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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:47 pm 
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Heathrow to treble taxi pick-up fee from July

https://www.ft.com/content/676fef2d-103 ... 3107ad4191

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Image: Benjamin John/Alamy/FT.com

Drivers warn rise in passenger collection charge from £3.60 to £10 will be ‘devastating’ for business

Heathrow is preparing to nearly triple the fee it charges London’s black cabs collecting passengers from the airport, an increase that drivers warn will be “devastating” to their businesses.

Taxis will have to pay £10 from July, compared with £3.60 at present. The price rise will help Heathrow to recoup the £1.4m it lost running the airport taxi rank last year, when passenger numbers collapsed as travel restrictions devastated the aviation industry.

Passenger numbers at the airport last year fell to levels not seen since the 1970s, and Heathrow is losing £5m per day.

But drivers told the Financial Times that increasing the charge for every journey from the airport to £10 would mean the work is barely worth their time.

Access to Heathrow is tightly controlled, and taxis must queue in a parking area on the outskirts of the airport while waiting to be directed to terminals to collect passengers.

Waiting times were about three hours before the pandemic, but have routinely stretched to 24 hours over the past year, according to taxi drivers.

To make ends meet, some drivers are doing four to five-day stints “essentially living at the airport” while they queue for passengers, and only returning home to see their families at weekends, said Sam Houston, a driver who is a regular in the queue.

“It is that desperate, it is like working in another country,” he added.

London’s black cabs, already suffering from cheaper competition from ride-hailing apps such as Uber, have seen a collapse in revenue during the pandemic, forcing many drivers to leave the industry.

The majority of drivers are earning less than 30 per cent of their usual income at the moment, according to the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, which represents the capital’s taxi drivers.

“We appreciate the huge challenges Heathrow and the aviation industry have faced as a result of the pandemic, but the taxi trade has been hit just as hard,” the association said.

“It will take time for passenger demand to pick up and for our trade to recover. Anything which significantly increases drivers’ costs in the short-term will prove devastating.”

The LTDA suggested that Heathrow limit the price increase by spreading the cost over a five-year period, but said the airport indicated it was moving ahead.

Heathrow said Civil Aviation Authority regulations means it cannot generate any profit from services such as the taxi feeder system, and that any lost revenue is factored into the price for the following year, meaning that prices have inevitably risen.

“We have delayed increasing the charge for the taxi feeder park for as long as possible, but it will now increase from 1 July. The price will decrease in future as passenger numbers increase,” the airport said.

Heathrow is also locked in a furious dispute with airlines over a proposal to increase landing charges to claw back losses incurred during the coronavirus crisis.

The CAA is due to rule on the airport’s proposal to increase the fees it charges airlines by 5 per cent in the coming weeks, with carriers including British Airways arguing Heathrow’s group of largely overseas investors should provide more funding rather than pass losses on to other areas of the industry.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:47 pm 
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Waiting times were about three hours before the pandemic, but have routinely stretched to 24 hours over the past year, according to taxi drivers.

Don't doubt that drivers have waited in the queue for 24 hours during lockdown year, but I wonder about the extent to which this has been 'routine' :?


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:26 pm 
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the car park t T2 has been mostly turned over to meet and greet and premium pick up only the top floor left now for taxis and PH to park to pick up

I think they have realised they are in trouble and are desperately trying to ramp up parking revenue as the only easy source of revenue

I expect within 12 months LHR will be £5.00 to drop off or maybe even a charge just to enter the airport

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:53 pm 
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It will just be added to the tariff like the current charge is.

It will mean a black cab from Heathrow to central London will cost about £72 rather than £65.

And about £41 in a Uber car.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 5:16 am 
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and not forgetting of course Heathrow's deal with Minicabbit

I wonder if that also influenced the decision

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 6:18 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
and not forgetting of course Heathrow's deal with Minicabbit

I wonder if that also influenced the decision

Doubt it.

Most of the London PH work that comes out of Heathrow is either corporate or Uber.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 7:02 pm 
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I caught a glimpse but didn't read it of a story where the government are being urged to reinstate air passenger duty on return flights

so maybe the £10.00 is to replace the £10 air passenger duty either way the airports seem to be determined to charge the passengers more one way or another

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2021 9:43 pm 
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edders23 wrote:
I caught a glimpse but didn't read it of a story where the government are being urged to reinstate air passenger duty on return flights

so maybe the £10.00 is to replace the £10 air passenger duty either way the airports seem to be determined to charge the passengers more one way or another


Air passenger duty can only legally be charged on outgoing flights. Unless you know something I don’t.
When I used to fly business to Australia :D I paid APD on the LHR-DBX Leg. The remaining three were out of the grasp of the then chancellor.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2021 9:21 pm 
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CAA has told Heathrow it cannot increase fees to recoup its losses, would imagine this includes TAXI rank fees, perhaps it should be raised with the CAA.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2021 7:29 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
CAA has told Heathrow it cannot increase fees to recoup its losses, would imagine this includes TAXI rank fees, perhaps it should be raised with the CAA.

It would be good if it did include taxi ranks, but I very much doubt it.

That said there is nothing stopping the London taxi trade making representations to the CAA.

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