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London Gatwick Airport Guide

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.
-Holly

Featured Review

London Gatwick South Terminal (wikipedia)
South Terminal, Zone K, Source: Dbx54 / Wikipedia

by kiwikate
Based on reviews on this side we decided to stay at gatwick before out 7:30am flight rather than fight London traffic. Reviews are totally true, would have been a great place to sleep as there were no hassles from security, shops open 24 hours and comfy couches. However, they are currently doing construction (and will be for another year or so) so the noise and dust were a major problem. On the plus side, the constructin guys were really friendly and advised us where the quietest place would be but there were jackhammers and lights all night and not a lot of space in the quieter places. Also, no announcements so once the constuction is finished it would be fairly quiet. In saying that, we managed about 4 hours sleep so it wasn't too terrible. Just thought these reviews needed an update!

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Gatwick Airport Information

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.

Airport Lounges

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):

North Terminal

  • 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).

South Terminal

  • 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).

» Buy a Lounge Pass

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Airport WiFi / Internet

Free WiFi is available at London Gatwick Airport for 45 minutes, you can log in again for an additional 45 minutes. Alternatively, for additional time, Boingo offers different plans. McDonald's offers Free WiFi (South Terminal, Airside). Additionally, Surfbox provides internet kiosks and printing facilities before and after security. Rates: 10p per minute for internet access and 50p per page for printing.

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Airport Hotels

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.
  • Yotel - 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.

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More Services, Facilities & Things To Do On A Layover At The Airport

  • 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 - Cash machines are available in both terminals, airside and landside.
  • Baby Care - Boots Drugstore is located both Landside and Airside and offers pre-order service for baby milk, simply place your order 5 days before your travel and pick up post security, freeing up space in your hand luggage for other essentials.
  • Baggage Trolleys - Available for a refundable deposit of £1 or €1 coin.
  • Chapel / Prayer Room - Locations: South Terminal, Landside, near Caffè Nero • North Terminal, Landside, beside International Arrivals. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Currency Exchange - Moneycorp has exchange desks and ATMS located throughout both terminals. Hours: open 24 hours.
  • Duty Free and Shopping - The airport offers 4 Duty Free Shops, 3 of which operate 24 hours a day. There is also a large selection of other stores available.
  • Family Services - If you are travelling with small children, the airport offers Family Assistance Lanes, Kids Zones and baby changing facilities.
  • Food & Drinks - There are several 24 hour food and beverage concessions available:
    • North Terminal: Costa Coffee (Arrivals) • M&S Simply Food (Landside) • Starbucks (Airside)
    • South Terminal: Caffe Nero (Landside) • Costa Coffee (Arrivals) • M&S Simply Food (Landside) • Pret a Manger (Airside)
  • Games Rooms - GameGrid provides arcade entertainment including air hockey, table football and computer games. Locations: Airside and Landside
  • 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 - Location - North Terminal, Landside, adjacent to the inter-terminal shuttle. Hours: 6:00AM - 10:00PM • South Terminal, Landside, back of the check-in area. Hours: 24 hours. Rates range from £6.00 (per item for 3 hours), £11.00 (per item for 24 hours), £7.50 (per item for 24-72 hours), etc.
  • Mobile Charging - If you don't have your mobile charger, there are free charging points landside and airside- For faster service you can charge your phone at Chargebox. Locations: North and South Terminal departure lounges. Rate: £1.50 for 30 minutes
  • Showers - Showers are available. Location: South Terminal, Landside, Departures Level 3, opposite the Beehive Bar and restaurant. Rate: Free, includes a towel.
  • 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.

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Airport Hours

The airport is open 24 hours.

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Airport Transportation: Getting To/From The Airport

Bus

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.

Car Rentals

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.

Inter-Terminal Shuttle

There is a 24 hour terminal shuttle that runs every few minutes.

Taxi

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.

Train

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).

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Quick Tips

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Last Updated: 26 April 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 guides@sleepinginairports.com.

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