Heathrow Terminal 3 drop-off / pick-up

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This topic contains 39 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  Sunshine123 26 Jun 2015
at 11:05

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  • Anonymous


    Due to a mess up with my driver this morning at T3 arrivals, I had to wait in the T3 drop off zone to be collected. What an interesting 30 minutes or so conversation with the Police, who were out in force, managing the traffic flow.

    1. The drop of zone is exactly that – DROP OFF ONLY. Drivers who are caught collecting passengers, can be fined £40. The whole area is covered by cameras

    2. Collecting passengers must be done via the T3 car park, and a charge of £2.60 will be paid by all drivers

    3. BAA do not provide clear signage anywhere on the airport to confirm these details

    4. New laws were introduced to cover the drop off zone at T3 as previously, the lanes all had double yellow lines

    5. The police explained the Island format of the airport and it can take as little as 90 seconds for the blockage to extend back to the M4!

    6. With more airlines using T3, until T2 opens, the car park system is overworked.

    7. I inquired what had been decided about T2 parking, the police confirmed nothing had yet been agreed about drop off, collection.

    Do readers believe it is right that all cars collecting passengers should be directed to a car park and be charged £2.60 for the privilege?

    Whenever I have needed to use a car park they are overpriced and hell to get out of during busy times. Should drivers be charged for dropping off passengers? If the central areas were for passengers only, could a transit terminal be created off airport for all passengers to be dropped and collected and then travel to the airport via shuttle trains.

    The reason for this post is that having used Heathrow for more years than I could care to mention, I only knew today about the £40 fine if caught being collected from T3 drop off.

    One last point. Whilst I was waiting, the police were dealing with a car in the drop off zone that had been seen by a remote camera and checked, only to find out the driver had no insurance. The car was impounded, one less driver without insurance on the road….


    I was aware that it was not possible to drive to arrival areas. It’s the same in T5. I’ve always arranged pick up at departures. I wasn’t aware of the fine but will keep chancing it!!!!
    How many police dealt with the car incident? 6? 8? Any time I’ve seen police deal with an incident at Heathrow it’s always been overkill. 7 police to remove a vagrant!!

    I agree Martyn. Having to pay to drop off or pick up a passenger is verging on the ridiculous.

    It’s the same at my native airport – Belfast International – although there it is only £1, but even so…it only takes a minute to say a brief goodbye.

    EDITED: I thought airport charges were included in the price of our tickets.


    I’ve always been picked up from the same area I’m dropped off at for T5, the top layer under the “sails”. No one’s ever said anything about it there or does it only apply to T3? Parking fines are usually null and void if the signage is missing/insufficient elsewhere.


    Hello alexpo1

    “I thought airport charges were included in the price of our tickets”

    That used to be a case but a number of airports now charge separate fees for services which we used to take for granted. I wrote about this issue in January 2011:


    The same year, BFS brought in a “smoking fee.” Not sure if it still applies but we reported on that in May 2011:



    lloydah – the police confirmed that no signs were needed to enforce the £40 fine. Its all to do with the way the road way outside T3 has been legally defined.

    Most professional drivers are now insisting they meet passengers in car parks and will not chance waiting in the T3 drop off zone. Presume BAA have also assumed, force the people who collect into the Terminal, result more money spent..


    MS – that’s ridiculous .. another money making racket I have to say! I didn’t know about the fine though … I tend to keep going around the block if kept waiting for whatever reason but haven’t been to T3 for a pick up or drop off for a while now hope T5 remains civil in that case then or is it in place already – oops!

    Good evening Alex

    The last time I was there was in October about to board a flight to Newark, and I did not mind paying to further ruin my health!

    I can’t remember the price, but it was no more than £1.

    I still do not agree with this extra charge as it is open air and does not affect non-smokers.


    Must confess the memsahib picks me up in the drop-off zone, but we are very careful to be as far away from the boys in blue as possible and to be ultra-quick! Being forced to go to a carpark, and pay, is ridiculous. The key isn’t whether someone is picking up or dropping off, it is how long they take compared to the traffic flow. A drop-off with a tearful five minute goodbye / trolley-finding / ticket & passport searching saga is logically going to cause several times as much of a snarl-up as a 30-second pick-up


    Remember Ian, the Police only enforce these riduclous and money spinning rules. The entire drop off lane area, is covered by cameras which can take stills.

    The status of the road is apparently UNIQUE, something to do with it not being an URBAN highway, just a highway…. the guy did explain that laws had to be created just to cover the drop off zone area.

    I promised NOT to publish the Police Officers name, but he says he would be delighted to speak to anyone about the roads/parking at Heathrow – well it is his job. I think they are as frustrated with BAA as we the passengers are…..

    Apparently drivers are currently being fined for collecting in the drop off zone……


    Martyn – does that mean the Police enforce the fines or is it akin to car parks where the council/car park facilitator extorts or tries to extort the dosh. Presume as it’s a highway it’s the Old Bill.


    tickets are given out by the community support police and the full time policeman is there to support…………….

    I do not believe this is enforced by the “thugs”!!


    Interesting MS. I’d be very interested in seeing those rules in print.

    For those interested, the 1996 Heathrow Airport regulations are published here (in fact, the only place I could find them online):


    Tom Otley

    The drivers I use from a local taxi firm all park and wait for me off site (often in a petrol station), leaving a message on my phone for when I have landed and turn it on. I then tell them when I have collected my bags (assuming I have some) or when I will come out, and then I walk up to the drop off area and they pull in.

    (They will have already removed their identifying taxi lights from the top of the car – which they do anyway, since the police stop them on motorways if they have them on because they sometimes blow off the top of the car, and besides, are bad for fuel consumption).

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