Bristol Airport Drop-off Charges
If there is one topic about airports that is likely to generate a conversation among passengers and the local community, it’s the drop-off charges that have been gradually introduced over the years. These can range from £1.00 for 10 minutes (Belfast) to £7.00 for 15 minutes (Stansted). Bristol Airport in particular has come under fire over its recent drop-off price increases. What used to be a minimum charge of £1.00 in 2019, is now, just four years later, a minimum of £7.00.
While the airports argue that the charges are partly to deter passengers from coming to the airport by car and to encourage more use of public transport, with the railways and buses currently intermittently on strike, many passengers see no alternative other than to ask family or friends for a lift to make sure they get to their flight on time.
So, what are the options for dropping off – and picking up – at Bristol Airport?
Drop & Go car park
First up, the Drop & Go car park. This is right next to the airport terminal building and costs £5.00 for the first 10 minutes, then increases as follows:
Drop & Go parking charges:
· up to 10 minutes £5.00
· 10 – 20 minutes £7.00
· 20 – 40 minutes £10.00
· 40 – 60 minutes £20.00
· each additional hour or part thereafter is £20.00
The Drop & Go facility operates on Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology to record vehicle number plates as they enter the car park, so you can drive straight in. Payment is calculated when you get to the exit barrier and can be made by card or cash.
The Drop & Go postcode is BS48 3DY and the what3words location is /// paths.foot.investor.
Blue Badge exemptions
Blue Badge holders can get up to 30 minutes free of charge in the Drop & Go car park, but you do need to take your Blue Badge to the OCS Special Assistance Desk inside the terminal building. The staff will then give you a ticket that you can use at the exit barrier to exit without paying. If your passengers need assistance at the check-in desks, there is a yellow help point phone at the walkway to the terminal.
Short Stay car park
Your next option for dropping off is the Short Stay car park. This is a better choice than Drop & Go if you intend to stay longer than 10 minutes, as it costs only £5.00 for up to 20 minutes. The Short Stay car park is a short walk from the terminal building. Take a ticket at the entry barrier and pay at the pay station before you leave. The charges are as follows:
Short Stay parking charges:
· up to 20 minutes £5.00
· 20 – 40 minutes £7.00
· 40 – 60 minutes £10.00
· 1 – 2 hours £12.00
· 2 – 3 hours £13.00
· 3 – 4 hours £14.00
Special assistance passengers can use the intercom button at the entry barrier to contact the special assistance team and there are dedicated disabled parking bays.
The Short Stay postcode is BS48 3DY and the what3words location is /// jets.moral.lobby.
Free drop off
Yes! There is a way to avoid the Drop & Go and car park charges! The trade-off is that you need to take a shuttle bus to and from the terminal. These run frequently, however, from the Car Rental Centre nearby.
The free drop-off parking is called the Waiting Zone.
Waiting Zone parking charges:
· up to 1 hour FREE
· 1 – 2 hours £25.00
· each additional hour or part thereafter is £20.00
There is no return permitted within one hour.
The Waiting Zone has two Blue Badge parking bays but note that special assistance is not available.
The Waiting Zone postcode is BS48 3DW and the what3words location is /// medium.estate.robe.
Beware the Red Routes
Be aware that Bristol Airport has a strict no-stopping policy on all its marked Red Routes throughout the airport grounds and it is not permitted to stop, unload or park anywhere outside of the designated car parks and Drop & Go facility. The penalty is £100.00 (reduced to £60.00 if paid within 14 days).
The Waiting Zone gives you an hour free, so if you can be sure when your passengers are arriving and likely to clear customs, and as long as they are prepared to take the shuttle bus transfer to the Car Rental Centre, you will not need to pay anything. Over an hour is £25.00 though, so for stays of between two and four hours, you’ll find much better value in the Short Stay car park, which is just a short walk from the terminal. See the charges listed above.
Local resident discount
If you live within the following areas, you can apply for permission to park free of charge in the Short Stay car park for up to 40 minutes:
· Downside Road – from the A38 to Coombe Garage – and the cul-de-sacs off it
· Hyatts Wood Road
· The Oatfield Estate
· Cook’s Bridle Path
Email your application to firstname.lastname@example.org, including copies of your V5 registration document and certificate of insurance.
Arriving by taxi
Taxis can drop off their passengers in the Waiting Zone, which allows stays of up to one hour free of charge. Passengers must allow sufficient time to take the nearby shuttle bus to the terminal.
If taxis use the Drop & Go parking zone, the same charges apply as for private vehicles.
Parking at Bristol
There is a variety of airport parking options at Bristol, so if you are considering saving your friends and family members a journey – and their fuel – by driving your own vehicle to the airport, you should be able to find something that suits you.
If time is not necessarily a priority, then the best value is usually Silver Zone Parking, which is a little distance from the terminal but still within the airport grounds. The free shuttle bus transfers depart every 15 minutes, and the journey time is between seven and nine minutes. For Sat Nav, use postcode BS48 3DW.
Alternatively, the Long Stay Parking is within walking distance (5 to 15 minutes), which gives a little more flexibility with timing. Use postcode BS48 3DY.
For the ultimate in convenience, book Meet & Greet, which is ideal for saving time, and for avoiding walking with luggage, or waiting for bus transfers. Just pull right up to the terminal and hand your vehicle over to a parking valet.
Getting to Bristol Airport – by road
Driving to Bristol Airport is pretty straightforward. It lies around seven miles southwest of the city centre, just off the A38.
If you are travelling from the north down the M5, exit at Junction 18 onto the A4, which takes you alongside the River Avon, and follow the signs to A370 Bristol and Airport. If you are coming up the M5 from the south, exit at Junction 2 and follow the signs for the A38. From the M4 east, join the M5 southbound at Junction 20, then exit the M5 at Junction 18 and follow the signs to the airport.
From Bath and the southeast, the best route is to take the A4 towards Bristol and exit onto the A4174, following the signs for the airport. And from South Wales, once you are over the Prince of Wales Bridge, leave the M4 at Junction 22 to join the M49, signposted South West. Then take the A4, signposted A4 and A370 Bristol and Airport.
Getting to Bristol Airport – by bus or coach
You can of course avoid the car altogether and take advantage of the handy airport bus and coach services, which depart regularly from Bristol city centre, Bath, Weston-super-Mare, Cardiff and Plymouth.
From Bristol Bus Station, you can take the A1 Bristol Airport Flyer, which departs every 12 minutes. From Weston-super-Mare, the A3 Weston Airport Flyer sets off from the railway station every hour, as does the A4 Air Decker Bath – from Bath Dorchester St, via the Westgate Buildings, Royal Victoria Park and Newbridge Road.
Whichever way you choose to get to Bristol Airport, hopefully, this quick rundown of options has helped you on your way. Note that things can change, of course, including parking charges, so always double-check close to the time of travel.
No, there is no free pick-up or drop-off option at Bristol Airport. There are designated pick-up & drop-off zones located near the terminal buildings, but they charge a fee for a set amount of time. The fees vary depending on the length of stay, so it’s best to check the Bristol Airport website for current rates and details.
Bristol Airport charges for pick-up in the “Express Drop Off & Pick Up” zone, which is located close to the terminal buildings. The first 10 minutes of parking in this zone costs £5, and the fee increases for longer stays. After the first 10 minutes, there are additional charges for each minute parked, and if you exceed 30 minutes in the zone, the charges increase significantly. It’s important to note that waiting is not allowed in this zone, and drivers are required to stay with their vehicles at all times. For more details on pricing and regulations, it’s best to check the Bristol Airport website or contact them directly.