Gatwick clobbers drop-off passengers

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To join many other airports around the UK, Gatwick has decided to charge £5 when you drop passengers of at either of the two terminals there.

the south rreminal at Gatwick
The south terminal at Gatwick. Now the airport wants to charge us for dropping passengers off.

As if passengers haven’t faced enough problems, trying to shore up balance sheets with hitting passengers for some extra cash isn’t exactly the way to win customers back. In fact Gatwick admitted that this is a money-raising exercise saying, “…this new drop off charging scheme will give us a new revenue stream to aid recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and ultimately help us continue as an important provider of economic prosperity and jobs across the region.”  

No date in 2021 has been announced for the introduction of the fee but I am guessing that – pandemic over – it will either be in time for the spring half-term getaway, the Easter rush or the summer holidays.

Admitting that it will raise cash, the airport then chains the price introduction to another standard hoary old chestnut by claiming that it will encourage passengers to think twice about travelling to the airport by car and consider using “more sustainable transport options, including public transport services or parking options at the airport, which only involves two single car trips, compared to two return trips when dropping off.”

At the moment the travel industry is not in the best places to talk to passengers given that people still remember how difficult it has been to get timely refunds from airlines and tour operators so having an airport being so short-sighted as to try and deter us using an airport is a bit rich especially when Gatwick is losing so many flights as airlines consolidate elsewhere.

It does offer alternative to paying the fiver.

It suggests using the long-term car park and dropping passengers there where they can then catch the free shuttle bus!

At present the airport – and all airports – ought to dreaming up ideas to encourage us to use them not trying to drive us away.

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