Is taking someone to the airport a thing of the past?

2019-10-28 11:45 - Marisa Crous
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Do you still ask someone to drop you off or pick you up from the airport? Or has taxi hailing services made the airport run somewhat obsolete? 

READ: From security to gate in 8 minutes: A look at the biggest airport in the world that has just opened 

We asked our Twitter followers what they think? 

Most people said Uber has changed the way we get to and from the airport, while a big chunk also believe that taking someone to the airport will soon be a thing of the past.

What will the repercussions of this be? Could this mean a future of smaller airport arrival halls as fewer loved ones opt to take or fetch someone from the airport?

No viewing decks, maybe?

Restaurants with only bar counters for single diners? Because you'll be all alone, in a cold space that is now just a place you pass through. Devoid of emotion. No tears. Maybe just those you cry on the inside. 

This might also mean the end of an era of airport nostalgia and romance a la Love Actually. No more films will be made with him or her waiting for you with a cheesy banner and flowers at the gate.   

READ: Shameless Passengers set the internet alight. Would you sleep on a plane floor? 

This isn't someone waiting to see your plane take off, this is just you looking at an aircraft...

Thing is, hitching a ride with Uber or Taxify or the Gautrain is often just so much more convenient for everyone all round. Though it comes at a cost, it eliminates the admin part, which in a time with jam-packed schedules is a sweet relief for travellers. No parking, no wasted time, no drawn out goodbyes. Drop-offs are breezy.

South African airports still allow free Drop and Go zones at its airports, however parking costs are high. So much so that we are seeing a lot of people choosing valet parking over normal parking at airports, as it works out cheaper. 

READ: OR Tambo parking: Should you Uber, take the Gautrain or is long-term valet parking actually cheaper? 

But you will be chased away at SA airports if you stay in the Drop and Go for longer that 10 minutes. Kiss, and be on your way.

Lanseria airport's Ring & Ride option is pretty efficient. It has a car park waiting area close to the Drop & Go, "the ideal place to wait in your car until your arriving party calls you (on their cell phone), to let you know that their plane has arrived, and they are ready to be collected. You may then drive up to the Drop & Go area and collect them, without having to pay for parking." 

Internationally, we are seeing a big change in terms of Drop and Go and parking costs. In the UK, for example, the Drop and Go zones are no longer free. You have to pay - up to £4 (about R75 at R18.74/£) for 10 minutes - to be dropped off by a private car. That's why many opt for public transport instead. 

And overstaying your welcome means big fines. Like £25 (R469) if you stay longer than 10 minutes. 

Similarly, parking costs at airports like Luton and Manchester have skyrocketed to the point where it has become cheaper to buy a flight on a budget airline than to park at the airport for an hour, says The Sun.

However, Deidre Davids, Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs at Cape Town International Airport says we don't have to say goodbye to the airport loved-one drop off just yet. "Airports have always been filled with emotion. I see it every day (by the way I never get tired of it!) – the happy hello’s and the heartfelt good-byes.  This has been the case for years.

"It’s unlikely to change, even with the advent of services such as e-hailing. Think about your European airports where e-hailing is much more popular than it currently is here… they still have beautiful arrival halls. This is unlikely to change in the next few years, thankfully!" 

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