Gatwick Airport free drop off trick lets you avoid £6 fee for taking someone to terminals

By Staff

Gatwick Airport’s drop off charge has been met with some irritation by travellers since it was introduced in March 2021, but many people don’t realise there’s a simple way to avoid it. The hack, put in place by the airport itself, sees you swerve the £6 fee when you drop someone off and the only downside is a short journey to get to the terminals.

Anyone who’s done a drop-off or pick-up from outside the airport terminals in the past two years knows too well that if you let someone out in the designated drop-off zones just outside the North and South Terminal buildings it sets you back £6 with ANPR cameras logging your visit and giving you until midnight the following day to pay it.

But there is a long stay car park at each terminal where you can park for free for a maximum of two hours. However, in doing so, ensure you will have enough time to take a bus to the terminal building. It takes about five to 10 minutes for the South Terminal, and seven to 12 minutes for the North Terminal.

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Unless you’re about to miss your flight or have millions of bags, it makes no sense to pay the £6 when you can drop your loved one off for free.

Long stay parking rules

It’s very simple. When you arrive, take a ticket at the barrier, park your car in a bay in an open zone and the traveller catches the free shuttle bus to the terminal. Once you are ready to leave, simply scan the ticket on exit for free parking for up to two hours.

What happens if I don’t pay the drop-off charge?

In short, you will be fined. Payment must be made by midnight the day after the visit to the drop-off zone. Non-payment will be enforced through Parking Charge Notices (PCN) at £100, which goes down to £60 if paid within 14 days.

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