Luton Airport is introducing a £1 fee to allow motorists to spend just 10 minutes in its newly-refurbished drop-off zone.
The “kiss and drop” levy comes into force later this month and will be enforced by barriers as drivers leave the area.Passengers who choose not to pay for the new drop-off zone will have to be left at one of the airport’s car parks, all several minutes by bus from the terminal.
The charge is the latest in a series of ancillary charges imposed by Luton airport. Last month it introduced a fast-tracking service that allows passengers to jump the security queue for £3. It has also withdrawn its subsidy of a shuttle bus which takes passengers between the airport and the nearest station, Luton Parkway, which is over one mile away.
Andrew McConnell, spokesman for easyJet, Luton’s major operator, criticised the new levy. He told The Telegraph: “Whatever next? We have seen charges for trolleys, fast track security and even the plastic bags. Now they want one pound for dropping somebody off. The danger is that people will choose other airports instead, rather than be forced to pay these escalating charges.”
Nic Hutton, Luton airport’s general manager of projects and development, said: “We have made this investment so that getting to the airport is easier and more convenient for all our passengers.”
“Dropping passengers off can be a stressful experience; we have therefore given careful consideration to providing the right facilities and enough time for people to unload in a secure environment.
“Making a small charge reminds drivers of the ten minute time allocation and keeps the traffic flowing.
“By offering a choice of options we can provide an airport experience to suit the needs of all our passengers.”