Heathrow Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world, has implemented a Terminal Drop-Off Charge to manage traffic and promote sustainable transportation. In this article, we will provide you with all the essential information about the Terminal Drop-Off Charge at Heathrow Airport, including payment methods, exemptions, and discounts.
Table of Contents
- Payment Methods
- Prepayment and Expiry
- Free Drop-Off Options
- Business Accounts for Taxi and Private-Hire Drivers
- Blue Badge Holders
- Exemptions and Discounts
- The Purpose of the Terminal Drop-Off Charge
- Refunds and Complaints
- Temporary Pre-Authorization Holds
- Contact Information and Customer Support
Heathrow Airport has implemented a Terminal Drop-Off Charge to manage traffic and reduce airport-related congestion. The charge applies to the passenger drop-off zones in front of the terminal buildings, also known as the terminal forecourts. It is important to note that the charge only applies to vehicles entering the drop-off zones and does not affect passenger pick-ups, which continue to take place in the car parks.
2. Payment Methods
To pay the Terminal Drop-Off Charge, there are three convenient methods available:
- Online Payment: You can pay the charge online through the official Heathrow Airport website. Simply visit the designated payment portal and follow the instructions to complete the payment.
- Automated Telephone Service: Another option is to pay the charge through the automated telephone service. Dial the provided number and follow the prompts to make the payment.
- Autopay: Once you've set up autopay, the charge will be automatically deducted from your registered payment method each time you enter the drop-off zone.
Please note that payments can only be made by card, and cash and cheque payments are not accepted.
3. Prepayment and Expiry
If you prefer to pay in advance, you have the option to make prepayments for the Terminal Drop-Off Charge. Prepayments are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase. However, any remaining prepaid funds after 12 months will expire and cannot be used.
It is important to remember that drop-off payments cannot be made at airport ticket machines or in the terminal drop-off zones. Ensure that you have made the necessary payment before entering the drop-off zone to avoid any penalties.
4. Free Drop-Off Options
Heathrow Airport provides free drop-off options at the Long Stay car parks. Passengers can park their vehicles in the Long Stay car parks and take advantage of the free bus transfer service to reach the terminal. This option is a convenient and cost-effective alternative to the Terminal Drop-Off Charge.
5. Business Accounts for Taxi and Private-Hire Drivers
All taxis (black cabs) and private-hire vehicles must pay the Terminal Drop-Off Charge each time they enter the drop-off zones. To streamline the payment process and benefit from additional features, taxi drivers and private-hire vehicle drivers are encouraged to register for a business account. Business accounts are free and offer autopay functionality, allowing drivers to pay for drop-offs conveniently.
By registering a business account, drivers can view all their drop-offs, reconcile registered blue-badge drop-offs, and pay for drop-offs either before the journey or by midnight the next day. To register a business account, drivers can visit the official Heathrow Airport website and follow the provided link.
6. Blue Badge Holders
Heathrow Airport offers special considerations for UK or European Economic Area (EEA) Blue Badge holders. Blue Badge holders can apply for a 100% discount on the Terminal Drop-Off Charge. This discount applies even if the Blue Badge holder does not drive or own a vehicle.
To apply for the Blue Badge discount, Blue Badge holders need to provide their vehicle registration number, drop-off date, Blue Badge number, email address, flight number, and images of the front and rear of their Blue Badge. Successful applicants will receive an email confirmation.
It is important to note that the Blue Badge discount applies to a single drop-off, and a new application is required for each drop-off. Failure to use the Blue Badge discount for a drop-off may result in a Parking Charge Notice (PCN). Additionally, vehicles in which Blue Badge holders are dropped off must not be left unattended in the terminal drop-off zones, as they may be removed by the police.
7. Exemptions and Discounts
Certain vehicles are exempt from the Terminal Drop-Off Charge. These exemptions are automatically applied to eligible vehicles and do not require a separate application. The following categories of vehicles are exempt:
- Emergency service vehicles, such as police, ambulances, and fire engines.
- Military vehicles.
In addition to exemptions, certain vehicles qualify for a 100% discount on the Terminal Drop-Off Charge. These discounts are also automatically applied to eligible vehicles and do not require a separate application. The following categories of vehicles qualify for a discount:
- Roadside recovery vehicles with a taxation class of 'recovery vehicle'.
- Two-wheeled motorbikes.
- Buses or coaches.
- Vehicles booked for Heathrow Valet Parking.
It is important to note that there are no exemptions or discounts specifically for electric vehicles.
8. The Purpose of the Terminal Drop-Off Charge
The Terminal Drop-Off Charge at Heathrow Airport serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it helps manage traffic and reduce airport-related congestion by encouraging alternative transportation options and discouraging car-led travel. Secondly, the income generated from the charge contributes to new sustainable transport initiatives at the airport. These initiatives aim to lower overall airport charges and invest in congestion-reducing Surface-Access projects. By implementing the Terminal Drop-Off Charge, Heathrow Airport can continue to invest in sustainable transportation and protect jobs.
9. Refunds and Complaints
If you have any questions, require a refund, or need assistance, you can contact APCOA, the company responsible for managing the Terminal Drop-Off Charge at Heathrow Airport. You can reach APCOA through the following channels:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Webchat: Chat with an agent via the official APCOA website
- Phone: Call customer services at 0333 200 7459
If you have any complaints regarding the Terminal Drop-Off Charges, you can email APCOA at email@example.com.
10. Temporary Pre-Authorization Holds
When you make a payment for the Terminal Drop-Off Charge, you may notice a temporary hold of funds, known as a pre-authorization. This hold is not a charge but a temporary measure to ensure the validity of your payment method and the availability of sufficient funds. The pre-authorization will be released, and the funds will be available again shortly.
11. Contact Information and Customer Support
For any account-related inquiries or payment-related issues, you can contact APCOA through the following channels:
- Customer Services Webchat: Live chat with an agent through the official APCOA website
- Customer Services Phone Number: 0333 200 7459
- Automated Telephone Payment Line: 0330 008 5600
- General Enquiries Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer services are available from Monday to Friday, 08:00 - 20:00, and on weekends from 08:00 - 17:00 (closed on public holidays). During the Christmas period, there may be adjusted opening hours.
In conclusion, the Terminal Drop-Off Charge at Heathrow Airport is a measure implemented to manage traffic, reduce congestion, and promote sustainable transportation. By providing various payment methods, exemptions, and discounts, Heathrow Airport aims to ensure a smooth and efficient drop-off experience for all passengers and drivers. For any further inquiries or assistance, please contact APCOA through the provided channels.