Manchester Airport to introduce drop-off charges

Manchester Airport is introducing charges for drivers dropping passengers off at all three terminals.

The new arrangements will go live in early June in order to alleviate the congestion which has been developing in recent years because of the high volume of "kiss and fly" and also because of recirculation. At peak times, one in five cars hits the forecourts at least twice.

From June, drivers will be charged an express drop-off fee of £3 for staying up to five minutes or £4 for six to ten minutes. 

Manchester Airport is introducing a new dedicated drop-off site, which will be part of Jet Parks 1 (see map above), from where a free shuttle service will operate to all three terminals.

There will be no change to arrangements for picking passengers up, it will remain £4 for 30 minutes in the multi-storey car park.

Additionally a scheme for people working on site, who aren't provided with a car parking space, will give them free access and there will be a discount scheme for taxis who are regular users of Manchester Airport.

Tricia Williams, Chief Operating Officer for Manchester Airport, said: "Manchester Airport has seen a significant increase in passenger volumes over the past five years and is making a major investment in driving further growth and improvements to the customer experience.

"As passenger numbers have grown, we have increasingly experienced major congestion problems on our terminal forecourts, exacerbated by a high percentage of visitors repeatedly recirculating at peak times.

"This is despite efforts in recent years to increase capacity as much as possible in these highly constrained parts of our site.

"It is clear as we continue to grow that we need to take a more proactive approach to managing this congestion, which has a knock-on effect on the wider airport estate and a significant impact on our operations and customer service levels.

"The simple fact is our forecourts were not designed to handle the number of vehicles they do today and do not have the capacity to cope with any further growth in the number of people being dropped-off immediately outside our terminals.

"That is why we are investing in a dedicated drop-off site, from where a free shuttle service will operate to all three terminals. It is hoped this will contribute to a major reduction in the number of individual vehicles trying to access the most congested parts of our campus.

"In parallel, an Express Drop-off charge will be introduced in the areas directly outside our three terminals and Ground Transport Interchange, similar to those introduced at most UK airports in recent years.

"We have been working with our Passenger User Group on these plans in recent months, as well as engaging with a wide range of stakeholders in the community and wider region. This has enabled us to respond to their concerns and feedback wherever possible.

"As part of our efforts to reduce on-site congestion, we are also creating a brand new Public Transport Development Fund, overseen by newly-formed body made up of representatives from the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Cheshire East Council and Transport for Greater Manchester.

"It will work to identify and support initiatives that will improve access to Manchester Airport for passengers and colleagues."

Manchester Airport


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Mark Goldsmith
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 8:48 am
Another rip-off then. One that will cause traffic problems elsewhere as people drop off outside this zone for free instead. Hopefully this will go the same way as their 50p charge for plastic bags and be quickly dropped.
Oliver Romain
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 9:20 am
The headline is misleading. Drop off will be free at the drop off point with increased capacity and free shuttle bus but you will pay a fee for the express drop off. Seems sensible as you can’t rely on the current arrangements for speedy drop off.
Nick Jones
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 11:53 am
Extortion ! What did they make in profit this year £80 + Mill ..
Terry Roeves
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 4:08 pm
The Public Transport Develpoment Fund should be used to ease congestion through Wilmslow, much of which is caused by Airport customers and employees.
Tricia Williams, COO, congestion doesn’t just stop at your ‘gates’
Given that a part of the new runway is within the Wilmslow Parish boundary, it’s plain wrong that to date the Airport Authority have done nothing for CEC or WTC to mitigate the problems that people suffer daily. HAs anyone ever asked?
CEC are in a position to sort this out for us. If either they don’t care or fail, then it tells you something.
Olivier Guiot
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 4:51 pm
I am travelling extensively all around the world for business and I have NEVER seen an airport where you need to pay to drop off people near the terminal. The Manchester airport is really getting worse and worse. Going through security is always a nightmare, the passport control can take up to 45 mn, you need to pay to get a trolley, there is always road work around the airport...

It is time for the management team of Manchester to do a benchmark with other airport and start to plan correctly. I was las week in Vienna airport and there is so much to be learnt there!
David Pearce
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 7:03 pm
- No 'dropping off' fees payable at Paris CDG, Frankfurt, Schiphol etc.
- UK - highest European - on the day ticket & commuter season ticket rail fare charges.
- UK - near highest transport fuel duty charge.
- UK APD - the highest European aviation tax for short haul and long haul flights by a long way.
- UK APD - the highest rate of tax for long haul flights in the both the OECD and rest of the world.
- It seems if it moves & increasingly if it then stops - tax it!!
Oliver Romain
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 9:30 pm
Again there is a free option with shuttle bus it’s just the express ‘at the doors’ that will cost. The trolly charge is ridiculous and should be dropped.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 10:19 pm
@ Terry Roeves, an interesting point, see my mini-rant here:

Given that the border between CEC and that Manchester seems to be about a quarter of the way thro' tunnel one, the onus would appear to be on Manchester to widen the road and ease our pain but which CEC Councillor has responsibility (but next to no electors) in that area? No doubt I'll answer my own question at some point.
Pete Taylor
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 10:40 pm
Somewhat predictably, I'm answering my own question... as, um... predicted. The CEC/WTC Cllr responsible seems to be Gary Barton, who, as far as I can tell, has not commented on this forum since there were planning applications to build an abattoir and/or houses directly over his back fence. No doubt he will be along presently to make a statement outlining his robust plan to sort things out on the dreadful road congestion issue in his dual constituencies... or possibly not.
Nick Jones
Saturday 24th March 2018 at 11:15 pm
@ Mr Taylor.. Please dont hold your breath ! ... The Wilmslow 4 are eloquent in their silence .. but this same silence also speaks for their appalling track record... SO whilst the Greater Manchester Councils reap the reward from the airports fiscal success, CEC and the W4 remain reticent to discus this and many other pertinent issues.. Undoubtedly when they seek re-election these many issues can be raised once more.. As above contributors have identified, others and myself have not been to any other airport that does this.. This greed , congestion charging of £4 is 40% of the London congestion charge But for a 0.27 portion of the day ! i repeat EXTORTION !
Oliver Romain
Monday 26th March 2018 at 7:42 am
It’s free to drop off at the new airport jet park unless you use the express facilities under these proposals. It will reduce congestion and delays and create jobs.
Joan Pridham
Monday 26th March 2018 at 7:53 pm
I am appalled at this decision. To say it’s to ease congestion is a load of rubbish. We flew out of T2 4 times last year, differs days different times, NOT ONCE WAS THERE ANY HINT OF CONGESTION! Cars pulled up, passengers got out, got their luggage and the car drove off.
It’s just another way of stitching passengers up, to squeeze a few more £’s out of them!
Mark Russell
Tuesday 27th March 2018 at 5:45 am
All this hub a bub about a few quid. If it upsets you so much, pay twenty quid in fuel to fly from Liverpool. I think people on here forget the airport is a business. I to think the service is crap in every facet at the airport, I only use it because it’s on my doorstep. They have obviously worked out the percent of people who would stop going, and I’d suggest it very low.
Roger Thawley
Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 1:48 pm
Yet another exercise in creaming money from airport users. Just how practical is a remote drop-off point for those trying to man-handle a couple of large suitcases and a carry-on?
Barry Stafford
Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 3:07 pm
I wouldn't hold your breath with Councillor Gary Barton.I have seen the Scarlet Pimpernel more times.E.mailed him twice recently,to no avail.If the shuttle buses have room for wheelchairs.Prams and 3/4 suitcases/ bags for families,I would be very surprised.This drop off worked very well on T1 and T2.when I have used it.Trouble is many drivers have spoiled this by lingering and chatting to passengers.Should drop and GO!! to make way for cars behind.And with collecting passengers. These drivers should have waited for a call, when their friends /families were leaving the luggage carousels Not when the plane lands.Thats why so many cars are going round and round the terminals. The airport now have taxi desks in each terminal,which is as cheap as paying for petrol and parking And hassle. Baz
John Clegg
Wednesday 28th March 2018 at 5:33 pm
They're doing it because they can.
This is easily "earned" money, and is so addictive, so it's hard to give up.
They'll learn lessons from, say, Vienna, or any other airport, then they'll just do what they want.
Simon Worthington
Thursday 29th March 2018 at 5:15 pm
Why would someone dropping off ( At peak times, one in five cars hits the forecourts at least twice) do that. That would be those picking up. They think we are stupid. The airport is an embarrassment and a disgrace. There would be plenty of room if they had not been so keen to build hotels right by the terminals years ago. Now they need the land and can't have it.
Why they have not built remote drop off/pick up points with light rail link/covered walkway is beyond me (and them).
The continued self back slapping and boasting about retail and food outlets instead of concentrating on the job in hand is nauseating. Compounded by the Chinese freight city bunged up on greenbelt.
A train every two hours from/to Wilmslow on a Sunday!!!!!!
Blood boiling.
Oliver Romain
Friday 30th March 2018 at 9:36 pm
People use the drop off for pick ups. I have done it loads. Never went round twice just got timing right.