Navigating the Airport Entry and Exit Fees at UK Airports

blog image John Doe | 06/30/2023

Introduction: Traveling through airports often entails various costs, including entry and exit fees. In recent years, airport entry and exit fee have been introduced at several airports in the United Kingdom. In this article, we will explore the airports where this fee is applicable, discuss its purpose, and provide insights into managing these expenses. 

eight airports in the UK charge £5 for dropping off passengers. They include the UK’s two busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, which introduced the charge last year. Manchester Airport gives drivers five minutes to drop off travelers for £5 (up from £3 in 2019), while Liverpool John Lennon airport has raised its fees from £3 for 20 minutes to £4 for 15 minutes1.

In addition, the Civil Aviation 

Airports with Entry and Exit Fees: Currently, the following UK airports have implemented a £6 entry and exit fee:

  1. London Heathrow Airport: As one of the busiest airports globally, London Heathrow Airport serves millions of passengers annually. Since its introduction, Heathrow has enforced a £5 airport entry and exit fee to support infrastructure development, expansion projects, and improvements to passenger facilities.

  2. London Gatwick Airport: Another major airport in the UK, London Gatwick, also charges a £5 entry and exit fee. This fee contributes to ongoing investments in enhancing the airport's services, infrastructure, and operational efficiency.

  3. Manchester Airport: Manchester Airport, a key transportation hub in Northern England, has implemented the £5 entry and exit fee. Funds generated through this charge support airport development plans, security enhancements, and customer experience initiatives.

  4. Edinburgh Airport: Scotland's busiest airport, Edinburgh Airport, has joined the list of airports applying the £6 entry and exit fee. The revenue generated helps finance infrastructure upgrades, technological advancements, and sustainability initiatives at the airport.

  5. Birmingham Airport: Birmingham Airport, located in the heart of England, also levies a £6 entry and exit fee. The funds collected contribute to essential airport maintenance, expansion projects, and the enhancement of passenger services.

  6.  The drop-off fees at Stansted Airport are £7 for up to 15 minutes and £25 for anything over 25 minutes. There is also a £20 charge for re-entering within 30 minutes of first entering the drop-off zone1. According to, the pick-up area is free for up to 2 hours and costs £5 for up to 2 hours. Each 24 hours costs £30 and each additional 24 hour period also costs £30

Reasons for the Entry and Exit Fees: The introduction of the £6 airport entry and exit fee at these airports serves several purposes:

  1. Infrastructure Investment: Airports require significant investments to expand runways, construct new terminals, upgrade facilities, and enhance security measures. The fees play a crucial role in generating revenue for infrastructure development projects.

  2. Operational Costs: Maintaining airport operations, including baggage handling, security personnel, air traffic control, and maintenance, incurs substantial expenses. The fees contribute to covering these operational costs.

  3. Customer Experience Enhancements: To provide a seamless and comfortable travel experience, airports constantly strive to improve passenger facilities, amenities, and services. The funds collected through the fees help finance these customer-centric initiatives.

Managing Entry and Exit Fees: While the £6 airport entry and exit fee is mandatory, passengers can plan ahead to manage these expenses:

  1. Include in Travel Budget: When planning your trip, consider the £6 fee as an additional cost and factor it into your travel budget to avoid any last-minute surprises.

  2. Check with Airlines: Some airlines include the fee within the ticket price, while others may require separate payment at the airport. It is advisable to check with your airline beforehand to understand their specific policies.

  3. Utilize Prepaid Cards or Contactless Payments: To streamline the payment process, consider using prepaid cards or contactless payment methods when paying the entry and exit fees at the airport.

  4. Take Advantage of Facilities: Airports offer various amenities and services, such as lounges, fast-track security, and parking options. Make the most of these facilities to enhance your travel experience and maximize the value of the fees paid 

How can I avoid these fees?

Conclusion: The £6 airport entry and exit fee at London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Birmingham airports reflect the ongoing efforts to improve infrastructure, maintain operations, and enhance customer experiences. By understanding and planning for these fees, travelers can better manage their expenses while enjoying the services provided by these major UK airports.