Kiss-and-Drop Fee at the Airport: It’s Already Happening in the UK

Photo (cc) by Karen V Bryan

Dropping off and picking up friends and family at the airport is not most people’s idea of fun. Now imagine being charged a fee by the airport for the five minutes you spend dropping off your loved ones at the terminal entrance. That’s the harsh reality at several U.K. airports.

According to the Telegraph, Scotland’s Aberdeen International Airport is the latest U.K. airport to impose a “kiss and drop” charge.

The fee is 1 euro (about $1.16) and it entitles the driver to 10 minutes in the drop-off zone. Drivers who exceed the allotted time face a fine of about $35. The Telegraph said:

An automatic number plate recognition system is in use to enforce the rules. Alternatively, drivers can drop passengers at the long stay car park free of charge, from where they must catch a shuttle bus to departures.

Although airport users are understandably frustrated with the new fee, airport officials say the move was necessary for safety reasons and to reduce traffic congestion.

“It is something we have had under review for over a year now. We have been aware of increasing traffic which is becoming a safety issue,” said Carol Benzie, Aberdeen Airport’s managing director.

Even taxi drivers are required to pay the drop-off charge. Non-airport taxi drivers have to pay the fee themselves unless their car is booked ahead of time and the fee can be included in their customer’s fare, The Press and Journal reports.

Airport “kiss and drop” fees have become relatively commonplace in the U.K. since London Luton Airport first introduced the charge in 2009, the Telegraph said.

Parking in front of the terminals isn’t permitted in the United States because of safety concerns, but most airports allow for a quick, free drop off or pick up of a waiting traveler.

Thank goodness for that. I wouldn’t be happy if I had to pay a “kiss and drop” fee at the airport. It already feels like we’re being nickel and dimed to fly.

What do you think about the U.K. airports that require motorists to open their wallet if they want to drop off a passenger at the airport? Do you think that would fly in the United States? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

The biggest fees we pay are not always the most obvious. In the video below, Money Talks News savings expert Stacy Johnson explains how fees we are barely aware of can hit our retirement savings.

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