Heathrow Airport: How to avoid £5 drop-off fee before February midterm
Britons in search of last-minute winter sun are booking holidays in droves as Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Covid testing for fully vaccinated travelers would be scrapped.
From 4am on February 11, triple-bite (and some double-bite) passengers will not have to take any type of Covid test before traveling to England. They will also not be required to self-isolate, reports SurreyLive.
The rules have been relaxed for unvaccinated passengers, who will not have to take an eighth-day test or self-isolate after returning to the UK – but they will still have to take pre-departure tests, as well as tests on the second day back home.
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Holidays are expensive and hidden costs can mean the difference between being able to travel abroad or having to stay at home.
One thing vacationers will be looking to avoid is drop-off fees at Heathrow Airport.
The charge was introduced on November 1, 2021, with airport bosses insisting it is a bid to improve air quality around the airport.
In previous statements, it has also been said that this new cost is linked to the £2billion annual loss the airport has suffered as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Below is a comprehensive guide on how you can avoid filing fees and save some money.
How it works?
People entering the drop zone will have to pay £5, but it’s not just about handing over cash.
Motorists will have to pay the charge online or via an automated telephone service, and failure to pay within a certain time could see an £80 parking fine slip through their letterbox.
Heathrow will use automatic number plate recognition cameras to identify vehicles in the drop zone.
“Advance payments for returns last for 12 months. Purchased trips are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase, after which they will expire,” the airport’s website says.
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How can I avoid the fees?
One way to avoid the fee is to park in the airport’s long-term car park and use the shuttle service.
It is free if you stay there from 0 to 29 minutes during off-peak and peak hours.
Another way to deflect charge is to hold a blue badge.
“If you hold a valid UK or European Economic Area (EEA) blue badge, you can claim a 100% discount even if you don’t own a vehicle or drive,” the airport’s website says. from Heathrow.
“You can request a reduction for the vehicle in which you are dropped off.
“Blue Badge holders can request a deposit up to three months in advance or until midnight the day after their deposit.”
You will be asked to provide the following information as part of your application:
- Vehicle registration number
- Date of visit
- Badge number
- E-mail address
- flight number
- Image of the front and back of the blue badge
An email will be sent confirming the successful application.
However, a “Blue Badge application is only applicable for a single deposit,” the website points out.
“Each depot requires its own application. Failure to complete a blue badge application for each depot may result in a parking charge notice being issued.”
Are there other ways to avoid the fee?
Yes, you will not have to pay the charge if your vehicle belongs to one of these categories:
- Emergency service vehicles, such as police, ambulances and fire engines
- military vehicle
- Road recovery vehicle – have a tax class of “recovery vehicle”
- Two-wheeled motorcycles
- Valet parking at Heathrow
- Bus or coach
All discounts shown above will be automatically applied to your vehicle – but exemptions and discounts will not apply to electric vehicles.
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