If you’re heading to Manchester Airport to drop off friends or family, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can do so for free at the airport’s drop off point on Thorley Lane. From there, your passengers can take a free shuttle bus onwards to the airport. However, if you’d prefer a longer goodbye, or you’d just like to grab a coffee at Departures, you’ll need to head to one of the airport terminals or to The Station. Not sure how to get there? No worries! Parkhero has you covered. Read on for our guide to Manchester Airport drop off - from directions to prices, and everything in between.
You’ll find drop off at Manchester Airport simple and straightforward. You can either take advantage of the free drop off point on Thorley Lane, next to the JetParks 1 Car Park, or pay a fee to drop your passengers off outside their terminal or at The Station. Prices start at £3.00 for five minutes and £4.00 for 10 minutes, with special arrangements in place for passengers who have a valid Blue Badge.
Conversely, if you’re heading to MAN to pick someone up from the airport, you’ll need to park in the Arrivals Car Park (for Terminal 1 and Terminal 3) or in one of the Multi Storey Car Parks (all terminals).
The Manchester Airport free drop off is located next to the JetParks 1 Car Park, and is clearly signposted from the M56. There is a ‘10 minutes - no return within 30 minutes’ rule in place, which means that you cannot stay in the drop off area for more than 10 minutes, and you can’t then re-enter any of the drop off areas again for at least half an hour. If you need to return for any reason, you’ll be directed to use the pick-up area instead. Drivers who enter the drop off area more than once in a 30 minute period will be charged an automatic £25.00 re-circulation fee.
Essentially, if you’d prefer not to pay for parking, you can touch down at the free drop off Manchester Airport zone just long enough to unload luggage. It’s important to note that this area is not within easy walking distance of the airport. Passengers will need to board a shuttle bus that will transport them free of charge to their terminal. The shuttle buses run frequently, usually every 15 minutes or so, to meet all flights from all terminals, first and last. It takes 7 minutes to reach Terminal 2, and 12 minutes to arrive at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
There are ANPR cameras in place as you drive into the drop-off area, outside of Terminal 1. These cameras will make a note of your registration number, in order to calculate how long you have stayed and how much you owe for parking. You’ll find a series of drop off bays near the terminal entrance, where you can (quickly) say goodbye to friends and family. You’ll be charged £3.00 for five minutes of parking, and £4.00 for 10 minutes.
From mid-July 2020, the Terminal 2 forecourt will reopen. To access the upper forecourt area, you’ll need to exit the M56 at Junction 5 and keep left up the slip road, following the signs for Terminal 2. At the first roundabout, at the top of the slip road, you’ll need to take the 2nd exit, signposted for Terminal 2. At the second roundabout (Flag Island), you should take the third exit, signposted for T2 ‘Drop Off’.
There are ANPR cameras in place at the T2 Drop Off area, and parking charges apply. It costs £3.00 for five minutes of parking, and £4.00 for 10 minutes. When you come to exit the drop off area, your car registration will be read again, and you’ll be presented with the fee you need to pay before you can exit. You can pay this either via cash or debit or credit card.
As at T1 and T2, there are ANPR cameras in place at Terminal 3 which are used to calculate how much you owe for parking. You’ll need to pay at the boom gate before you can exit, using either cash or card. There are hefty fines in place for those that try to avoid the drop off charges. Typically, these rates are £3.00 for five minutes of parking, and £4.00 for 10 minutes.
Passengers who hold a valid blue badge will be able to access the forecourt areas, free of charge, for drop-off only. To use this service, the travelling passenger must produce their blue badge to one of the traffic marshals when entering the forecourt area. Blue badge holders who drive onto the terminal forecourts to drop off passengers who are not blue badge holders themselves, will be charged at the normal rate.
If you’d rather spend an hour or so at the airport, it’s advisable to park up in one of the airport’s official Multi Storey Car Parks. You’ll find one of these by every terminal - including the T1 Multi Storey Car Park, the T2 Multi Storey Car Park, and the T3 Multi Storey Car Park.
You can pay on the day at any of these car parks, however we recommend pre-booking your space in advance, specially if travelling during a busy holiday period. These car parks can and do fill up, and there’s nothing worse than rushing before a flight - even if it’s only your passengers who are travelling!
If you pay for your space on the day, it can cost you up to £18.00 for a four hour stay. It would then cost you £40.00 for up to 24 hours. It’s important to note that there’s not much in between, as stay lengths jump from four hours to 24 - not to five or six. For cheaper parking, you can reserve your space via Parkhero. Our advance booking prices are generally much lower, provided that you book as early as possible.
According to the Chief Operating Officer of Manchester Airport, Tricia Williams, the airport faced high levels of congestion, and started charging drivers as a way to free up space. Williams was quoted as saying “... as passenger numbers have grown, we have increasingly experienced major congestion problems on our terminal forecourts, made worse by a high percentage of visitors repeatedly recirculating at peak times.
“The simple fact is our forecourts were not designed to handle the number of vehicles they do today and do not have the capacity to cope with any further growth in the number of people being dropped-off immediately outside our terminals.”
The United Kingdom’s leading online comparison site for airport parking, Parkhero is the ideal place to search, compare, and book your Manchester Airport car parking. If you’re heading to the airport soon to drop off friends or family, why not check to see if we can offer you a better rate when it comes to Manchester Airport drop off charges. To compare, just enter your travel dates into the search bar above, and you’ll be able to see the best offers available from a range of on- and off-site car parks.
Booking your space with Parkhero takes less than two minutes - you don’t need to create an account or sign-up for any loyalty programs or email lists. All we need are a few short details about your travel plans, and an email address to send your booking confirmation to. And should you need any help with your booking, our friendly customer service team is available Monday through to Friday to help. Just get in touch with them with your questions, and they’ll be happy to help.
Please note that while we have made every attempt to report on Manchester Airport parking and drop off rates accurately, prices do fluctuate over time. The rates mentioned in this article were valid in September 2020.