London Gatwick Airport Guide
In this section you will find traveller airport reviews as well as our London Gatwick Airport Guide with info on WiFi, lounges, facilities and services....and yes, even the names of some airport hotels in case you decide that sleeping in the airport is not for you!
The police were lovely they even bought me a coffee.
South Terminal, Zone K, Source: Dbx54 / Wikipedia
What to Expect
- Gatwick Airport is made up of two terminals: North and South.
- Some shopping and food are open 24-hours.
- Free WiFi is available. However, it is said to be show an inconsistant. See WiFi in the airport guide below.
Where to Sleep
- Before security: benches have armrests. Seating in the North Terminal is said to be better than the South Terminal. However, you should expect to sleep on the floor in either case.
- After security: there are some benches without armrests where it would be possible stretch out.
- Bright lights and noise should be expected. Be prepared and take an eyemask and earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones. A blanket will also come in handy.
- For uninterrupted sleep, several hotels are located inside or near the airport. See Airport Hotels in the airport guide below.
- Economy class travelers can buy a pass and relax in one of the airport lounges.. See Airport Lounges in the airport guide below for locations and rates.
For more information about the services and facilities available, scroll down to continue exploring our London Gatwick Airport Guide. Send us your airport tips to help us keep this information up to date.
In this guide we may refer to locations as "landside" and "airside". Landside is the public area of the terminal located in the non-secure zone, before security. Airside is the secure area of the terminal that you must reach by going through security.
If you are an economy class traveller, you can enter these lounges at London Gatwick airport either by purchasing a lounge pass or through a membership program. Visit the individual lounge page for more details (ie. facilities, hours, pass and membership information):
- Aspire Lounge - Location: North Terminal, Airside, Level 1. Hours: 4:00AM - 9:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£19.99) • Book Online (£18.99).
- My Lounge - Location: North Terminal, Airside. Hours: 6:00AM - 8:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£24.00) • Book Online (£20.00).
- No. 1 Lounge Gatwick - Location: North Terminal, Airside. Hours: 4:00AM - 10:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£35.00) • Book Online (£28.00).
- No. 1 Lounge Gatwick - Location: South Terminal, Airside, Mezzanine Level. Hours: 4:00AM - 10:00PM (Daily). Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£35.00) • Book Online (£28.00).
- Regus Express Business Lounge - Location: South Terminal, Arrivals Concourse, Ground Floor. Showers are available. Lounge Access: Pay at the Door (£39.00).
Free WiFi is available at Gatwick Airport for two 45-minute sessions. Connect to the “Gatwick Free wi-fi” network and follow the steps to sign up. After first session is over, repeat the sign-up steps to start a second 45-minute session. Additional access can be purchased through Boingo.
In addition, Surbox internet kiosks are available landside and airside, with current pricing clearly displayed at each location. Kiosks located landside have printing capabilities. Credit cards and coins (Euro or GBP) are accepted for payment.
If sleeping in London Gatwick Airport does not appeal to you, there are hotels near the airport:
- Bloc Gatwick - A budget hotel located inside the South Terminal on the Arrivals Floor.
- Hampton by Hilton London Gatwick Airport - Directly connected to the North Terminal via walkway, and connected to South Terminal via free shuttle service.
- Hilton London Gatwick Airport - Connected to the South Terminal by a covered walkway. Day rooms are available 9:00AM - 6:00PM.
- Premier Inn London Gatwick North Terminal Hotel - Located opposite the North Terminal, this hotel provides free 2-minute transfers to the South Terminal.
- Sofitel London Gatwick - A 4-star hotel connected directly to the North Terminal via covered link bridge. Day rooms are available 9:00AM - 6:00PM.
- YOTELAIR - Located in the South Terminal next to International Arrivals, this budget airport hotel offers day rooms/ hourly (4 to 24 hours). Transit (airside) passengers will need valid entry into the UK to stay here.
To find a cheap room, there is a list of hotels near Gatwick Airport on Tripadvisor that can be sorted by price.
- Art at the Airport - The works of 3 different local artists are now on display throughout the airport. Check out the unique mosaic celebrating Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, the artwork is created with 5,500 pictures of people from Sussex, Kent and Surrey. Location: South Terminal.
- ATMs / Cash Machines - ATMs are available landside and airside in both terminals. All valid UK bank cards are accepted, as well as credit cards.
- Baby Care Facilities - Designated rooms for the care and feeding of babies are available in the check-in area, on the way to the gates, in the transfer area, and after passport control in Arrivals. Look for rooms marked with a babycare symbol. Diaper change folding tables are also available in mens’ and womens’ restrooms located throughout the airport.
Strollers are available for use upon arrival in the airport, free of charge, to be returned to collection points in Baggage Reclaim after use.
Boots Drugstore, located both landside and airside, offers a pre-order service for baby milk. Simply place your order five days before your travel, and pick up post security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials. You can warm up baby bottles at Pret a Manger restaurant, located airside in either terminal.
- Baggage Trolleys - Available for a refundable deposit of £1 or €1 coin.
- Chapel / Prayer Room - The airport’s interfaith chapels offer quiet and peaceful places to pray or meditate in both terminals. Scheduled services are held by Anglican, Roman Catholic and Free Church chaplains, and Buddhist services are held every Monday and on significant religious dates. Services usually last about 25 minutes. Locations: North Terminal, landside, 1st Floor, next to EasyJet customer services, before entrance to Hampton by Hilton • South Terminal, landside, 3rd Floor, near Caffè Nero. Hours: Open 24 hours.
- Children’s Play Area - “Kids Zones” are unmanned areas with toys and TVs for watching cartoons and other kids’ shows. Kids Zones are available in the Departures lounges of both terminals.
- Currency Exchange - Moneycorp has exchange desks and ATMS located throughout both terminals. Hours: open 24 hours.
- Duty Free and Shopping - The airport offers four World Duty Free shops, three of which operate 24 hours a day: North Terminal Departures (airside) and Arrivals • South Terminal Departures (airside). A large variety of retail stores is also available.
- Family Services - Early check-in and bag drop, designated family-friendly parking bays and special “Family Lanes” at security are some of the airport’s offerings to assist families in having a smooth airport experience.
- Food & Drinks - Food concessions throughout the airport operate with varying schedules. These options are open 24 hours:
- North Terminal: Costa (Arrivals) • Marks & Spencer Simply Foods (landside) • Starbucks (airside).
- South Terminal: Caffѐ Nero (landside) • Costa (Arrivals) • Marks & Spencer Simply Food (landside) • Pret a Manger (Departures, airside).
- Kid's Zones - Special kid's areas offer play areas and tv lounges for your children, as well as seating for grown-ups. Locations: North Terminal (Airside, behind Boots) and South Terminal (Airside, upstairs, opposite Cafe Rouge).
- Luggage Storage & Lockers - Excess Baggage Company offers short and long-term left luggage storage in both terminals at the following rates: £6.00 per bag/item for up to 3 hours, £11.00 per bag/item for 3 hour up to your first 24 hours, then £7.50 per bag/item for your second 24-hour period. After 72 hours, the rate is £5.00 per bag/item per 24-hour period. Luggage shipping, courier, tourist information and other services are available. Locations: North Terminal, landside, next to inter-terminal shuttle (Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM) • South Terminal, landside, at the back of Check-In (Hours: Open 24 hours).
- Mobile Charging - Free charging points are located airside and landside throughout the airport. If you want a hands-free method of charging, look for one of the ChargeBox kiosks. Located in the Departures lounges of both terminals, ChargeBox kiosks contains a group of small lockers equipped with charging leads for most phones. Phones take about 30 - 90 minutes to fully charge. Just plug in your phone, lock it up and take the key with you while you shop or dine! Rate: £1.50 for 30 minutes.
- Newspapers - For your reading pleasure, the airport provides The London Evening Standard newspaper, as well as several popular magazines, free of charge! Look for the Green Bug Media pick-up points airside on the way to the gates, and also at several airport restaurants.
- Showers - Showers are available in the Regus Express Business Lounge. [ see Airport Lounges above ]
- Smoking -Smoking is only permitted outside the terminal in designated areas.
- Take a Walk - If you want to get out and enjoy the fresh air, there is a national bicycle path that leads to the airport. According to a site visitor "the path led quickly off the site and wound through a pretty wooded suburban area".
- Work Pods - Regus Express has installed soundproof work pods that come equipped with free WiFi and mobile charging. Locations: North Terminal, Airside, Gates 104-105 • South Terminal, Airside, Gates 31-38. Rate: £10 per 30 mins. Hours: open 24 hours.
The airport is open 24 hours.
London Gatwick is connected by bus and coach service to more than 400 UK towns and cities, with direct services available to destinations including Heathrow, central London, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Oxford, Cambridge and Norwich. Most buses access the airport from the lower forecourt at South Terminal, but some buses also serve the North Terminal, on the lower level outside of International Arrivals. Here are some coach services from Gatwick:
National Express offers low-cost, frequent 24-hour service between Gatwick and Victoria Coach Station (central London), Heathrow Airport, Brighton and Bristol. Buses arrive and depart from the lower level outside of International Arrivals at the North Terminal and from the lower forecourt at stops 1 - 5. Tickets start at just £8 one-way and are sold online, over the phone, at ticket counters in the Arrivals areas of both terminals, or onboard from the driver.
easyBus offers frequent and direct low-cost transfers between Gatwick Airport and central London, with 300 daily departures from 4:00AM - 1:00AM. Three services are available: Gatwick (South Terminal) - London Waterloo train station, with departures every 15 to 20 minutes for a 1 hour trip; Gatwick (South Terminal) - Victoria Coach Station via National Express bus for a total trip time of up to 1.5 hours; Gatwick (North and South Terminals) - Earls Court (West Brompton), with departures every 15 to 20 minutes for a 1 hour trip. Fares start at just £2. Tickets can be booked in advance online at a discounted price or purchased onboard from the bus driver if seats are still available.
Oxford Bus provides an hourly service between the airport and Oxford called “The Airline”.
Gatwick Flyer offers direct service between the South Terminal and Southend.
Local bus service is provided by Metrobus, connecting both terminals of Gatwick Airport with Horley, Crawley, Redhill, Horsham and Caterham. Some of the local services are provided by Fastway, self-guided Metrobuses that run on a constructed track. The following routes access Gatwick Airport: Fastway 10, Fastway 20, Fastway 100, Gatwick Direct 200, Route 320, Route 380, Route 400, Route 420, Route 460, Route 526 and 527. Bus stops are located in front of the North Terminal and on the A23 at the end of the footpath from the South Terminal International Arrivals exit. For information on fares, routes and timetables, go to the Metrobus website.
Well known car rental providers are available at Gatwick. Companies include: Alamo • Avis • Dollar • Enterprise • Europcar • Hertz • National • Thrifty. Location: Car Rental Facility across from the North Terminal.
There is a 24 hour terminal shuttle that runs every few minutes.
Gatwick Airport is actually about 28 minutes south of London, so traveling between the airport and central London by taxi is definitely not one of the most economical ways to go. If taxi is the best option for you, taxis are readily available at taxi stands located outside of both terminals. Taxis and minicabs can also be pre-booked before or upon arrival. Please note: Both taxis and minicabs are licensed to transport passengers, but while taxis can be hired without a reservation, minicabs (by law) are not allowed to take passengers without a reservation. Do not accept rides from a minicab driver who approaches you to solicit a ride.
London Gatwick has a railway station at the South Terminal, connected to the North Terminal via free shuttle service. Tickets are sold at the station and at rail information counters located in the Arrivals area of both terminals. The following rail services access the airport:
Gatwick Express is the fastest way to travel between the airport and central London, departing every 15 minutes for the 30 - 35 minute journey to and from London Victoria Station. Other train services between Gatwick and London include Thameslink (to/from St Pancras International, Luton Airport and London Bridge) and Southern (London Victoria via Clapham Junction and East Croydon).
Trains to other destinations in the UK are offered by Southern (to/from Brighton, Eastbourne, Southampton and Portsmouth), Thameslink (to/from Brighton, Bedford and St Pancras (for onwards connections to Peterborough, Kings Lynn and Cambridge) and First Great Western (to/from Redhill, Guildford and Reading).
@AirportSleeper Managed to pick a seat under a drip from the a/c so relocated to the floor! It was freezing!! Cheap though :-)— RunawayBrit (@RunawayBrit) January 3, 2014
Last Updated: 14 October 2016
The information in this Airport Guide is based on information collected and/or received from the airport's and their web sites. The information above is subject to change without notice. Use it for informational purposes only to help you during your stay. To report errors, or to add/change any items mentioned in the guide, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.