.
How have charges at East Midlands Airport changed?
The change announced today is the latest in a run of alterations to East Midlands Airport's drop-off charges and rules:
- In July 2018 it charged £2 for a 10-minute drop-off. The same charge applied for a five-minute drop-off. The cost rose to £7 for 15 minutes and £22 for 30 minutes.
- By early June this year it had hiked charges, with a 10-minute drop-off now £7. It reduced the window for a £2 drop-off from 10 minutes to five minutes, and charged £1 for every minute beyond that. As a result, the cost of a 10-minute drop-off more than tripled from £2 to £7, while a 30-minute stay cost £27.
- In mid-June it 'temporarily' suspended this price rise. After "customer feedback" it reverted to previous rates and began charging £2 for a 10-minute drop-off again.
- Today (24 June) it launched a new charging structure, with a 10-minute drop-off now £3. It charges £1 for every minute beyond that, so it'll cost £8 for 15 minutes and £23 for 30 minutes.
You can actually beat the charge by parking for free at East Midlands Airport's 'long stay 2' car park, which is free for up to an hour. It is then a five-minute bus transfer to the terminal.
'Wherever you fly from, you can usually avoid paying'
Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MoneySavingExpert.com, said: "It's encouraging that East Midlands Airport has had a rethink after we found it was the priciest airport for a 10-minute drop-off – though many passengers will still wonder whether it should be charging at all, given a number of major airports including Heathrow and Gatwick manage not to.
"The good news though is that wherever you're flying from, in most cases there's no need to pay anything when saying goodbye to family and friends. Almost all airports – including East Midlands – have free drop-off areas, so long as you know where to find them and don't mind a short walk or shuttle ride to the terminal."
What does the airport say?
Karen Smart, East Midlands Airport's managing director, said: "We recently made changes to the waiting times in rapid drop-off with the best intentions of resolving traffic flow issues which cause road congestion across the airport site. We still need to address this problem as passengers want to enter and leave the airport easily. However, we listened to customer feedback and many drivers felt that five minutes' drop-off wasn't long enough.
"It is clear that the overall passenger experience of rapid drop-off can only be improved if we make some changes to the infrastructure and staff it better. But this comes at a cost and therefore we need to raise the funds to pay for it. The new price is also designed to encourage more passengers to consider other parking options as well as using public transport such as the Skylink bus service."
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