RAC slams ‘eye-watering’ airport parking fees

RAC slams ‘eye-watering’ airport parking fees

The RAC has criticised airport short stay parking and drop off and pick up fees after research has found eight of the top 20 have increased them this year.

The motoring organisation has advised car drivers to keep their goodbyes to a minimum and slammed “eye-watering” the fees as “another way of making money out of them [motorists]”.

The research has found some airports have increased drop off fees by as much as 100% while other have introduced them for the first time.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams told Sky News: “The eye-watering drop-off and pick-up costs at some airports is likely to be viewed by drivers as another way of making money out of them, particularly in instances where public transport to and from the airport simply isn’t a viable option.

“This year many airports have increased the already sky-high prices they charge for short-stay parking near their departure and arrival terminals making a good deed a costly experience.

“Drop-off charges are the biggest bone of contention as for many they appear severe when they are simply pulling up for less than five minutes and often don’t even get out of the car themselves.”

The Airport Operators Association, defended parking charges saying they support investment in facilities and “allows airports to keep charges to airlines low, benefiting travellers through lower air fares”.

It said airports provide clear information about the cost of parking options, ensuring passengers have a “high level of awareness” of different ways to get to the airport.

The RAC study found London Luton charges the most for collecting passengers at £7 for 40 minutes, London Stansted followed with £5 for half an hour, and Birmingham came third with £4.90 for one hour.

Stansted is the most costly for dropping off passengers at £3.50 for 10 minutes, 50p more than Luton’s charge for the same time.

Liverpool John Lennon comes third £3 for 20 minutes, although a secondary drop-off point, which requires a five to 10 minutes’ walk is free.

Seven airports offer free drop-off parking by terminals. They are: London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London City, Cardiff, Manchester, Belfast City and Jersey.

Top five most expensive UK airports for picking up passengers

1. London Luton – £7 for 40 minutes
2. London Stansted – £5 for 30 minutes (an increase of 50p from 2016)
3. Birmingham – £4.90 for 60 minutes (an increase of 20p from 2016)
4. Manchester – £4 for 30 minutes
5. Edinburgh – £3.90 for 15 minutes

Top five most expensive UK airports for dropping off passengers

1. London Stansted – £3.50 for 10 minutes (an increase of 50p from 2016)
2. London Luton – £3 for 10 minutes
3. Liverpool John Lennon – £3 for 20 minutes (an increase of £1 from 2016)
4. Leeds Bradford – £3 for 30 minutes
5. Birmingham – £2 for 10 minutes (an increase of £1 from 2016)
5. Glasgow International – £2 for 10 minutes (was previous free in 2016)
5. East Midlands – £2 for 10 minutes

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