With constant changes to where you’re meant to drop off at Manchester Airport, as well as the fees you’re charged, we thought we’d create this guide to clarify everything.
Scroll down for more information on the Manchester Airport drop off charge, as well as where the Manchester Airport free drop off zone is, and as the location of the new Terminal 1 Arrivals car park.
Plus, find out more information on the pick-up fees.
How Do I Avoid the Manchester Airport Drop Off Charges?
Please note this video was accurate as of the time of posting – 08/10/18.
We’ve all considered being dropped off at the airport rather than driving ourselves.
After all, if it saves you driving as well as a few quid parking, it’s all worth it, right? (As long as we don’t talk about them doing two round trips to the airport that is.)
However, with the Manchester Airport free drop off location, journeys might not be so easy.
Manchester Airport’s free drop-off zone isn’t a short walk to the terminal. It’s located on Thorley Lane just up the road, and you’re required to get a shuttle bus to the terminal.
To get there, you can head towards JetParks 1 (Thorley Ln, Manchester M90 5AZ) and follow signs for the free drop-off area.
If you want to get close to your terminal when being dropped off, you’ll have to pay a fee.
So What Are The Drop-Off Charges?
Paid drop-off parking are on the forecourts of the various terminals and the train station.
The fee is £3 for five minutes, or £4 for 10.
And if you pay this charge, find you’re running over time and decide to recirculate, you’ll have to pay a whopping £25 penalty charge.
How Much is the Pick-Up Fee?
For a while, the negative press was on the airport’s drop-off fees, with little change in the pick-up charges.
However, in June 2019 the pick-up fee increased.
Drivers are now charged £4.50 for up to 30 minutes in the multi-storey, the designated pick-up point.
This has increased by 50p from the previous price of £4.
Manchester Airport has also confirmed that the free drop-off zone on Thorley Lane is for drop-off only. This is the only way to pick passengers up.
How Do I Pay the Drop-Off Fee at Manchester Airport?
So we know there is a drop-off fee, and how much we’re expected to pay.
But there is no information online about how to pay, or what payment methods are allowed.
So as SkyParkSecure’s Brent was dropping his parents off at the airport, he experienced the system first hand.
At Terminal 3 — where Brent was dropping off — there are ANPR cameras in place as you drive into the drop-off area. These cameras will make a note of your registration so paying the required fee is a must if you don’t want to face a hefty fine.
At the terminal entrance there are a series of drop-off bays where you can unload your passengers and their luggage.
Then when you come to exit the drop-off area, you’ll reach a boom barrier where your car registration is read again and you’ll be presented with your drop-off charge. This can be paid by cash or card.
But Why Have the Drop-Off Fees Been Put in Place?
Tricia Williams, Chief Operating Officer of Manchester Airport, has said that “As passenger numbers have grown, we have increasingly experienced major congestion problems on our terminal forecourts, made worse by a high percentage of visitors repeatedly recirculating at peak times.
“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.”
According to Ms Williams, it’s a simple matter of congestion at the airport, and these steps will help to free up much-needed road space.
Drop-Off Vs Parking – Which is Cheaper?
So let’s take a closer look at the costs for the average traveller.
Manchester Airport is a far-reaching airport; the third busiest in the UK after Heathrow and Gatwick. Most people in the North will have used Manchester Airport at some point, even those with airports closer to home.
We’re going to take a look at an average journey length of around 60 miles each way.
Not only is this a good average of journeys to the airport, it also just so happens to be the distance from SkyParkSecure HQ to Manchester Airport! What a lucky coincidence!
So let’s make sure everything’s fair…
First we’ve looked at UK petrol prices using AllStar UK Fuel Price Information, which is currently at an average of 124.1 pence per litre at the time of writing.
Then, we can use that figure and Fuel-Economy.co.uk to work out the cost of a car journey of 60 miles.
Now we’re ready for a comparison!
Drop-Off at Manchester Airport Terminal
If you want to be dropped off and collected by a friend for a 5 day holiday in November, you’ll have to pay the following costs:
- Your friend will have to travel to the airport and back twice, with each leg of the journey costing £6.15. That’s a total cost of £24.60.
- £3 for 5 minutes in the drop-off zone.
- £4 to pay in the collection area.
For a grand total of £31.60!
Parking at Manchester Airport
If you choose instead to drive yourself, you’ll have to pay the following:
- £12.30 for a round trip to and from Manchester Airport.
- £22.50 for parking at Toad Park & Ride.
For a grand total of £34.80!
The Winner: Airport Parking (Just)
So you’re not saving big bucks in this instance, but on a different week for a different length of time you might be!
Is it really worth dragging your mum out of bed at 5am to take you to the airport when it’s actually cheaper to make the trip yourself?
We’ve used the discount code COMPARE to get today’s prices, and you can as well by following this link and entering COMPARE into the promo code box when getting your quote.
And remember to sign up to our email newsletter to continue getting discounts all year round!