Think you've paid for your holiday?

There could be more to pay just to get on your plane

Are you in for an UK airport surprise this Easter?

The first really busy travel period of 2017 is with us. EasyJet alone will welcome over 2.4 million passengers during 1 – 17 April. The airline numbers will peak on Good Friday when almost 250,000 passengers are expected to fly on 1,628  flights across the network.


In the UK alone, over 141,134 passengers are set to fly to or from easyJet’s UK airports on 934 flights on Good Friday.


Most of these travellers will be very infrequent flyers, so some will be caught out by extra charges at the airport.


Drop off charge

These extras include dropping people off at the airport, plastic bags for liquids in the hand luggage and even to use a luggage trolley.


Not all the extra charges are can be easily found on the airport’s website. The CAA does have a list of airport fees on its website, but it is woefully out of date.
So here are the fees to watch out for.


Dropping off

Some airports allow drivers to drop off people at or near to the terminal, others charge:
  • Aberdeen £2
  • Belfast International £1
  • Birmingham £1
  • Bournemouth £3
  • East Midlands £2
  • Exeter £1
  • Isle of Man £1
  • Leeds Bradford £3
  • Liverpool £2
  • Luton £3
  • Stansted £3
  • Southampton £1
The time allowed to park varies between airports. Some of these airports do have free alternatives via a shuttle bus. For example, Luton airport offers free parking for two hours at the Long Term carpark.

Plastic bags

You’re forced at UK airports to put your liquids in a plastic bag, so you would expect these bags to be free. Well, not always. I have even spoke to passengers who followed the airport’s advice and still had to pay for bags. If you haven’t got cash then trying to get a bag out of a vending machine makes security even more stressful.


You’ll need change at:


  • Belfast International £1 for two
  • Bristol £1 for four
  • City of Derry £1 for two
  • Durham Tees Valley 25p for 1 (this price was given to me via email. It might mean £1 for four)
  • East Midlands £1 for 2
  • Liverpool £1 for four
  • Newcastle £1 per bag

Fast Track Security

Most UK airports have a fast track service for security. It may cut your queuing by 10 or more minutes. However, while booking ahead is cheaper, if you’re flying at a quiet time then to be honest, it’s a waste of money.


This isn’t scientific, as the number of flights can change over a week, but a week ahead check out departures to see if your flight is at a quiet time. If you’re flying before 8am, then it is probably worth it.


At some airports only certain passengers can use this service, otherwise expect to pay between £3-£5 online. At the airport starts from £5.


Using a trolley

You might expect that using a trolley for your luggage would be free, perhaps you might need a £1 to unlock it, just like at a supermarket. But no, at some airports you have to pay big.


London Luton Airport charges £2 to use a luggage trolley. A spokesperson said:


“The charge for the trolleys covers the cost of the equipment and the close management by provider Bagport of the trolley stocks, ensuring there are enough trolleys at locations around the airport at all times.  Any additional revenue that is generated is reinvested in airport facilities.”


No change, no problem you can pay by card, after paying a handling fee that is. The following UK airports charge for trolleys:


  • Birmingham £1
  • Bristol £2
  • Leeds Bradford £1
  • Luton £2

Finally, a fee for redecorating

Yep, we want to do up the airport and you’re going to pay for it.


The taxes part of your flight ticket isn’t just taxes. Fees that airports charge the airlines is also included. So you may not realise that you are contributing to the paint.


However, two airports are up front about this and charge you extra at the airport – don’t pay – don’t get through to security


  • Durham Tees Valley £6 for adults and £2 for 3 to 15 year olds
  • Norwich a massive £10 for each passenger aged 16 and over

The Norwich Airport website explains why this extra charge is separate to the flight ticket:

“Norwich Airport introduced the development fee in 2007 to help fund further development of the airport’s infrastructure and passenger facilities and to maintain and develop the airport’s route network.”