[Airport informer] If  you have to occasionally collect friends and family from Gatwick Airport‘s terminals, from July 1st you need to dig further in your pockets and pay for the privilege ….. and subsidise the taxi industry.

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars

Minimum parking charges will rise from £1.50 to £3.00 to subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven cars. Image is for editorial purposes: Gatwick Airport Ltd

Gatwick Airport is planning a major shakeup of the Gatwick meet and greet industry.

Approved Operator Scheme

A recent consultation period has ended hosted held by Gatwick Airport in partnership with West Sussex County Council, Surrey Trading Standards and a number of meet and greet companies operating at the airport, the airport plans to introduce an approved ‘operator scheme’ and has launched a consultation period for meet and greet operators.

The aim is to ….

  • Reduce forecourt congestion by limiting meet and greet operations to specific, controlled areas
  • Expands the ‘user pays’ principle to cover meet and greet parking
  • Address the issue of sub-standard meet and greet operators at Gatwick by only allowing meet and greet companies that are part of the ‘approved operator’ scheme to operate at Gatwick
  • Recognise meet and greet operators that meet minimum customer service standards and ensure passengers can identify these operators.

The trouble is with these fine principles is that everyone now has to pay more to collect their loved ones as well.

In the words of the Gatwick Airport Ltd, in their full findings published here…  

Any individual not in the Approved Operator scheme will not be allowed to use the dedicated areas …, and will have to operate from the non-dedicated areas in the Multi-Story Car Park …. paying the regular tariff.

By the way the regular tariff has just had it’s minimum charges raised by 100%

Why, well in the words of Julia Gregory, Gatwick Airport’s head of Surface Transport….

“The implication for regular passengers using the forecourt is that the rules in place today will be more strictly enforced, that is to say that the forecourts must be for drop-off only, and any pick-ups should be carried out in the short-stay car park. If the scheme achieves its objectives, customers using the forecourts to drop-off friends/family will also benefit through better management of the traffic on the forecourts, and therefore shorter waiting times.”

she continues….

There have been changes to the tariff for the short-stay car parks, the key change is that the entry price point is now 0-30 minute at £3.00 rather than 0-15 minutes at £1.50. This change brings us in line with all the other main London airports, and we expect the vast majority of short-stay users to be unaffected (as most people take longer than 15 minutes to use the short-stays).

In effect the public will subsidise taxi & chauffeur driven car companies 

“This price change also allows us to offer discounted rates to the ‘Approved Operators’ that use the short-stay car parks, so forms a key part of the scheme. “

“expect …..push-back from customers”

“……this will have most impact from 1st July when the new rules on the forecourt start to be strictly enforced. In particular I expect there to be push-back from customers who today pick-up friends and family on the forecourt in contravention of the signage in place – they will not be allowed to do so from 1st July”.

In conclusion, from July 1st, bring some money….

You just know that when an auspicious entity like Gatwick Airport Ltd or a local council extols the virtues of a scheme to improve things……. it’s going to cost you more money somewhere along the line….

Don’t forget… Gatwick is “Your London Airport”


Airport informer
5th June, 2013


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